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Friday, September 23, 2011

DO NOT DELETE YOUR BLOG

One of the most useful sites about blogging out there - at least as far as Blogger/Blogspot users are concerned - is The Real Blogger Status (http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/). Every day they address the big issues and nitpicky little annoyances that bedevil Blogger users every day.

One issue that they've harped on for years is this: DO NOT DELETE YOUR BLOG. There is never really any reason to do this. If you're tired of blogging and don't want people to see what you've written in the past, it's a simple matter to shut down your blog in such a way that it's not visible to anyone but yourself. (And if, like so many people in the past, you forget your username and password, not even you!) As long as you do this your blog still exists, though it is inaccessible to the outside world.

But here's the important thing: as long as you do not delete your blog, and assuming no one has hacked your username and password, you will continue to have exclusive control over your blog address. If you delete your blog, after a certain period of time that blog address will become available to anyone else who wants to snatch it up.

Think about it. All the work you put into your blog, all the heart and soul and, occasionally, crappy poetry and embarrassing photos you poured into it will be gone in the touch of a key. And then all the online reputation and popularity that accrued to your blog can be hijacked by someone else when they claim your blog address.

AND: Anyone who was following your blog, and never bothered to unfollow it once you decided to turn it off, will now be following the usurper blog instead - and wondering what the hell is wrong with you, that you're suddenly posting whatever gibberish they decide to post on the address that used to belong to your blog.

I've seen it happen this week. Twice. It breaks my heart, knowing that this means that these blogs are truly dead. It's like when one of my favorite little shops closed its doors a few years ago: every once in a while I would drive past the vacant storefront and wonder if maybe they'd be moving back in. And then one day another business set up shop in the place and remodeled it, and I knew that they were truly gone for good.

So. If you want to - if you need to - shut down your blog, there are ways of doing it that will make sure no one else will be able to take over the address. But if you delete it, it's up for grabs, and soon may be gone for good.

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