Sunday, March 13, 2016

springtime with Crow

Spring is generally known as Mud Season here in Halifax. While people on the opposite coast have already welcomed snowdrops and crocuses and are currently spending their mornings dancing through fields of daffodils, we're hauling on our Wellingtons before heading to the park. Guess where Crow has gone? Must be nice to have wings and an open schedule. Goodness knows, he might even be in England in 1903 for all I can tell from this postcard he sent.

Before I climb into my rubber overshoes, I thought I'd mention something about blogs you may or may not already know. Earlier in the week all the content disappeared from a co-blogger's site. Eventually I heard from him that his blog had been hacked and all the posts deleted by some awful person. It wasn't until then I remembered I hadn't backed up my own blog in about two years. Losing everything we've written over the course of years can be a scary prospect and it's not just hackers we need to be concerned with.

Remember that Google owns Blogger and all its content. Occasionally blogs disappear for no reason Google can explain or fix. There have also been situations where Google decided to block a blog for policy violations the blogger may not have made. 

Anyway, here's how I backed up Phantsythat and Adventure's Ink to my computer. Now I should mention that I have an Apple mac

Open Blogger
Open 'Settings'
Open 'Other'
You'll see 'Import & back up' at the top
Click on 'Back up content'
Click on 'Save to your computer'
The content backup including all posts, pages and comments (but not pictures) can be saved as an XML file (that appears on Text Edit on my computer).

Okay, if you open the XML file you've created you'll see gibberish (at least I do). What you do next is to highlight the file on your desktop and go to 'open with' in 'finder' (file). In my case I'm offered the choices of opening the XML file in Safari or Opera (it might be different for you depending on the browsers you run) since XML can only be opened online. I opened 'blog-03-13-2016-1.xml' in Safari. It still looks like gibberish but if you keep scrolling down you'll see the text of your blog posts appear. You can save the XML/text edit file in your documents and replace/update as you prefer.

This is simply what I know how to do with a Blogger blog and the instructions about that are standard, but if you use a different service, have a PC, or need clearer information you can always do a search for how to back up your own blog. Considering XML was designed for Windows you might even see a pristine copy of your blog reproduced outside Blogger. While I can't be sure of any of that what I am sure of is that it's good to have a backup copy of all the text I've written over the years and the comments made by my friends.

Crow promised to return when the Spring flowers bloom here - that usually happens some time in May. Perhaps I'll be lucky this year and he'll come home early; I'll keep the fruitcake and the Remy stocked up just in case.  He's always full of surprises.

Quote of the week:
“I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process”
– Vincent Van Gogh


The Crow said...

Thanks for this, Susan. I'll back up mine right now.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Another delightful picture with eager children and their beloved dog all with an added spring in its step (excuse the pun) under the watchful eye of a very satisfied Crow. As an alternative to the back- up idea did you know by simply highlighting your blog you can then copy to a word document, inclusive of all text and photos or pictures? Change the settings so that more posts are displayed and it won’t take as long to have your entire blog copied. No comments though. Easy in Microsoft office (control C )but I presume that would also be the case with an Apple. It’s equally easy to self-publish your blog by copying to a word doc and then formatting any different text and or pictures should that be necessary.
Best wishes

susan said...

I'm glad you decided to do it too, Martha.

susan said...

I'm happy you like the picture, Lindsay.

Your solution for saving the blog is a very good one. I tried it right away with Adventure's Ink where there are less than 30 posts and it worked fine - got the comments too when I clicked on separate posts.

So far I haven't had real success with Phantsy (nearly 700 posts). Blogger settings wouldn't accept more than 500 posts per page and when I did that and 'selected all' it only copied my posts back to last July. I'll have to try again. Still, you're right that it's a much simpler and more elegant solution to the problem.

Many thanks

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
See if this reference is of any benefit
Best wishes

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
Thanks so much for the link. After going back to the original 500 posts I found I can save them at approximate 6 month intervals using your copy/paste method. The other 200 remain problematic.
I do have the original XML file to refer to in case I choose to use the 'convert blogger to word' and have bookmarked your link.
Once again, many thanks for taking the time to find it.
All the best

marja-leena said...

Thanks for the reminder to back up my blog! I used to do it regularly with the old Movable Type platform but had neglected to do it in WordPress. I was suprised how very quckly it did it so must check if all was captured.

As always, your drawings are a delight!

clairesgarden said...

I didnt' know it could be backed up. my blog makes me sad and glad in memories...

susan said...

Yes, it does seem a good idea to back up the blog. At least then you still have access to what was said. On the other hand, I have no idea how I'd ever go about rebuilding the whole site if it were destroyed somehow. I doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

I'm always happy to hear you've liked a picture. I wish I weren't having such a difficult time making them.

susan said...

It turns out you can and I hope you will, Claire, because you have a lovely blog.

Andrew R. Scott said...

I get printed copies with Blog2print, who also offer laid out pdfs for hardly any cost. Printed book version can be pricey if loads of pictures

susan said...

Thanks for the name, Andrew. I don't see my blogs as book material but maybe others would be interested.

Andrew R. Scott said...

It is just a means of preserving a version. I recommend it. It is run by the same people as blogger, ie blogspot, ie Google, I think

susan said...

Oh, I didn't realize that, Andrew. I'll go over there and make a backup copy that way. Many thanks.

btw: I really enjoyed seeing your Cambridge photos.