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User-Generated Content? Do not use BurstNET

A hosting provider, BurstNet, shut down a wordpress hosting service,, last week.

This is an example of egregious abuse of power by BurstNET against hosts 70,000 wordpress blogs. Apparently, a few of those blogs had “an al-Qaeda hit list” and “bomb-making” instructions on them. So for the possible sins of a few, 69,999 innocent blogs are shutdown with no recourse.

You can read BurstNet’s lame press release here.

Any web service that allows user-generated content ( so pretty much any site that isn’t a static site) would be subject to a draconian response by BurstNET. What is especially egregious is that BurstNet is not letting Blogetery get access to any of Blogetery’s data!

Continuing, from the New York Times Bits blog,:

And Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, said the “tragedy is that thousands of blogs will be taken offline for no good reason.”

Mr. Yusupov said he had backed up some of the blogging site’s data, but not all. And he said he was trying to negotiate with BurstNet to get the data so he could restart the blogging site with another hosting service. “This has been a big hassle for me,” he said.

In the New York Times Bits blog,:

Mr. Marr of BurstNet said the Blogetery server did “not get a lot of use or traffic,” suggesting the number of active users of the free blogging site was probably a tiny fraction of the 73,000 Blogetery claimed.

So basically, Blogetery is a small business and is therefore “not important”. Important news to any small business considering using BurstNet:

BurstNET thinks small businesses are not important

Stay away, stay away! You cannot run a business where at the arbitrary whim of the hosting provider you can be shutdown, especially if the hosting provider will not supply your data so you can go elsewhere!

For similar reason, I stayed away from GoGrid (and now BurstNet).

Update ( 28 July 2010 ) :

A last interesting point from CNET about how Burst.NET feels about their customers’ data (aka don’t use Burst.Net for mission-critical purposes):

Joe Marr, chief technology officer of, stressed again that the reason for the service termination was that the materials the FBI alleges belonged to terrorists are a violation of’s terms of service. He noted that typically, does not return data to customers booted for TOS violations.

Violations of the Burst.NET Terms of Service result is losing all your data!

Excuse me????
Use Rackspace

Posted in management, starting a company.

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