Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Don't Lose Your Pants—I Mean, Posts!

Protecting Blogger Posts From Disappearing

Many Bloggers I read lose posts in progress or when they publish them. Most Bloggers know what I know, and so I am at risk of wasting my time to remind them of these things, but I cannot help myself, I'm an interfering kind of guy! Actually, all this advice below is to myself as much as to anyone else. I am my own worst enemy and must beware of my own bad judgment—such as forgetting what I know!

1. I don't compose in the Blogger editing program until the post is as close as possible to being complete. You just don't need to be in Blogger editing mode, I feel, until it's time to check the HTML, to see how the post looks.

2. I use Word or Notepad to write my post, but you could use Wordpad or any other editing program on your computer with which you're comfortable. I don't recommend getting comfortable with the Blogger editor because (according to me) it has a higher rate of instability. I start with Word, so as to utilize spell-check and other conveniences. I save that, then copy it into Notepad. Then I select all and copy that into memory.

3. The Notepad copy of the post is now stripped of any MS Word formatting that can cause extra quirks and misfires in Blogger. It's now just "plain text". Seriously, sometimes things like the Right and Left quotation marks in Word may cause no trouble at all and sometimes it causes Blogger to have no end of troubles. Especially the quotation marks as they appear in the link formula.

4. It's the Notepad version I paste into the Blogger editor when I get there. If I don't stupidly make a hundred additional edits, I won't have to spend much time in the Blogger editor. Just check the HTML and get out—that's what I try to do.

5. If you find that you are dawdling too long in the Blogger editor, make extra saves. At the minimum, copy the post into memory as a form of save. You could consider saving it as a draft to be an extra save, but sometimes that's when I've lost a post, so I place no great confidence in doing that. If you're not hurried, paste what's in memory over one of your previous Word or Notepad files and save it. I always feel fairly comfortable just copying it into memory; though Blogger has let me down and lost posts, whatever is in memory at the time has never disappeared (yet). That could happen, too, but have something saved somewhere, so you'll only lose a couple of sentences or a paragraph when the Blogger Disaster strikes.

6. Do repeated saves as you go along, whatever program you're in; the notion of waiting until you're through and just saving once is based on a technology more reliable than yet exists. Beware of your own bad judgment!

If any of you have lost so few posts that you wonder what the hell I've been talking about above, bless you—you must be the luckiest person in all of Blogdom!

"The man who lets himself be bored is even more contemptible than the bore."

Samuel Butler

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