I thought I would write something about this, since I have personally experienced the sadness of losing my favourite recipes on another blog. No, it is not my blog but a blog by a popular DJ and food blogger from Singapore called Violet Fenying. Fenying lost her blogs (我的厨房笔记) http://fenyingrecipe.blogspot.com/ on 3 Mar 2010. All her recipes dating back from 2006 were all gone. It appeared that she lost all her data during a re-construction of her old blog to a more user friendly blog. It may well have been hacked by someone else because all the recipes were gone and the blog is now taken over by another blogger.
Anyway, back to my topic of how I retrieved Fenying's recipes from her deleted blog. So the first thing I did was to google for Fenying's recipes and search for all the cached pages on google. Unfortunately I only managed to retrieve < 50 cached recipes out of her enormous collection of over 200 recipes. Then I logged into my Google Reader as usual, to read my favourite food blogs and voila, all her old recipes were still there, even though they have been removed from the site. So what does this tell us about Google Reader? It not only helps you to manage multiple subscriptions/feeds from various blogs, it also serves as a backup ! (For those who are new to Google Reader, it is a web-based feed reader that helps you keep up with blogs and news. You need to have a google account to use Google Reader.)
So in my Google Reader, I was able to retrieve all her recipes dating all the way back from 19 Jan 2007. :) But saving the recipes and printing them from Google Reader is another matter, that deserves a technical discussion worth another posting :)
Moral of the story is :
Moral of the story is :
1) using Google Reader, you can keep yourself up-to-date with new content from your favourite blogs;
2) you can backup your blog (by subcribing to the RSS feed of your own blog);
3) and you can backup other people's blog (by doing the same as above) !!!
If all else fails, there is still the good old Internet Archive Wayback Machine, which archives over 10 billion web pages from 1996 to the present. Using Fenying's recipes as an example, you can search for her old postings by typing in the address http://fenyingrecipe.blogspot.com/ and it shows a whopping 522 results, much more than the google cached pages. The Wayback Machine is pretty cool, it offers advanced search criteria which allows you to find a webpage from a range of dates. If you have the link of a page which is no longer cached in Google, take for eg. http://fenyingrecipe.blogspot.com/2008/03/traditional-sponge-cake.html, you can find them in Wayback Machine, http://web.archive.org/web/20080420070844re_/fenyingrecipe.blogspot.com/2008/03/traditional-sponge-cake.html :)
By the way, this is NOT a sponsored post by Google Reader or Wayback Machine. I am just sharing my 2-cents view about backing up your blog and retrieving it if it crashes (God forbid). If you happen to delete your blog accidentally, Blogger also offers some other nifty features on how to import, export and "undelete" your blog. But I will probably write about that in another posting, if I have the time...