Saturday, July 29, 2006

Responsible Practices

Blogger One Button Publishing makes it so easy to setup and maintain a very attractive, organised, and useful website. Anybody who knows how to turn the computer on, practically, can have a Blogger blog. And anybody who knows a minimum about computer coding can have a customised Blogged blog.

And that's one of the biggest problems with Blogging. As easy as it is to customise a blog, it is just as easy to screw it up.

And the more that you depend upon your blog being online, the sorrier you will be when it's not. Even in businesses, this risk exists. In businesses, though, we practice risk management. You can, and should, do likewise.
  • Backup your blog. Have alternate copies of everything, in various formats.
  • Monitor your logs, even when no problems are being experienced. And when problems are being experienced, involve your logs in diagnosing the problems.
  • Report your problems. Some problems can only be resolved by involving Blogger Support. It's their program - give them a chance.
  • Test your changes. Don't wait for your friends to alert you to your mistakes.
  • Troubleshoot your problems. Maybe you can solve the problem yourself, and maybe not. But find out.
  • Use peer support. If you're not living totally on the edge, chances are that someone else has already seen your problem, and may have a solution.
You should not expect that your blog will be online 7 x 24 x 365 - outages are to be expected. Nor should you expect effective and immediate support by Blogger for all of your problems. The more that you think Blogger Support provides all of the support needed, the more you need to educate yourself. It's your blog. Blogger provides the infrastructure, and you provide the content.

But, with a small amount of planning, and proper IT practices, you can minimise the inconvenience and the pain when an outage occurs.

Plan for Outages and Down Situations

Think of all of the ways that your blog could be down, or less than fully functional. A little preparation could go a long way the next time something happens. Either you, or Blogger Support, can make mistakes. If you don't make mistakes, you're not doing all that you could be. But learn from your mistakes - if you make the same mistake twice, you're not learning.
  • Mirror your blog, online. Use the WordPress import utility, and make a WordPress copy of your blog.
  • Mirror your blog, locally. If you have a local mirror, when you need to reference content, or show off your blog, you'll be better off than having nothing.
  • Backup your template. Your template is such a small bit of code compared to your blog as a whole. But for its small size, it affects the entire blog. If you customise your template, having a copy (or two) will save you a lot of trouble the next time you make a mistake.
This list is not intended to be all inclusive, so if you have any other concerns not addressed above, please let me know.

No comments: