It recently came to my attention (via a poker blogger who was irate that Tao of Poker got locked) that some blogs on Blogger got improperly locked by a spam detection bot. I did a little investigation to see how big the problem was and it is big. Really big. Here is a small sampling of what I found:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r
Google has admitted that this is a mistake here and here. Fair enough. Mistakes happen. But what if it hadn't been a mistake? What if it happened and you were on a three week vacation and were offline? What if you lost all of your writing?
This got me thinking about how much I have been trusting online companies with my content. Probably too much given that they have absolutely no obligation to me at all. The only thing keeping me "safe" is the character of the folks actually working at Google et al. and the corporate fear of bad publicity. If my gmail account contents were lost I would be devastated. Possibly crippled.
So I did some long overdue back-ups. And you should too.
The best way to back up gmail is to turn on POP3 support with the "Enable POP for all mail" flag set. Then fire up a POP client and sync. It actually takes multiple syncs apparently because Google throttles the number of messages you can get in one go, so make sure that you have it all.
The best way to back up your Blogger content is to formulate a link like this:
Do it now.