If you care about your stuff, make sure people can duplicate it

Duplicates of the films and videos that were destroyed were stored in a different location, according to the president of NBC Universal, Ron Meyer. "Nothing is lost forever," he said.

A couple days ago my site (DesignNotes) went down for a day. I could tell what time things went down b/c my stats stopped bringing in numbers. For the first couple hours I wasn’t that irritated b/c from time to time isp’s go down and there’s a lag. With that said by mid afternoon my irritation scaled. By the evening when things still weren’t back to normal I started going through some of the regular channels of digital communication. I was complaining via twitter (when their site was actually working) via my status in facebook. I considered posting a pic on flickr but had to actually use my time more wisely. In the end things got fixed and I’m happy again.

There’s a couple reasons why I put the quote above up. While designNotes was down, I had most of the data backed up though I’m not sure if I could figure out myself how to re instate it on another blog. I have an active imagination – part of me during the evening when things were down thought about some of the what ifs. What if my url designnotes.info wasn’t going to work anymore, what if all my blog posts were gone forever, what if i wake up tomorrow and figure out how I’m going to post? Some of the questions were a bigger deal than others, but still they were all important to me.

The biggest of the issues was the what if I had lost all my blog post content. I consoled myself by watching a lot of Top Chef, something that I only recently started watching. What made me feel slightly better is seeing myself as a chef. You create something and then it’s gone. All that is left is the experience. You use your skills, put something out there and at the end of the meal you hope the person is better off than before. The food can’t be save indefinitely. Not being a chef but assuming that of you are one you don’t feel a huge sense of loss at the end of the day when people have eaten your food and realize that the exact same thing might not be replicated the exact same way again. You have confidence that you can re create what you’ve done tomorrow and the next day. While I will try to keep all my posts together for a long time, if something horrible happens I know when I wake up the day after that I start again.

That brings me to my second point. If designNotes.info has stayed down I had a number of options to start creating new content. The quick and dirty way would have been to throw something up on to tumblr, post a link on twitter, facebook, put on image on flickr and if the content of the post was really important send out an email to the people I think should see the post.

I also considered that for the stuff that I’ve written and has been reblogged elsewhere, the content wasn’t lost. I could go search for those posts and bring it back to my next site. It would also be an interesting way to reedit my content. Only the best stuff that others took would be the site…

Why this all connects to the quote is that it’s really important to have all the content that you care about in a number of places. If it can not be duplicated you better trust the source holder. If you don’t make sure you have backups. Of course backups can also copied and distributed elsewhere, but I think that issue is best left for another post.

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