Metro pulls the plug on thousands of blogs

The Swedish free daily newspaper Metro has been hosting blogs on its blogging platform since 2007. Back then it was described as an immediate success, with more than 2,000 registered blogs during its first 36 hours of operation. The original idea was to share advertising revenue with bloggers, but that model was soon ditched. And apparently the blogs have not generated enough revenue to keep the platform running, because Metro announced today that it is shutting down the service on April 25. is currently home to at least 10,000 blogs, possibly a lot more. Many are of course no longer active, but Metro’s decision comes as a blow to many bloggers who are left with no help in transferring to a new host. In a note today, Metro says:

“You can continue to blog on Metrobloggen as usual until April 25. After that date, the site can no longer be accessed and no content will be available or saved any longer.

Up until April 25, you can manually or in other ways save your content. Metrobloggen can unfortunetely not provide any tools or help in order to automatically copy your content.”

Exporting content to another blog platform

I do not oppose the closing down of this platform per se, I am sure they have looked into the business model and found that it doesn’t make good business sense to continue. But it’s sad that they offer no help for the bloggers who have generated millions of page views and ad impressions. Metro could have come up with some means to export the content and easily transfer it to another blogging platform. Many bloggers will probably not bother to copy and paste every single blog post and move it elsewhere.

WordPress has an RSS importer for self hosted blogs, but I haven’t tried how it works and most of the bloggers at Metrobloggen probably are looking for easier solutions like or

Metro says they are working on a solution, but they say there is no guarantee they will find one before they close the site down.

Update: Ted Valentin has developed a solution to help bloggers export their blogs from Metrobloggen to Blogger or WordPress. Check it out here.

Forced swith to new Blogger creates havoc

Blogger users have had the option to convert to new Blogger for a while, but about three weeks ago Blogger started to force some users to switch to the new version. So although I had resisted as long as I could, I had to take the plunge this weekend.

I have been afraid to switch because many bloggers have experienced major problems with new Blogger. At the Blogger Help Group you can find hundreds and hundreds of posts where people ask for advice because they are unable to publish or something isn’t working properly. This blogger even compares new Blogger with new Coke.

And unfortunately my worries were well-founded. After the conversion my permalinks don’t work anymore, either in the Atom feed or on the blog. Posts used to be archived in a folder called ‘arkiv’ and the permalinks to each post previously looked like this:

But now the /arkiv/ part is missing and I don’t know how to change it. The new URLs (that don’t work) look like this:

I really hope I can solve this, but at the moment I don’t know how. The only solution I’ve found so far is to give all the 1,000 blog posts a new unique URL. That will mean that any incoming links to one of my blog posts will stop working and I will lose my Google Page Rank (PR6), Technorati rank and any other blog rank worth its salt.

Any help with this issue is much appreciated.

When I looked for solutions to the permalink problem, I noticed that several bloggers have found themselves, at least temporarily, thrown out of Google after upgrading. Apparently Blogger had inserted a “NOINDEX,NOFOLLOW” tag to every page of this blog. Check this and this.

Tags: , , . Ping.

Maintenance schmaintenance

If you run a hotel, you don’t lock the doors because of temporary maintenance without telling your guests. The same should apply for a web hotel, but apparently Spray doesn’t agree. I couldn’t post to my blog this morning and as it seems my web host Spray is currently doing some maintenance to the FTP server, which is currently unavailable.

And no, putting a smiley after the message doesn’t help…

Tyvärr, FTP-servern är tillfälligt nere för underhåll… Försök vänligen lite senare 🙂

But to be honest, I don’t know what is causing my problems with posting today, but I suspect that Spray has something to do with it. My error messages on Blogger points to wrong ftp login.