Sunday, 30 August 2009

Lost Your Blog?

You had a Blog? I'd been happily running a blog for quite some time, creating it with a Blogger account.  I had a Google acount, an IGoogle page and a GMail address. All was well until I decided to help a friend set up a GMail account.  I thought I'd better set up a new one for myself to make sure I gave accurate advice.  I did that and then I wanted to delete the new GMail address.  I found I could only do that by deleting my Google account.  That's not a problem I thought.  I've only got it for IGoogle.  My Blog is separate from that and it shouldn't affect my other GMail address.  I was, of course, asked whether I really meant to delete my Google account but there was no mention of Blogger so why not.  So I did delete my Google account and then found my Blog had gone and that it could not be recovered.  What a trap for the young, or not so young in my case, players!  The irony was that I had soon re-created a new Google account in the same name and with the same password as before without any difficulty and still had my GMail address and easily re-created my IGoogle page

Your Blog has been removed?  After fruitless hours of searching it was clear that although my Blog page still existed in Google's resources I wasn't going to be given it back.  My Blog had been removed and I wasn't allowed to use my address again.  Most frustrating of all was the run around all the Google so-called help pages gave.  There was no way you could ask a question of a real person and get a simple response.  Reasons given for not enabling the re-creation of one's old account and Blog were pretty feeble.

What to do?  Well a number of sites recommended the pretty obvious solution of creating a new Blog page as close to the old as possible and that was simple enough.  But how could I recover the material on which people who had attended workshops given by me recently might be relying? 

How to recover your material?  At last I found that I could recover almost all of the material from Google caches by using two methods.  The simplest, explained in different blogs of which the Blog Doctor is the easiest to read, merely requires a search through the Google search page for "cache:[your old Blog address]".  You can then copy and save the content of your old blog, although the cache is unlikely to be up-to-date.  The alternative method, which might get you a later copy of some or all of the material is to Google search for all the old Blog address[es] you have and open the cached material.  You could have a separate address for each post and I recovered a more up-to-date version of one or two posts using this alternative.

What next? What to do when you have recovered as much of the material of your old Blog as you can in to Word or Notepad or wherever? Two sites are both helpful about this, EHow and Tips for Bloggers.  Even before I got on to them I had re-created most of my original blog by similar copy and paste methods.

How to avoid a repetition?  Don't delete your Google account is pretty obvious, but it is equally sensible to protect yourself through two recognised techniques, saving a copy of your template and exporting a copy of your blog from which it can later be restored if need be.  The first of these requires you to go to Dashboard, Layout, Edit HTML and Download Full Template and then saving it to a folder of your choice.  The second of these is well explained in Blogger Tips and Tricks.  Ideally you would be wise to do both of these every time you update your blog.

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