backing it up

Let’s discuss bloggy stuff, shall we?

After last week’s Blogger Blackout, I lost Thursday’s post (along with its comments) and it had me thinking about saving copies of posts.  In a way, I’m glad that Blogger timed out because I learned a valuable lesson.  If I  ever lost most or all of my posts, I’d be devastated!  Months and months down the drain.  Imagine?!

So now, I’m going to start “backing up”.  I’m going to start pdf’ing my entries and saving them as files in my computer.

And this leads me to the subject of backing up computer files.  A few years ago, I got a computer virus and it pretty much wiped out every piece of information stored.  My boyfriend’s computer genius of a friend was able to retrieve some of my school papers and a few songs from my iTunes library, but that’s it.  My resumes, writing samples and program files were gone–in a matter of minutes.

I have virus protection now, but that doesn’t mean that I’m immune from getting another and I still don’t back up.  Now that I’m actively looking to do so, I’m having trouble figuring out what would be the quickest, most efficient way of doing this.

There’s online storage websites like Mozy and Carbonite that automatically back up on a given time every day.  This may be the easiest (albeit priciest) option, since little to no work goes in this.

There are also external drives.  A cheaper choice, but it requires regular manual back-ups, which can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you blog regularly (or type papers, download music, update your resumes and cover letters, etc.).

So my question is: do you have a safety net for your files?  What do you do?  Do you find your way to be efficient, easy, convenient?

Please share your thoughts below.  I’m dying to know how you guys go about this (if you do at all)!

-jillian m.

17 responses to “backing it up”

  1. coffeeandkitsch says:

    i have two hard drives – one i use for my time machine backups (one of my favorite things about macs) and the other holds all of my music, photos, files for work….so i guess i have double back-up for that stuff.

    i don't stress over backing up my blog bc i keep a written journal.

  2. SE says:

    I don't back anything up, though I should. I'm a nursing student, entering my 4th year of my bachelors so all of those writing classes are done and over with and I wouldn't miss the papers if they were gone. On the rare occasion I do have a written assignment to do I always save an extra copy on Google Docs while I'm working on it, AND email it to myself after every page or so, just in case. I try to upload pictures to private Facebook albums or to Flickr so I always have an online copy.

    Also I found a (long, tedious) way online to put your music from your ipod back onto your computer if you lose your music. I've had to do it twice, lost a couple of songs but maintained HUNDREDS. I think Mozy and Carbonite are good options for someone like you who seems to need to store a lot of information more regularly than I do. Good luck!

  3. My Fashion Dolly says:

    Hi Jillian, I read your post, and it's so true, you never know if you're gonna lose important files/information. I also lost some of my comments during the Blogger's Blackout, and I felt terrible because I know those people took the time to write something on my blog, and it just disappeared…Oh well, I liked what you said about the Pdf files, maybe I should do the same.

    For my computer, I have an external drive, so I back things up there. But I got into thinking that maybe I should have two, just in case, right?

    Well Jillian thanks for sharing this post, I truly appreciated.

    Rocio R.

  4. rebecca says:

    i have a g drive for all my pics and itunes songs. other than that, no back up whatsoever. i should probably back up my back up, to be honest. but that may be a bit over the top.

  5. Ana Degenaar says:

    This is such an amazing post, I was just thinking I need to backup my blog. Thank you!
    xx

  6. Aquí says:

    I've been thinking about doing the same but it really does sound like a lot of work doesn't it? Everyone I know whose good at regularly backing their files up goes with the external hard drive, but like you said, it can be really time consuming. Especially if you blog on a regular basis as we do. I'm not sure what the best option would be, I'm hoping someone here posts something brilliant that you can share with the rest of us :) Oh and thank you for the hyperlink, don't know how I missed it.

  7. la petite coquine says:

    Thank you for the reminder-we have an external drive just waiting for our backups, but I have yet to do it-oops! When Blogger went down I initially lost about 2 weeks of posts; with images already deleted, I was FRANTIC. I put it all back together again pretty quickly, and by the time I was brave enough to blog again, my scheduled posts had been restored, but it wasn't pretty!

  8. the nyanzi report says:

    external drives are the cheapest option and that's what i use.

  9. Tanja @ Postmodern Hostess says:

    I have my music backed up on an external drive, but little else. I'm kinda pining after a 3 TB external drive that would let me back up everything, but I'm still terribly vulnerable for now. I agree that the Blogger outage was one of those lightbulb moments, but short of going back and separately making PDFs of my 400 blog posts, I'm not sure what else to do about the blog specifically…

  10. jillian m. says:

    coffeeandkitsch – I often write my posts in a notepad before I put them up as well. The only difference is that I throw them out once I've typed them up!

    SE – Google docs is a great idea. I actually never considered that option. Having an online backup seems pretty convenient…

    Rocio and Rebecca – I've also considered having 2 backups, although it does seem a little redundant. However, my former boss used to keep some of his files on a thumb drive. But one day, he asked me to retrieve the files and they were corrupted (I think the thumb drive was damaged or something). I'm always afraid of something like that happening!

    Ana – you're very welcome!

    Aqui – Ha! Yes, it is a lot of work! I'll definitely keep you posted if I come across something that I think works well. Thumbs crossed!

    Lena – 2 weeks of posts?! That's madness. And I thought I had it bad. You're a saint for redoing those posts!

    Nyanzi – Yes, it seems ext drives are, in fact, the cheapest option. And a very popular one, at that.

    Tanja – I've had my eye on a 2-3 TB hard drive, too! Wow, 400 posts. I would suggest to maybe pdf 2 posts a day? That way, the task doesn't seem as huge and tedious. Other than that, I have no idea! Don't you wish you can have an assistant to do these kinds of things? Ha!

  11. made-to-travel.com says:

    Keep me posted too Jillian!!! Hmmm…Pdfing posts not a bad idea. Maybe I'll start that way first. I would be heart broken if all my posts disappeared.

    I'm on wp.com, but I heard that blogger is trying to restore the posts lost during that crazy and tragic situation.

  12. Brookelyn says:

    I definitely need to invest in an external hard drive, and the blogger blackout had me thinking about needing to back up my posts, too!

  13. Caroline says:

    I just invested in an external hard drive for all of my photos. Good post, it never occurred to me to save my posts!! XO!

  14. The Many Colours of Happiness says:

    I never back anything up. Sometimes I save my blog posts (I write them up in Word first) and email them to myself. But if my computer got a virus I would pretty much lose a lifetime's worth of work :s

    Can't wait to hear what you decide on!

  15. Stephanie says:

    thanks for sharing this post!
    to be honset, i don't think i would have the patience to back up every file… i think if everything did get lost one day i would just think of the experience and all the relationships i've formed from them!

    happy wednesday!

  16. Leslie *Fresh Out of Lemons* says:

    I have to admit that I'm pretty lazy about taking back-up measures. As in, I don't take any measures. Honestly, I'm relying on my great host site– Squarespace. I recently had a heart attack inducing episode of accidentily deleting my entire blogroll. I sent an SOS e-mail, to which an associate responded to within minutes. After a few back and forth messages, I was able to recover the list in the "deleted components" folder of my account. I didn't even know this was an option and, man, was I relieved. :)

  17. Indie.Tea says:

    Well, depending on how much you need to back up. My boy uses a lot of space, and his yearly expense on external drives runs into the thousands.
    Since I use my home computer for personal use, I email everything to myself – blog posts, photos, etc. Gmail has a decent amount of space for a non-professional :)
    As for the virus thing – I recommend switching to an Mac :)

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