Meta: the case of my missing blog

What was MUCH more upsetting was what would not be retrievable: about 170 items in some form of draft, including at least a couple dozen blog posts that were complete, but unpublished.

RogerDuckWhen I went to the dentist to get a cavity filled back on the morning of Wednesday, April 16, I knew I’d feel pretty crappy afterwards, so I took off the whole day. That afternoon, I tried to get rid of an alarming amount of spam – 770 and growing every minute – caught in the Akismet, fortunately. Eventually, though, I couldn’t access my blog at all.

I had suffered an outage earlier in the month; the vendor said it was 18 minutes, but I believe it was longer. The NEW problem, though, was for what turned out to be 15 +/-2 hours. I knew at least a few people noticed that my ABC Wednesday link was not working.

This got me thinking: what if the server never came back up? I wasn’t particularly bothered by the loss of the items I had posted over the last nine years. The first five years still exist at my old Blogger blog. My current blog exists on the Wayback machine, at least through February 8, 2014. Some of my recent blog posts I posted again on my Times Union blog. There would be loss, but it would be minimal.

What was MUCH more upsetting was what would not be retrievable: about 170 items in some form of draft, including at least a couple dozen blog posts that were complete, but unpublished. THOSE I could NOT get back.

This prompted me to restart my shadow blog at rogerowengreen.wordpress.com. I’d initiated it after I decided to give up my Blogger blog, but it wasn’t as pretty as I thought it’d be. Frankly, I didn’t think I could copy from a WordPress blog to another WP blog, or maybe that wasn’t an option five years ago. I figured out how to copy my entire rogerogreen.com blog to my rogerowengreen WP blog, despite the size maximum for such a transfer having been exceeded. Yay, me!

Now I compose in rogerowengreen WP and then copy it to my main rogerogreen blog. This is a bit of an annoyance, especially when I have to make corrections, but it isn’t as much a pain as trying to recreate a couple dozen posts from scratch.

This also addresses the issue of what will happen to my blog when I die. As long as WordPress is allowing for free blogs, I guess it’ll reside there for whatever time we have before the electrical grid goes kablooey.

One last thing: I’m still generating a ton of spam in Akismet, several hundred every day. I used to look at the items in my spam folder when it was a dozen or two daily, but now it’s onerous. So if your comment didn’t make it to my blog – and it’s been years since I’ve blocked one – it probably got caught up in the electronic junkyard.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

7 thoughts on “Meta: the case of my missing blog”

  1. Hm, yes, what happens to all that writing 20 years down the road? Will it still exist inside “The Cloud” (which I consider a completely bogus concept) and if it does, will it still be accessible to anyone? The Wife (mine, not yours) has a data recovery service that she does, people send her old floppy disks and she recovers the data using obsolete 20 year old computers. The technology that can read floppies is almost gone.

    I’d suggest doing what I do with my precious and oh so brilliant blog writings, leave a file of everything on a personal computer and back it up now and then. But perhaps that’s not enough. Maybe the only solution is to make hard copies of everything and buy a file cabinet.

    Or maybe print your blog posts on acid-free parchment, seal them in a jar and bury the jar in a nice dry desert so that they can be rediscovered 2000 years from now. Which suggests the big question: just how permanent are your (or my, or any other blogger’s) writings? Are they an important archive of your view of this time and place in world history, or are your blogposts the literary equivalent of dixie cups, read ’em once and then throw ’em away?

  2. As you know, we’re in the same boat! I find upwards of 2,000 spam comments every week in Askimet. I’ve imported successfully into wordpress.com, but am hesitant to make the jump because I still have 4 months on my contract. But, I’m still considering…………….. sounds like you’ve found a solution that works for you.

  3. There’s a plug-in for WordPress blogs called “WordPress Database Backup” that backs-up your blog database and emails it to you. I have my podcast sites do that once a week so that—worst case scenario—a total crash would leave me at most one week behind (yeah, I know: These days that’s not much of a risk…).

    Blogger doesn’t (yet) have anything like that, but it is possible to export the whole thing, and doing that periodically is a really good idea.

  4. I use either that same plugin, or one similar to it. (Although I’m getting close to its limits: my database is now 75 MB, which gzips down to 18 MB — but the mail server’s limit is 20. I could leave them on the server and FTP them later, I suppose.)

    WordPress freebies are limited to 3 GB total; I figure it would probably take me the rest of my life to move the 2 GB I have over there.

  5. Well I would hope anyone with a blog would make back up copies of it. That is only common sense. Why wouldn’t you? You back up your computer don’t you? Well your website is no different consider it is stored on a server, which is a huge computer. As for spam…the more popular your blog becomes, the more spam it is likely to get. Comment spam remains a problem for all WordPress users. I have a review blog on the same server as your blog and I get a tun of traffic- which also results in lots of spam. The more popular it has grown over the last few years the more spam I get. However I take action to help combat spam by adding plugins etc. As for down time the planet, HostMonster, Host gator & blue host are also having the same issues. The Provo, UT, data center are to blame. The outage is also affecting BlueHost’s own sites, including its help.bluehost.com support site. I know it is pain, but your not the only one effected by this.

  6. Oh and let us not forget RACKSPACE.COM and lunarpages too, even wordpress.com has been experiencing downtime for some users. You would be surprised what Twitter tells you for those experiencing downtime with different hosts.

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