How To: Recover a lost blog using Google Reader

In an eariler post today I mentioned that I had authored a corporate blog for Bacon’s Information a couple years ago, a blog that was uncerimoniously deleted when I left there.

A little later I got an IM from Rick Klau, who works at Google, telling me how I can correct my own stupidity. So if you’ve ever accidently deleted a blog (and you used FeedBurner for RSS management) and need to retrieve that content here’s how to do it:

  1. If you remember the RSS URL, plug that into Google Reader (I’m not sure this works with other RSS readers). If you don’t remember the URL, hit Archive.org and see if you can find an archived version of your blog that contains the RSS chicklet or URL. That’s what I had to do.
  2. Reader will show “No New Items” but don’t freak out – Just click the “All Items” button and you’ll see everything that’s available for that feed.
  3. “J” through all your items, reminiscing over how bad a writer you were just three years ago.
  4. Copy/paste all those posts into a WordPress or Blogger blog, even if it’s one you want to keep hidden and then export the content into a backup file.
  5. There is no spoon fifth step.

Can’t thank Rick enough for helping me out here. Keep this in mind if you’re ever wanting to retrieve content from a former blog.

You never miss something until it’s gone

I’m occasionally sent out on errands to far away lands with names like “Target” in order to hunt and even sometimes scavenge for the materials with which I can provide for my family. The goal of finding exotic items like “shampoo” or “bread” usually has me out of the house for about an hour and a half (Target is a 15 minute drive) as I wander back and forth throughout the store, playing in my head the game of “take a drink everytime an employee looks at me like they saw me wandering aimlessly down this aisle with a befuddled look on my face just 17 minutes ago.”

What I need in stores like this is search. I want to be able to hit a kiosk and search for “sponges” and be pointed to where they are in the store. Are they in Tools? Are they by the glass cleaner? Are they by the ironing boards? Who the hell knows. All seem logical and that’s 25 minutes of my life I can’t get back.

The bigger point is that the world is driven by search today. If I need to find Indiana highway driving conditions, the Internet (despite attempts to the contrary by Yahoo) does not force me to start at the front door and progress along defined aisles until I accidently happen across what I was looking for. I can go directly to them, albeit potentially with a few detours as I sort through the results.

Let me search in stores. Please. It not only saves me valuable time, it creates the association in my head that your store is extremely helpful and values my time.

Second try

Cision USA, formerly Bacon’s Information, has a corporate blog.

For those of you playing along at home, Bacon’s had a corporate blog started and written by yours truly that was deleted shortly after I left there about two and a half years ago. One of my biggest regrets is not exporting its content before I left so I had an archived version of that content.