Archive for May 1st, 2012

How to prevent heart failure from losing your blog content

Yesterday, Marcie and I had quite a scare – of the nearly heart-stopping variety. You may have noticed the source of our concern, as at about 2 p.m. PST, I tried to get onto the blog and received this message:


Shocked - times 2

Noooooooooooooooo!!!! Not on the eve of our one-year anniversary!!

Under the message was a link containing information about our alleged breach of contract. It said we had been found to violate one or more of the following:

  • Promoting affiliate links or get-rich-quick programs
  • Banner ads, etc.
  • Lack of original content
  • Part of an SEM campaign (WTF?)

If you’ve been following our posts for any length of time, maybe you’re scratching your head, because we don’t do ANY of those things.

It turns out, in yesterday’s post, we included a link to something called Empower Network (you’ll have to figure the link out on your own) in our list of sources. Evidently, Empower Network is an evil affiliate machine and on the WordPress watchlist. WordPress is set up so that if you post a link to them, your blog is automatically shut down.

The good news is: Anthony at WordPress was superspeedy at responding to my e-mail query, telling me about the problem, and restoring the site after I took care of it … or so I thought. When I went to post this piece today, the blog was blocked AGAIN. Fortunately, I again received a superspeedy response from Anthony (he either works 24/7, or they’ve named their help desk Anthony). Strangely, I had to clear my cache and restart my browser in order to get back to Marcie’s blog. Does that mean WordPress is reading my cache, too?

The bad news is: this could happen to you, too, if you’re using a free-hosted site like WordPress.com or Blogger.

Blog platforms like these are really useful for lots of reasons: they’re easy to use, they’re quick to set up; they can be free, depending on whether or not you opt for any of the upgrades. The same with social networking sites like Facebook. The problem is that you’re just borrowing their servers: these sites actually own your content, and can come in and wipe it all away with zero notice if you do anything to violate the terms of service you may or may not have read.

Fortunately for me, my breach was tiny and easily repaired. And even having read the terms of service, I just didn’t realize that this goofy Empower site fell into their you-can’t-ever-link-to-them category.

How do you protect yourself to avoid losing all the hours of effort you put into your blog (or Facebook) content? A few things:

  1. Read the terms of service!
  2. Keep backups of EVERY post on your hard drive.
  3. Migrate your blog to a site you host on your own.

To that end, we will be migrating the Marcie Brock blog to the WordPress.org platform over the next week or so.

This has its own challenges and drawbacks, but overall will be a good move for us. If we have your e-mail address, we’ll be sure to let you know when we’re moving and how to find us. If you’re an RSS subscriber, we’ll put big notices on the blog itself, or you can e-mail us to make sure we notify you.

One thing I can guarantee you is that blogging is always an adventure. So go out there and have fun with it, but just like in every other aspect of business/life, remember to stay safe!

Happy migrating!



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