Alan Smithee

The Great Gmail Derp-up of 2011

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Google, I love you guys so very much, but when you disable people’s accounts without telling them you’re going to do so…it causes guys like me to panic.

I’ve essentially been doing cloud computing with Google products for the past couple of years, even more so in the last two as I established this here website, and I have to say that I’m less than satisfied with way they’ve handled the mess-up that has been occurring for the past 2 days.

I came into work the other night at my normal time and had no problems with my gmail account at all, until about 11pm my time here in Utah where it all-of-a-sudden, was getting errors left and right. As soon as I logged out and tried to go back in, I was met with a standard error, which wouldn’t make sense to anyone but a Google engineer I’m sure.

It was about 3 hours before I was able to get back into the service and upon entrance into the program, ALL of my email was wiped out, all of my convoluted filters and labeling systems were gone too. It was as if I had taken the shrinkwrap off of a new account! Luckily for me, there wasn’t anything in the various inboxes I have that I couldn’t live without, so I proceeded to change my password (just in-case I had been hacked) and started to get on with my life…for about 12 hours.

At approximately 4pm yesterday, my account went offfline. I’m not merely saying my gmail account…I’m talking my ENTIRE google account. I use 5 or 6 of their services that are tied into my google account, including analytics, gmail, feedburner, adwords, adsense, gdocs, you name it, I’ve probably used it. Now just imagine that, a tool that you routinely use to do your job is suddenly gone! How do you feel about that?

I’m not exactly pissed, because I know that the guys there are working an issue on software that I don’t pay for, so I can’t bitch really. I just wish that they’d handle the issue a bit more transparently. If you were to go look at Google’s support forum, the first thing they said to the some 0.08% of their users is that we were probably compromised…which we know is not bloody likely.

Various news organizations have come out with their own take about what has happened, but I wanted to be the one that says it from my actual point of view. It’s annoying, and I hope it comes back soon with or without my data recovered. It’s not like I have a website to run or anything.

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