Monday, January 10, 2011

Lost: A Cautionary Tale

My tale begins one sunny summer afternoon about 6 months ago, roughly 3 months into the creation of this blog. I had just completed a post. I don't recall which one exactly, but it may well have been a Feast post because that series was in full swing at the time. I was sitting at my dining room table. I had just pressed the "Publish" button. Now I don't know about you, but I always get butterflies just before I press that button. I don't know why. You'd think that after 9 months of blogging the mixed feeling of nausea, nerves and utter excitement, that "high" that occurs at publication time, would have waned a little. But it hasn't. It's still there, strong as ever. And it was there that day too.

And as always, the first thing I do once I've published, is to check that everything is good with the post. It never is. There is always some glaring error to be found when I do my check after publication. Always always.

So on that day, 6 months ago, when I went to check my post, I was a little irked when up popped a message from Blogger that said something like: "You have incorrectly entered the blog url. That blog does not exist."

Funny, I thought to myself, I didn't even "enter" my blog url, I just pressed the link that Blogger provides on the "Your-post-has-published-successfully" page. What's going on?

So I tried entering my blog url. Same message.

What followed is something that I do not wish on my worst blogging enemy. It went something like this.
  1. An attempt to remain calm.
  2. A stoic search for Michele Made Me in every possible way my non-technical brain knows how to search the web.
  3. The realization that I had never backed up my blog.
  4. A groundswell of tears.
  5. A desperate search for others on the web who'd undergone this same thing. This was horrifying, as it is - from what I learned that day - relatively common for blogs to disappear into the ether never to be seen again.
  6. An unstoppable flow of tears.
  7. The realization that ALL that work was gone.
  8. Inconsolable sobbing on the kitchen floor.
  9. Desperate emails to Blogger Help to see if they could do ANYTHING followed by zero helpful replies.
  10. A growing hillock of soggy tissues on the kitchen floor.
  11. The realization that the universe was trying to tell me that blogging was NOT to be.
  12. The realization that I wasn't good enough or smart enough to be a blogger.
  13. The realization that I didn't DESERVE the happiness that blogging was bringing me.
(#11-13 are bollocks by the way. But I was in full-on self-pity mode at the time, and that is what arose in my crazed head. I was subsequently given a stern talking-to by Lo to NEVER think these things about myself. EVER! He's my man.)

And then Lo came home. I hadn't told him. He took one look at me, and instantly asked in his quiet and concerned way: "What's wrong Mich?"And I couldn't reply... I was beside myself. I just collapsed in his arms and eventually whispered: "I lost my blog".

Followed by a flood of tears. Again.

And then Lo put on his all-business technical hat and started playing around on the computer. He sat there working for quite some time. He found all the same stuff I'd found. The Blogger Help forums with stories of lost blogs. "This blog does not exist". No Michele Made Me. Nothing. I was defeated.

And then about 6 hours after it disappeared... It came back... Just like that... As if by magic... No explanations. No reasons. But there it was.

That was 6 months ago. But it is a moment that is etched in my brain forever, and leads to this little tidbit of advice from me to you:


The alternative is pure, unadulterated blogger hell. And my blog was only lost for 6 hours. Imagine losing EVERYTHING FOREVER? Well... That ain't happening! I've learned my lesson. I back it up regularly.

Just google "How to back up your blog" and you're sure to find the right information for your blog!

Edited to Add:

Read the comments. You will find one by Rebecca, a blogger who recently lost her blog. And then take a few minutes to backup your blog, please.

Now go have yourself a great day!

[Featuring Scott, my In-Laws' dependable concrete pooch, and "Kept in Stitches", the scrappy kaleidoscope quilt I made 2 yrs ago for my In-Laws' 40th Wedding anniversary, machine-pieced and hand-quilted by me.]


  1. Oh dear, though it’s very serious to go through such an anwful blogging ordeal, the most of your post cracked me up! I can even picture the floor covered with tissues. I would act exactly the same!

    I’m heading towards 4 years of blogging, but still feel the excitement of publishing a post. I preview everything a thousand times before I publish. I’ve made a back up of my Wordpres blog some time ago, so I know what I got to do today! Thanks for reminding!

    BTW, I love your style of writing. I always love to read your posts!

  2. I have never backed up my blog! I didn't know one could or should do such a thing! I will have my tech guy get on it as soon as he is home from work! Thanks Michelle.

  3. Brilliant advice! So sorry you had to go through all the stress to be able to save us from the same. Xx

  4. This happened to me two weeks ago, everything I've written since 2007 is gone because my provider messsed up... I think I'm still in denial.

