UPDATE: I've re-evaluated my relationship with Google, see this.
While I greatly appreciate the free service that Blogger has provided to me for the past four years they've decided to stop allowing me to publish to my own server. I now have to use Blogger's hosting if I want to continue to use Blogger for managing this blog.
This means the service is no longer free. The move to using Blogger hosting means there is a quid pro quo. I am trading all the information about your reading of my blog for the use of Blogger's tools. Frankly, I don't think this is a good deal and wouldn't voluntarily do it.
I don't have much time lately (note the low frequency of posting here) and so coming up with an alternative to publish locally which I have time to implement is frankly daunting. So, for the moment, I will accept the situation and use Blogger's hosting. In the longer term I will find an alternative completely in my control.
"Free" services on the 'net aren't ever really free. You are always trading something for the service you receive. Take Google Analytics. This is a really great service. The statistical analysis and visualization is very compelling and it's "free". Except it isn't. Google gets a truly amazing view into the behavior of the web thanks to "giving away" this service.
You are giving Google access to all of the information about your visitors for which they agree to show you your slice of the massive statistical pie that they can assemble from all the millions [just a guess, but it surely seems reasonable] of users that are willing to make this trade.
In some cases I am willing to "pay" the cost of "free" services, in others I am not. I don't use Google Analytics but I do use Google's Webmaster Tools. I looked at the what I would be "paying" for them, which was very little. I had to tell Google that certain websites were under my control. I made a calculation that they really already knew this based on all the other information they've got to data-mine. So I felt I was giving up little. In the case of Google Analytics, though, I find the "payment" too great, so I don't use it.
So for now this blog has been moved. Soon, I hope, I will find the time to move it again, back to its "home" on my own server.
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