Friday, August 01, 2008

Data Backup Day - No Kidding

UPDATE: This was originally posted on my duplicate blog at WordPress. As of 2 August 2008, 1:00 PM, PDT, my AnceStories blog at Blogger was finally unlocked.

As Thomas reminds us, today is Data Backup Day. When I think of data, I usually think of my scanned photos and images of genealogy documents that need to be backed up to my secondary hard drive, my flash drive, DVDs, or an online backup service (right now I'm using MediaMax), or my RootsMagic databases that I upload (with living people filtered out) to RootsWeb's WorldConnect family trees. UPDATE: Yikes! MediaMax is closing down as of August 8th. Time to switch to Carbonite, I'm thinking.

I never thought I might have to back up my blogs.

Yesterday afternoon, I received three e-mails from Google/Blogger, stating my AnceStories blog, my AnceStories2 blog and the EWGS blog had all been flagged as potential "splogs" (spam blogs). I was given instructions to submit them for reviews by Blogger to prove they weren't. Several hours later, my AnceStories2 blog was unlocked and back in business. My AnceStories and the EWGS blogs are still locked. This means I can write posts, save drafts, and edit changes on already published posts, but I cannot publish or schedule to be published any posts until the blogs have been cleared.

I'm not the only one with this problem. Schelly Taladay Dardashti of Tracing the Tribe was also locked out, as was Maureen Taylor of The Photo Detective. Debra Osborne Spindle ("Tex") of All My Ancestors has been fighting a battle with Blogger for weeks...she got flagged as a malicious blog, and even though she's jumped through all their hoops, if you use Mozilla Firefox as your browser and go to her site, you'll see a big warning posted. And when you Google her site, there's a notice "this site may harm your computer."

After I got locked out, I thought about opening another Blogger blog, but the thought of importing 692 posts was more than a little daunting! Then Schelley told me about WordPress, and after reading messagesfrom many Blogger users on the Blogger Help Board who are doing the same, I decided to go for it.

WordPress has a very easy import feature that will import your Blogger posts (including drafts and scheduled ones), comments, categories, and links within the posts over to WordPress that is quick and painless. Everything remains as-is back at Blogger, too ("importing" here really means duplicating; not removing). The drawback is that I can't have advertising on this free account, and importing my widgets will take time. However, I feel it's worth it as a backup.

I'm meeting with members of my society today for our Washington State Genealogical Society 2009 State Conference Committee Chairs and plan to request permission to import the society's blog to WordPress as well. And I've decided as a backup plan, I'm going to back up all my blogs to WordPress, keeping them private, just in case something happens to them.

So expand your horizons and don't limit your idea of what "data" is to just the files and folders in your computer. Take the time to protect your invested time, research, and perhaps money and come up with a backup plan for your blogs as well.
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