Sunday, 8 February 2009

The Purl Bee needs you!

I used to use the atom RSS feed. You know the one that is orange? I loved it 'cos I could put my feeds on my menu toolbar. It was full and I also had a file that had all the blogs I follow too. I had them in order of interest so the ones that I enjoyed most were at the top of the list.

I had subscribed to a site called The Purl Bee, a fabric shop's blog. It was only of mild interest so was down near the bottom of my list. A post called "The Purl Bee needs you!" told of the need for people to complete a survey for them. I didn't do the survey but I don't think what happened next was related to this fact.... Or was it? (Cue the Twilight Zone theme tune De-de-de-de de-de-de-de.)

The next time I looked in my blog file I noticed the whole of the Purl Bee blog had been taken over by "The Purl Bee needs you!" post. Every post was called 'The Purl Bee needs you!"

A day or two later I noticed another blog, that had been next to it on my list had been taken over by "The Purl Bee needs you!" This was a little inconvenient, but not much as the blog was not one of my favourites. I thought it would all go back to normal in a while but it didn't. Instead the Purl Bee took over another of my blog subscriptions.

I thought "This is taking a long time to get back to normal. Maybe it will sort itself out when I restart my MacBook."

But it didn't. The Purl Bee got greedy and took over another two. At this point I thought that something might be wrong and wondered vaguely how I could cancel the subscription to the blogs. I had a little look but could not work out what to do so left it.

A few days later "The Purl Bee needs you!" had taken over some favourite blogs and I made more of an effort to delete the subscriptions. I found how to do it but the infected ones would not delete! The ones that weren't infected deleted fine, so I knew I was doing the correct thing.

I wrote an email to the Purl Bee to tell them about this phenomenon. The webmaster was amazed. He had not had anyone else complaining of this so he attempted to duplicate the problem. It would not duplicate. I told him that as he wasn't subscribed at the time that "The Purl Bee needs you!" post went out he would not get the infection.

Anyway, of course that ravenous Purl Bee ate all my blogs and then climbed out of the blog file and ate all the rest of my subscriptions on the bookmarks menu toolbar. Literally, because they all disappeared.

In fact the whole of my bookmarks disappeared. I am an avid collector of bookmarks, putting tags on them ('cos I use Firefox) and saving them for 'a rainy day'. Actually, even though it rains a lot in England I rarely refer to my bookmarks but I like to know they are there.

The Purl Bee disabled my bookmarking ability and so cannot use that function at all.

I used to have a Google toolbar and saved bookmarks onto Google but my Firefox does not support it.

Fortunately I recently discovered iGoogle and so I now use my iGoogle page to save bookmarks and have another one for my blog subscriptions.

This way I can access them from any computer. So something good comes out of every adversity.

I don't know what the Purl Bee virus is doing now. I hope it died of indigestion. If anyone has advice that will cost no money I will be happy to listen (or rather read it).