So this past weekend Weblogs.com shut down close to 3000 blogs without any notice.
Someone’s going to be pretty hated man for some time to come. I have actually planned the same thing with my own server, but I at least gave my hostees a good month or so to find new homes for their blogs. Most have found shiny new residences and others, I am not sure about, but at least there was some warning behind it. Some of them may have been a little upset, but like Dave, I hosted their blogs for free so they understood my need to close my server down. It was good knowing that there was no animosity because of my actions, and I suppose if Dave Winer had given them the same courtesy, things wouldn’t have been so bad.
Understandably, most of the users of his free service are fairly irate. However, one has to question why these (or any person with a blog) users did not back up their data at regular intervals. Doesn’t anyone understand that data on the internet is hardly safe from being accidentally deleted? Even on my server, I run weekly and daily backups going to three different servers in the rare case that any of them fail. Sure, there were times when I hosed something on my server and wiped some of the blogs clean, but I was able to recover everything and at most lose a few comments here and there if the posts were recent enough.
Everyone running a blog (or any other type of website for that matter), should be very diligent with backing up their data no matter what their hosting service says. Servers fail and backups can become corrupted. It’s a calculated risk when dealing with data like this… For example, backing up a wordpress (or movabletype) blog is quite simple. At the very least backup your database. Should you lose your stylesheets or pages, you can easily restore the database to a new blog and at the very least, have every single one of your entries and configurations in place. If you’re more diligent about your backups, issues such as the one above should not be a problem. Unfortunately most people learn this the hard way.