It’s 12:53 a.m.
At about 12:03 a.m. I had just finished writing a blog post entitled, “How to Avoid This Horrifying Online Marketing Mistake.” I was pleased as punch by the humor I imbued in my article while at the same time imparting valuable advice to my readers.
After choosing a day and time to schedule the post, I giggled, as I opened Canva on a new tab in my browser, and made a wonderful image to go with my article. Back to my self-hosted WordPress site, I proceeded to upload my fabulous image.
As the progress bar went along its upload notification route, I imagined how this blog graphic, with its captivating headline, was going to grab everyone’s attention immediately. I smiled to myself as I pictured how people would chuckle while reading my blog post, and nod wisely as they took in my important tip.
Ah, not only does she know all about social media marketing and blogging, she’s got a great sense of humor too!
I couldn’t wait for the post to be published, so the sharing and retweeting of it could begin, so wonderful it would be!
Then I saw the error message: “This image could not be uploaded. Please try again.”
Hmmm, maybe something is wrong with the image. I opened it with Preview. Nope, nothing wrong. I tried upload again. Same error message.
Well, maybe if I re-save the draft of the post, it will clear up the problem.”
I pressed Save Draft, and another disturbing message popped up on a blank page: “Are you sure you want to do this?”
Well of course I’m sure! This is a fantastic post that will begin my career in humor blogging! I pressed the retry link … an empty post page appeared.
My heart sank. My smartly written post with its zingers about mistakes that people make in their online marketing was gone.
“I’ll just press reload, and everything will be fine.”
It wasn’t. A blank draft stared back at me.
“Nooooooooooooo,” I moaned as my head sank along with my heart, which was now at my feet.
To wrap this horror story up that now has me up at 1:54 a.m., I think, but am not sure, I did not press the schedule button, or save draft, before I tried to upload my image. And somehow this caused the error. Whatever. It’s gone.
The moral of this story: yes, you should always press “save” every single second.
And you should also never write using software that you can only access via the Internet. Anything could happen. There could be an Internet blackout, and gone will be your entire library of articles and posts. Into thin air your screenplay that’s taken you years to write will disappear (if some hacker didn’t already steal it and start pitching it to studio executives).
This horror story happened briefly with my documents stored on Apple’s iCloud. The World Wide Web did not suffer a blackout, but Apple, during the whole transition to iOS8 on mobile devices, and the impending OSX upgrade to Yosemite X for computers, did a bad thing. It blocked access to iCloud, where its writing software Pages is also accessed, for users until all upgrades were done on all devices. The problem was, they did this about three weeks before Yosemite was released. If you upgraded your phone or iPad to iOS8, you automatically were upgraded to the new iCloud Drive, and your computer was locked out of anything on Apple’s cloud system. What a firestorm that caused.
I failed to back up my documents on a hard disk, or external drive. I should have learned my lesson then.
Note: About a week before the Yosemite release, Apple fixed the problem, and access to iCloud was allowed again, but I already vowed never to use iCloud Drive software again, and went back to Google Drive. But what if the Internet blackout took place, or simply a provider mistake? I would face the same problem. You can download Google Drive onto your computer’s hard disk, and your documents as well. But I don’t trust anyone anymore.
The overall lesson I learned: only write using a program that can be downloaded and operated from a computer’s hard drive without any reliance on accessing the Internet.
And press save every half second.
And back up all important documents to an external drive. Every day.
(Maybe someone can impart some miraculous advice on how to recover a draft of a WordPress post that was never saved through some sort of cache search? I tried, but couldn’t figure it out. Please let me know in the comments box below.)