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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up". Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre

Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

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The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

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Last updated July 8, 2005.

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Last Updated November 22, 2005.

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New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

January 19, 2006

Prolurker is back from LunarPages hell (long ranting post warning)

This has been a fairly long and annoying week. It all started last Friday night when I finally, after getting prolurker settled in at it's new host LunarPages, updated Mint. That was simple and straightforward I just like to have some extra time in case something goes astray when I work on the websites. Well, come Saturday morning I found that Mint was not working correctly. Saturday I was busy, so I didn't mess with it. I have lots of stats for the blog so missing this one program was not a problem. But come Sunday morning and I decided to figure out what was causing the problem.

I worked with Mint for quite a while and as part of that process did a rebuild on the indexes of the blog. Interestingly enough, my admin page locked up during the rebuild, and I assumed it was a satellite issue. Little did I know. About half an hour later, I decided to try the rebuild again after rebooting the modem and my computer, but went ahead and did a full rebuild this time and again my page locked up. So I went to work on other things. Then about an hour later, I get an e-mail from LunarPages that my mt.cgi script had been disabled. See the following:

The following ticket has been created by a member of our staff for you
Your question's details:
============= Title: ==============
Script Disabled on your account

============== Message: ==============

Your script moveabletype was causing extremely high processing on sadar server:

profe9 11.45 6.23 0.0
Top Process %CPU 92.8 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi
Top Process %CPU 86.2 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi
Top Process %CPU 86.0 /usr/bin/perl -w mt.cgi

This also crashed the server earlier. As such, the script has been chowned to root with 000 file permissions. You may not use this script again as %92 top processing is an unacceptable level on a shared server, affecting load and all other accounts on the server. I'd suggest you to move to Wordpress. Please let us know, and we can remove this script for you.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Kind Regards,
Tomas Olivares
Junior System Administrator - System Administrator Team

Ok well that's a fine how do you do, especially since my site was totally ftp'd in from my old host and nothing, beyond the Mint, program had changed. Neither they or my previous host had given me any warning that there had been a problem. LunarPages just shut me off.

So that began a very interesting exchange. I called customer service, LunarPages is noted as having excellent customer service, but you won't be able to tell by my experience. I was told I would have to respond to the email I couldn't "talk" to anyone about what was happening. You have the full email text above, do you see anywhere it says I HAVE to respond to the email. I mentioned to the person on the other end of the phone that it sounded like they didn't want my business and he responded that they definitely did want to resolve the issue and continue our relationship. Yeah right. As a parting comment the customer service person said I would be REQUIRED to move to Wordpress...interesting that they think they can tell me what system to use with no explanation or consideration...just do it. *snapping my fingers* Do it NOW!

I responded to their email that as the problem was running a full rebuild and I would simply not be doing that again. It's rarely required I just ran one to make sure I had full saturation across the website. Then 48 hours later I get this email answer:

This is an automated message to advise you that a technician has responded to your question. You can view this response and track the progress of your inquiry online at:

You can also reply to this e-mail.

Ticket Ref : 4814-YUJX-5858
Ticket Subject : Script Disabled on your account


I am sorry, but due to the server crashing from this script being run, we cannot enable it again for you.

To ensure the safety of the accounts on the server, the only way we could host this for you would be on a dedicated server.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience, I'm sure this wasn't the answer you were hoping for, but we have to do what is in the best interest of everyone on the server. I hope you understand.

Although it didn't crash the server, on previous days, the script had also been over the limit of resources allowed, by 2 or 3 times.

If you would like to upgrade, please let us know and we can upgrade you to a dedicated server.

If you would like to leave, that is also an option. We can issue you a pro-rated refund.

Best Regards,
Stephan Hughson

A DEDICATED SERVER, gezzz there is no way my little blog needs a dedicated server. This is just insane. Note that they are saying that there were multiple problems before they decided to shut me off...would have been nice if they had bothered to tell me about that.

So after much discussion with my technical advisory crew I decided to move the site to another host, DreamHost. But I was curious, for my own understanding, to know what the limit was that the site had exceeded. Curious so I would know what to expect at my new site. You are gonna love this response:


There is actually no set limit. It all depends on the duration and generally anything above 9.0 would be high on the shared servers.
Best Regards,
Peter Cathaseema
JSA I ­ System Admin Team

So let me get this straight, on several occasions I had exceed the limit where there is no set limit. Wonderful circular thinking but someone needs to explain to me how you exceed a non-limit and do it repeatedly...I mean come on how do they even know you have exceeded the limit if they don't even know what the limit is? And how do you hang your hat on the decision if you can't even explain it with any reasonable clarity.

Well this morning a friend worked to unpack my full backup from the LunarPages site and he jiggled with the site to get it both up and running and doing so efficiently. Would you believe that a simple change from the default Berkeley database to MySQL seems to have fixed the processing time problem. Probably explains why other much larger blogs can run on MT and be hosted by LunarPages. Oh well apparently their "top notch" customer service and technical staff couldn't figure that one out for themselves.

In truth I have not been impressed with their tech support from the beginning. See Things I learned while moving two websites to a new host for my previous comments on this service. So my advise is avoid LunarPages...customer service to me is not just having people who answer the phone but who can help you resolve a problem to a mutually satisfactory conclusion, if possible. And if it's not possible they can first try, and second at least not be condescending about it. Gezzz.

Now if I can just get Mint working properly.

Posted by prolurkr at January 19, 2006 11:17 AM

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Criminy! Sorry to hear about the trouble and the poor customer service. You are just a power blogger my friend. And more power to you!

Posted by: Lianzi at January 20, 2006 12:55 AM