January 23, 2012
I'm going to digress from my usual blog posts to tell you what happened to my blog on Saturday, and hopefully prevent something similar from happening to you. I don't know if anyone has noticed the message that now appears on the top right sidebar of the blog, but it says that on Saturday, I accidentally deleted every image from my blog — the header, all images from the sidebars, pages and from every one of the 386 posts I've written over the last five years. Gone, gone, gone.
How did I do so much damage, you might be wondering. It has to do with Google+ and Picasa. I was not a Google+ user. Though I've gotten lots of emails telling me that this person and that has added me to Google Circles, I haven't paid much attention to it. I don't have the time or desire to use more social networking sites than I already use. I barely use twitter — mostly it's Facebook and blogging where I spend my Internet time. But I had a bunch of San Francisco photos that I wanted my son and his girlfriend to see, and they use Google+, so I went to the site and posted the photos. While I was there, I noticed that a bunch of my blog photos were there, and I didn't want them to be. I should have stopped to figure out why, but I was annoyed that Google had preempted my choices, and I deleted the photos I didn't want to share. Big mistake.
What I didn't know was that Picasa and Google+ are now connected, and what you delete from Google+ is also deleted from Picasa. Since Picasa hosts all of my blog images, and the images disappeared from my Picasa account, they also disappeared from my blog. I didn't realize at first what had happened, but then, as black squares began to replace the blog images, I knew something had gone horribly wrong. I searched frantically for a remedy, but none could be found. I've read through the help sections and searched the forums, only to find other stories exactly like mine, and a response from Google that nothing could be done. There was a suggestion that deleted files could be found in the trash folder on my computer but this didn't seem to be the case.
I considered deleting the blog and calling it quits, but couldn't bring myself to do it. Fortunately, I still have all the images on my hard drive. Except for the first year, they are organized and findable, but it's still an excruciating process to put them all back again. I've started reassembling the blog from the present, going backwards towards the beginning, though I don't always put every image back. And I don't know if I'll get the whole thing done. Also, for some reason I don't understand, images I've put back keep disappearing.
What would you do if this happened to you? Would you delete your blog? Start over? Any suggestions or words of comfort will be appreciated. And I'll try to answer any questions you may have.
Update: I forgot to mention that if you do find yourself looking at black squares on your blog instead of photos, don't just delete them. If you look at the HTML code, you'll see that the black squares still contain data as if they were actual photos. You'll be able to find out what photos were there, and what size they were. But, I hope you never have to see anything like this on your blog!
I've been nominated for the Top 25 vegan bloggers in the Mom's circle of friends. I don't exactly fit the profile of a young mom raising kids, but hey, I AM a mom and I raised three vegan boys. Now all I need are votes, and I'd be honored to have yours. Please take a minute and vote for me. Thanks! :D