Friday, May 20, 2011

OMG! What happened?!

I received this blog post in my email and I knew I should share with all my followers. This is a guest post by Sarah from The Blog Guidebook.
Last week some of us faced unfamiliar territory...Blogger was not functioning. Our readers wouldn't know it because they could still see our blog and interact. But we knew it, didn't we? It is so frustrating trying to work behind the scenes on your blog and not being able to. Apparently it was only a small percentage of users affected, but I happened to be one of them. And I have been known to boast about Blogger's exceptional track record when it comes to down time. Blogger was number one when it came to zero down time people! Now, not so much. This "down time" gave me time to go look at Wordpress blogs....(traitor!).  But still, jumping ship right before Blogger makes its big reveal seems like a silly thing to do...I want to see what the new Blogger has to offer me. Will there be more features that are amazing? There better be! You can stay on top of known issues for Blogger by going here. Blogger also posts when problems have been fixed. It might be a good idea to bookmark Known Issues.
Were you affected by Blogger's down time? Did you even notice it wasn't working? If you didn't, then I'm happy for you!
Photobucket has had a few hiccups lately too...Photobucket hosts images, and when they are down, the images are down can literally have a blank slate to look at for as long as 3 days (and longer). Read an article from a fellow blogger here.
Now, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. These are guidelines you might want to follow simply as preventative measures...back it up! Even if you're not on Blogger, these tips will be good for you.

Prior to an outage - we might get a warning or notice of "updates" to be performed
  • Back Up Your Blog:  Yes, you should back it up on a regular basis. Especially if you’re thinking of starting a  site redesign or moving to a different blogging platform.
  • Keep A Copy Of Your Posts - OFFLINE: Think about keeping an offline copy of your posts, in case something happens to your host (ie. Blogger) and they revert to an earlier version of your blog.This may take some time, you'll have to copy and paste all your posts into a text file, but it will be well worth it!
During an Outage - stay calm and carry on
  • Keep Your Readers in the know: Let your readers know via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc that your site is down and you are unable to make changes, write posts etc. Ask them to check back soon, be patient, and send you feedback about their experiences with possible outages.
  • Use Social Media to Run Anything on Deadline: If you have a sponsorship deadline, a contest to run, or just about anything else that needs to happen while your site is down, try taking it to social media. Get your followers active and still participating with your site, even if it’s down.
After an Outage - jump up and down in delight
  • Read Your Blog: If anything looks different, or the layout has changed, go in and repair the damages.
  • Inform Your Readership: Tell your readers you're back up and running. You are back in the captain's seat!
  • Get back to blogging: Start back to your regularly scheduled programming, I mean posting. This way your readers will know you are cool and calm in the face of blogging dangers. Then back up your blog - again!
Some blogs have been known to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle too. Read this Google page to find out what you can do if you're one of the Lost. And, did you know that Blogger can delete your blog without informing you? Google hates spam, so don't have a blog about spam (canned ham?). Another good reason to back up your blog, right?
Termination; Suspension. Google may, in its sole discretion, at any time and for any reason, terminate the Service, terminate this Agreement, or suspend or terminate your account. In the event of termination, your account will be disabled and you may not be granted access to your account or any files or other content contained in your account although residual copies of information may remain in our system for some time for back-up purposes. Sections 2, 3, 5 - 8, and 10 - 15 of the Agreement, along with applicable provisions of the general Terms of Service (including the section regarding limitation of liability), shall survive expiration or termination.
Remember to Keep Blogging and Backing Up!