Tuesday, 09 March 2010

Meta

The Adventure of the Disappearing Archives


Blogspot bloggers - especially those using “classic” templates - will want to be aware of this:

Half of my blog has vanished.

No, really, completely vanished.
Unreadable.  Un-findable.  Invisble.  Gone.

You probably haven’t noticed, because the only bit of the blog you read is fine.  There’s been no effect on my front page, on my most recent posts, the ones you actually read.  But try to delve into my archives and you’ll discover that they’re not all there.  I have 90 monthly archive pages, each of which used to show a complete list of posts published in that month.  Now each stops short, cutting off everything after the middle of the month, with no way to access the remainder.  Half of everything I've written over the last 7½ years has disappeared.  As you might imagine, I’m not best pleased...
The good news is that it turns out the posts in question are not “Gone,” but are presently “Unreadable. Un-findable. Invisible.” thanks to a poorly thought-out (my opinion) “Auto-Pagination” feature rolled out a couple of weeks ago with no prior notice by Google. How much you now see has to do with not the number of posts but their size, along with how many images (even if not hosted on Google’s servers) they include. Needless to say there are a lot of angry comments in Blogger’s help forum, along with the sort of patronizing responses (often non-solutions: “Recode all your posts” - right!) from admins which we’ve encountered before.

So check your archive pages, and always remember:
This mess brings home how fragile the world of online content is.  All it takes is one hosting decision, one hard-drive failure or one corporate takeover, and everything you thought you owned can disappear.  It’s a sobering thought that if I’d died three months ago, my entire online legacy would now be half a blog (thank you Blogger) with no comments (thank you.JS-Kit).  We’re all only one upgrade away from obsolescence.

Posted by: Old Grouch in Meta at 16:55:06 GMT | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 He should demand that Blogger give him a 100% refund.

(I was unsurprised to find out that the individual in question was English; they've been eating free ice cream for so long now that they have no qualms bitching about its flavor and demanding maraschino cherries as their birthright.)

Posted by: Tam at 03/09/10 17:46:08 (OpUG4)

2 Thanks for the post. It was a reminder for me to back mine up to my local drive---just in case, don'tcha know.

Posted by: Crucis at 03/09/10 18:46:02 (L4D3z)

3 AIUI, DG is on Blogger Premium, or whatever their paid service is called.  Has been for years.  

Posted by: Old Grouch at 03/09/10 19:58:58 (72ktK)

4 ...which mitigates (but doesn't totally contradict) your point of complaining about the free ice cream, as I imagine his Blogger bill is considerably below what he'd be paying for 3rd party hosting alone.  

Posted by: Old Grouch at 03/09/10 20:04:36 (72ktK)

5 I dunno...I pay about $10 a month for hosting, what does he pay for Blogger Premium?

Posted by: Nathan at 03/10/10 13:06:51 (+dSl9)

6 I think if I lost everything - which, according to the host, is about 1.1 GB - I could have it back up over a weekend, depending on how long FTP takes.  (I've never had to FTP more than 7100 files at once, and it bogged down at that level, so....)

Posted by: CGHill at 03/11/10 04:07:28 (oWepD)

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