  5. Rebecca, NO... Oh I'm so so sorry... Tears are welling up for you... Wow... I can only imagine what that is like. My 6 hour ordeal is NOTHING in comparison. I hope other readers will read your comment and realize this is no joke. It happens to bloggers all the time. Thank you so much for sharing Rebecca, and do take care.

  6. Eee I need to do this! I never have. wow. scary thought.

    I love the quilt you showed with this post!

  7. Yikes! I have never considered backing up my blog - I'm off to google it now!

  8. That quilt is nothing short of amazing! Love, love, love it and can't imagine the hours and hours of work you put into it.

    Now I'm off to see if I can figure out how to backup my blog.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. I immediately did this as soon as I read it. Thank you so much! I hope I never need it, but it is nice to know the last two years of my online life are safe.

  10. Thank you for sharing what joy blogging gives you, for we enjoy reading it as well.

    GREAT ADVICE to all about backing up - BLOGS, computers, everything that has importance and we could lose. I'm sorry it caused heartache, but I'm glad you found your blog. I'm sorry for Rebecca whose past blog is lost in blogland. But, keep posting - and we will read, enjoy and LEARN!

  11. I had heard of someone losing their blog and we thought she was nuts. I cannot going through all of this work and it suddenly disappearing. Thanks for the heads-up!

  12. Ok, that was heart wrenching. Back up coming right up!

  13. wow. thanks. I never do that. I would probably die. Right here at the computer. mr would come home, and I'd be slumped over and he'd wonder for the rest of his life how someone could die of internet exposure...

  14. Thank you for the warning - Im off so search out "how to" now. x

  15. OOOHHH , I never thought of that , thank you Michèle .... I will sure do something as soon as possible .....Hope it is not too complicated ..

  16. GOOD GRAVY, IT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME! SORRY FOR YELLING, BUT YOU SCARED THE PANTALONES OFF ME! I went and did the backup, then came back here to comment. Whew. Thanks ten million, Michele. Wait - thanks twenty million.

  17. My blog has been around awhile - maybe I should back it up.

    Your hubs is a good man. :)

  18. I feel so panicked after reading this. So, I backed mine up. I mean, I don't know what I would do to get it back saved as an xml, but I feel a little better. And I have it so posts get emailed to me now as well. Feeling nervous still. Thanks for the post!

  19. Thanks Michele for your word of warning. I have heard of people loosing their blogs, but they all came back. But instead of waiting for it to happen mine I will take you word and go and find out how to back up my blog - Thanks again Nat

  20. this happened to me a couple years ago, I was able to salvage some of my posts because I had an RSS feed. I was able to pull some posts from bloglines. It wasnt quite all of it but there was enough that I could find to make the shock of losing it a little better.

  21. I HAD NO IDEA. And I like to think of myself as reasonably tech-savvy, too. Shame on me, I assumed blogger handled back up on their end. Oh my goodness....going to hop on this horse RIGHT NOW.

    Thank you!!!!!!!

  22. Gosh! I should know better, been through backup (lack of) nightmares in the past, never occurred to me to backup my blogger blog. Have just done so, thank you for pointing this out :)

    The quilt you have pictured here is beautiful!

  23. I had no idea. I've only been posting for a year now. I will have to figure out how to do this.

    PS Amy Karol recently posted about how she printed her blog into a book format.

  24. Thank you so much for the advice. I'm off to do this right now! I had no idea!!!

  25. But HOW do we back up our blog? I have backed up the template, but how do we back up the rest?

  26. Sorry you had to go through this but thanks for letting us know that this could happen to anyone of our blogs. No idea that this even happened.
    Can totally relate to that feeling you get when clicking the 'publish' button. I still feel that way which is silly but its probably the closest I'll get to publishing anything! Also it doesn't matter how well I think I've checked my post there's always some mistake big or small.

  27. Thank you for posting this! While I was reading it it was like you were typing about me perfectly. But the only difference, as much as I love my husband, he would be absolutely clueless what to do! LOL Travis is not a computer guy at all!

    I'll have to look into backing mine up! The blogs I've lost in the past is due to me losing sign in info. Mostly when Planet-save quit offering email so abruptly. Don't you just love how blogger doesn't help with anything? Like back when I couldn't comment on your blog! (As you can see, I figured out the problem and solved it about 6 months after it started!)

  28. I not only lost one blog, but several!!! One afternoon, my account was vanished. My blogs were about cutter freebies (I created a new blog later), sewing, needlecraft, etc... So, nothing bad at all. But my account was disabled, never to be seen again. Until today, I do not know the reason. I moved on... and I backup every single blog I have!

  29. Thank you, I have just backed my blog up again - it had been nearly 12 months since I last did this.


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