Rumours of this blog’s death…….

….are greatly exaggerated.

I “lost” my blog yesterday. Some of you may have noticed. The hosting company had problems with one of their servers, and somehow both primary as well as backup disks died on them. Whatever backup means in that context.
I don’t like blame cultures, nor am I intrinsically litigious. These things happen and I must move on. Covenant not contract.
But it taught me something.

If I had lost the only manuscript of a novel I was writing, I might have felt different. I don’t know.
What I do know is that blogs are conversational and relational, not transactional. Which suggests that the impact of a temporarily-dead blog is different from, say, a temporarily-dead e-commerce site. Something for me to mull over.
It does mean starting over. And that will be an experience for me. Finding out what I can recover from feedburner, from newsgator, from the Google cache. And setting about restoring the blog piece by piece. Learning about what can be done about the images and the comments. Selecting the best route to achieving the restoration. Since I like restoring old books, I will enjoy doing this.
Much for me to learn. Which makes it all worthwhile. I promise to share my learning with those that are interested.
I shall return.

In the meantime, I’d appreciate your patience and your tolerance. Normal service will be resumed over the next few days.

12 thoughts on “Rumours of this blog’s death…….”

  1. Best of luck trying to track down the (kernels of the) snowballs you have set in motion. It shall be an interesting experiment to see what fragments of your blogging to date remain in the minds of the many individual machines that make up the internet. As for human minds, your thoughts and ideas have already taken root. Once you seed it there is no stopping it.

  2. We’re working on an application that would have had backups of everything you potentially lost. Maybe you can help us beta test it. If you’re interested, send me an email.

    CEO, BigSwerve

  3. If it helps (and I’m sure it won’t…much), I have seven of your past posts marked as new in my aggregator. But that’s not even a dent in what was here. Your calm is humbling, because I would be going apeshit.

  4. Faced with a similarly painful situation – and as a last resort – I took a failed disk, that had not been sufficiently frequently backed up, to a specialist. He tried everything – and then his last resort … an approach resulting from unrestrained, shared, experience and freedom to experiment. It had worked before. He gave the hard drive a whack at a practised angle. In bringing its side down on to the palm of his hand, he managed to get the disk working – temporarily.

    This approach is clearly not without risk of further damage, nor is it necessarily the right approach but sometimes the unorthodox, unconventional route is the optimum (or even only) way to solve a problem – until the route becomes entirely discredited, mainstream or superceded with something better – a sort of early adopter’s advantage/disadvantage .

    Once all the other options have been attempted, your hosts may decide to investigate, or reject, this (literally) lateral solution – or another unorthodox approach such as freezing the drive. Some of these are listed in the pdf: ‘200 ways to revive a hard drive’

  5. C’mon, we all know you did this as an “object lesson” of some sort! Like to make us all think about what would happen if Google crashed. Or the entire net…

  6. My lessons from running my own blog:

    – If you’re doing more than sharing news of the kids and pics of the dog, always register a domain of your own. Never be tied to any one hosting service or blogging platform. You’ll regret it. Make it your own personal microbrand, don’t confuse it with that of the postman who stored and delivered the bits. (Obviously, someone from Calcutta isn’t as confused here as he purports ;) )
    – Only host your data somewhere that can provide a dump or export. My host ( lets me run a nightly cron job to dump the MySQL database to flat files.
    – Sync that export daily, and keep weekly and monthly backups in case of gun-foot-shoot accidents. I personally use my always-on home server to rsync the data down, but you can do the same to your laptop with a scheduled job just as easily. It’s one line of script and a Windows scheduled task.

    And whatever you do, don’t ask me about my embarassing data deletion and loss screw-ups. I’m not telling, particularly about the 30,000 lost bank transaction records.

    PS – My blog backup has already save my ass once in 3 years.

  7. I admire your ability to move on without blaming your host.

    If you’re at all interested, you may be able to google yourself and then click on their cached links. I came looking for an article here that obviously got hosted in the disk crash and is no more, but it’s still out there in the great cache – thank you, and thanks google :)

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