My sister Abby, who is a children’s librarian, writes a blog called “Children and Books.” She does book reviews, writes about the librarian’s life, and other good stuff. Everything was going fine — until a week and a half ago when her blog stopped working.
First, she wrote to her Web host, Deerfield Hosting, to see if something was wrong on that end. Dennis of Deerfield Hosting (who is wonderful to deal with — he administers my Web sites, too) said he could find nothing wrong on his end, and suggested reinstalling the blog. Abby asked me to see if I could figure out what was wrong. I worked on the problem for several hours, and came up with absolutely nothing. At last we decided to back up the old blog, and reinstall it, as Dennis had suggested.
Except that Dennis wrote another email to Abby saying that he thought he had found the problem. Abby had posted an entry on her blog that she had written in Microsoft Word format, simply cutting and pasting the Word document into the blog. But Word embeds all kinds of peculiar characters in its word processing documents, and it looks like some of those peculiar characters bollixed the blogging software and/or the MySQL database on the server.
To make a long story short, I installed an entirely new blog on Abby’s Web site, and now she’s going to have to laboriously move her old blog over, post by post, to the new blog. All because Microsoft Word is a horrendously flawed product. I’m now looking for a new word processor for myself. And if you use Word, please don’t use it to write drafts for blog posts or comments.