Thursday, May 1, 2008

Today Is Backup Day!

I've made a resolution to keep a New Year's resolution: more frequent backups of my research data to my external hard drive. As a reminder, I've added a new feature to the Genea-Blogger Calendar which you can access under Google Gadgets (see steps below).

I have designated the 1st of each month as Data Backup Day. It is so easy for many of us to say we have all the tools and procedures to backup our research (external drive, CD burner, flash drive, one-touch backup software, etc.) but it is another thing to make backups habitual.

I work in the Information Technology department for a large firm which has automated backups to tape each night. This is an integral part of what we call our Business Continuity Plan, meaning we could use the backups to not only restore data that is lost but more importantly, to quickly open a temporary work site in case of a natural disaster, a fire, etc.

In that vein, do you have a "Continuity Plan?" This applies not only to individual genealogists and family historians, but to historical and genealogy societies as well. Think about it, if you lost everything:

- how quickly could you restore your data and jump back into your research if you had to?

- would you be losing valuable data such as email lists, contacts, financial information, etc?

- if you rely upon a website or blogsite for revenues (advertisements, memberships, publications, etc.), could you ensure a steady stream of income?

I was surprised that I had not backed up any data since November 2007 and I have broken down so many brick walls in my research since then. I now realize how disappointed I'd be in myself if all that hard work just went "poof" and disappeared.

Follow these steps to access and add the Genea-Blogger Calendar and get started on your new habit today!

Accessing and Adding the Genea-Blogger Calendar

1. You will need to establish a Google account.

2. Go to Google Calendar.

3. You can create your own calendar (and keep it private or share it/make it public) if you'd like.

4. Type genea-blogger in the search field and click Search Public Calendars at the top of the screen.

5. Once the search results appear, click the heading Genea-Blogger Calendar to see the calendar. Click Add to calendar to add it to your own Google Calendar.

6. Click View your calendar to return to your Google Calendar.

Photo: Backup, Backup, Backup and Test Restores: a computer server destroyed in a fire on November 27, 2005. In the public domain via WikiMedia Commons.

1 comment:

Miriam Robbins said...

Great minds think alike, Thomas! ;-) I had been considering adding a monthly reminder about backing up data to my blog. I appreciate the directions to adding your Google Calendar data to my own, as I am a big user of that calendar system.

I'll add your Backup Day reminders to my June (and future months) Calendar of Events.