Okay, now I'm pissed. And if you want Cover Lay Down to continue, I'm asking for YOUR help. Here's the deal:
In the last hour, blogger has removed two more posts from this blog.
One of these was the post I put up just this past weekend.
The blogger take-down comes just hours after I received a very nice thank you from the label rep who arranged for me to have those songs available for all of you.
Let me say that again, just to make sure you get it. Here's what happened, in order:
- Label rep contacts me about awesome new covers.
- I write to label rep thanking her and asking for permission to share those covers.
- Label rep excitedly grants permission to share those covers in a particular way.
- I post those covers in exactly the way specified by the label rep.
- In the same post, I include two other covers which are all over the blogs, and available for FREE on the MySpace page of the artist, who owns her OWN label.
- The label rep writes to thank me for the nice review.
- Blogger takes down the post.
Other than making sure that the entire bloggiverse understands that at no time - not once, in all of this mess over the past few weeks -- has blogger EVER contacted me about taking down posts, even to let me know that the posts have gone down, I'm pretty much at a loss for words. And those who visit Cover Lay Down regularly know, that's really saying something.
I wish I had the heart and the focus to rant a bit right now, but I'm not averse to giving others who have come before me the credit for speaking to my heart. And Any Major Dude with Half A Heart describes my own feelings to a T, I think: defiant but cautious, and, more significantly, exhausted enough by the prospect of this as a way of life that I'm seriously considering compromising how I blog. Here's what he has to say; it goes double for me, too:
I have pledged to continue blogging. I might change platforms – perhaps finding a host in a country where US copyright laws do not have force – or try to double-guess what Blogger will and will not zap. At the same time, I’m feeling a sense of blogging burnout and diminished time. If the rate of my updates decreases, then it will not because I have submitted to The Man, but because I am facing new challenges. Apart from the job which pays me my monthly salary and being engaged in an NGO I helped found*, I have taken on the editorship of a book project, revising another book, and plan to write one myself. And my family would like to remember my face as well. Which means I will not devote as much time to this labour of love as I have previously. But I won’t go.
To me, this is the real blow. Most of us blog with all our heart, and all the time we can give. To suddenly be faced with having to put in a huge amount of work to restart elsewhere is time-consuming, and that time has to come from somewhere, and all I've got left to give is the time I have to write this.
The problem is, unlike AMD, I don't think I have the heart to do this by halves. And right now, it would take a superhuman amount of work and love and energy just to save this place from its looming condemnation.
I'd like to pledge to continue, and have the time to consider options. But unlike Any Major Dude, my host has already notified me that they're giving me the boot. Clearly, I'm not on the same wavelength as blogger, but even if I thought I could second-guess blogger successfully, I don't have the luxury of trying. And so, I have thirteen days -- no more or less -- to find, and fully implement, a solution, lest we become a blog frozen in time, another flying dutchman lost to the ether.
And let's be honest, folks. I just can't do it on my own.
I'm writing midterms for my classes, and about to have to grade them; if I want to keep my day job, I need to spend the next two weeks grading papers and crunching grades for my kids, not spending every waking hour rebuilding this blog on a new platform. My kids miss me, too. It's going to snow any day now, and the wood isn't stacked, the yard isn't raked, and I spend every waking hour either at work or cursing this damn computer, and all the stress it is bringing me. I turned to blogging as a vocational hobby, a true amateur's pursuit, and now it's just making me tired, mad, and worn out.
I thought about just writing this as a final post, and letting go. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that heart can be borrowed. After all, I've lent my own out, when it was warranted. I believe in social media, and this is why:
I could do this if I had patronage.
If someone was willing to step forward to do the bulk of the transfer, making a clean swap of archives and content from blogger to a private domain, maybe help out with the redesign. If some of you were willing to give, maybe just a few bucks each, to the financial cause, via that everpresent and hardly used donate button there on the sidebar, since self-hosting in the way that seems most secure is about ten times more expensive than the model I've been using.
What I can offer is love and time, the same as it ever was, and I don't think that's nothing.
It's just that, right now, it clearly isn't enough.
Look, I love this place. I've got music poised to post, more new artists to tout, streamable and ready, with labels waiting for me to give them the nod. But as the deadline for my host gets closer, all I can do is feel the weight of it pushing down on me. It's time to come forward, and state unequivocally, that I just can't do this right now.
If it turns out that there isn't really a bunch of people out there willing to help out, then I'll crawl back into my hole, and call it a good run. I'll be sad, for a while. The music world will be that much more commercialized and commodified. We'll all lose, just a little bit more. And then we'll move on, and forget, as we always do, and live in that grey world.
But I'm hoping that there are a few folks out there who appreciate what I've tried to bring here just enough to want to help out.
UPDATE 11:11 pm: Several folks have written to ask if there are other ways to help, especially for those with no e-cash solution or hosting to offer. The short answer to this question: absolutely. See the comments below for a few more thoughts on the matter.