When I opted into Cricket's blog challenge, who would have thought it was more of a challenge than anticipated? One of my goals this year is to increase internet exposure and website traffic so Cricket's challenge was a perfect way to start as we all know how blogging can be good for those goals.
I promptly went to check out my blog (actually to update it seeing as I hadn't done so since early December) only to discover it was no longer available. I spent the next 24 hours trying to figure out why.
Let's take a pause here and let me say, I originally setup my blog on blogger using a google email account, oh about 4 years ago. Although I still had the google account, I have only been using it for the purpose of my blog since I now use google apps instead.
As it happened, I tried to log into my account but google had closed it down because "We detected unusual activity on your account". Hmmmmm. Obviously they needed verification that I'm the owner so I set about following their instructions which was a text message to my cell phone. I selected the country "New Zealand" and added my number but received no text! I attempted that a couple of times and even tried the landline as that was an option for a voice verification too. No luck!
I went to the next step in trying to register a complaint as they instructed. That was a mission on its own, I mean who can remember the date I set up my blog or even the year - my memory ain't that good - and labels I used, email addresses I frequently emailed (remembering I haven't used this account in several years so how frequent is frequent?). I did receive a reply to say I didn't give them enough information to verify I was owner. Ugh! They gave me two options to try - try again or open a new account - really!
To cut a long story short, my blog is lost, for the moment at least. Did I have it backed up? Blushingly no, that wasn't an opinion when I looked into it, but apparently now it is if you are using the upgraded version. Ok, my bad, I should have checked more regularly. I do have a new blog though and its better than before - although I do still have some work to do on it.
Thank you Cricket, because without your blog challenge, I would not have learned all I did and wouldn't be able to offer the following advice.
1. Backup your blog - find out how and do it now. Keep a copy on your computer, disk or where ever as you never know when it might just vanish into cyber space. Here is a link to show you how for blogger users: http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/02/how-to-backup-blogger-blog.html
2. List a second email address as administrator - especially if you use blogger. Here's a link to show you how for blogger: http://www.bloggertipsandtricks.com/2009/08/how-to-change-email-address-for-blogger.html
Join Cricket and her blog challenge - you may get more than you expected!