By in Writing

How to Lose All Your Hard Work in 1 Easy Step

Always make a backup!

Over the past few years I've written about this numerous times. I've told my fellow web writers to save all their posts to their computers, and to backup those files in a second location just in case something happens to that computer. I've talked about the importance of archiving content as proof of earnings, just in case there's ever an issue with payment. I've admonished people to take screen captures and to record URLs and post stats, so they'll have evidence to bring forward if there's ever a dispute.

But I never thought that I'd see the day when the technical team behind a paid to write website would be caught without a backup. You'd think that anyone who has the skill to set up and run a social blogging web site would realize that a backup of the site should be made and updated regularly, and that this would be a top priority.

World Famous Writers Closes

I wrote yesterday about World Famous Writers closing its doors . The site was one of several incarnations for what started as Elite Visitors, and the owners had already been through an earlier fiasco when one of the founders absconded with all of the site's revenues. So you'd think after being badly burned once, the remaining partners would have done everything they could to protect themselves.

Including making a backup of the site on a regular schedule.

Apparently, this was just never done.

A notice has gone up on the landing page of the site, explaining that it is no more. It explains that, “we can do nothing as the host deleted all files After the site got suspened.” (Sorry for the errors, but that's exactly as it's written.)

When I asked about the backup, I was told by one administrator that they “didn't have to time to do the backups” and by another of the owners that, “it isn't quite so simple to back up 15 gb of information.” Apparently lack of both time and storage space was to blame for the failure to keep the community's writing safe.

I'm sure the folks behind WFW had their hearts in the right place. But I'm not sure what they were thinking.

Always, always, always backup your own writing! When you publish it on a revenue sharing site, you have no idea what's going on behind the scenes. Don't be left scrambling to copy your content at the last minute when a site announces that it's shutting down. And certainly, you don't want to find that all of your hard work is lost if the site closes without notice or if the owners try to claim they have no record of your contributions.

We can hope that the people who set up shop to run a revenue sharing site will be professional and will keep our data safe. But in truth, we'll never know what the future can bring. We must rely on ourselves first, last, and in between. There's no knowing whether the others we entrust with our writings are up to the challenge of keeping them safe.

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CalmGemini wrote on June 14, 2015, 10:36 AM

From the day a partner was supposed to have ''run away''with the money on the payment date ,Elite visitors was a planned scam.That the members still believed in the'' remaining poor trusting partners'' is a laugh.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 10:45 AM

I honestly haven't read much on the site in a while, so I don't know. But lately I've been hearing about good writers who are scrambling to save hundreds of posts from another site that's closing down. I know I've had backups that got lost when a computer failed. That's why I make such a big deal of telling others to save their writing to more than one location emoticon :smile:

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 10:53 AM

You do have to wonder, though I honestly thought at least one of the owners was an honest guy who had put a lot of effort into trying to get the site back up on its feet. I can't say about the other owners, or about the admins they'd appointed. I didn't spend much time there after the first partner ran off.

I will say that when I asked about the lack of a backup, I must have hit a nerve. I simply said I thought it should have been a priority, and that there were affordable options for storing the data. I didn't lose anything, but I really feel for people who lost dozens and dozens of posts because they trusted the site owners to keep their writing safe.

Within minutes of me posting, one of the group admins wrote a reply telling me off. Then she unceremoniously removed me from the group and unfriended me. I'm sorry if she was offended, but it's behaviour like hers that confirms I made the right decision in distancing myself from the site after the first incident.

CalmGemini wrote on June 14, 2015, 11:32 AM

See,when some body asks a genuine doubt,they see red.At least some have seen their true colors.

wolfgirl569 wrote on June 14, 2015, 11:39 AM

That is a sad way to lose everything including the site itself. Makes you wonder if it was completely an accident

CoralLevang wrote on June 14, 2015, 11:41 AM

I am so glad that I did not stay there. I was with EV and CGP (or whatever it was) for about 2 weeks. They both didn't feel "right" so I stopped and had accounts deleted.

Kasman wrote on June 14, 2015, 11:42 AM

I back up anything I deem worthy but much of what I write is personal stuff and I don't really care if it gets lost. I understand your point about proof of writing in case of dispute but if a site is going to get awkward with paying me then that's not a good sign and I'm outta there anyway waving 'bye-bye' as I go!

Last Edited: June 14, 2015, 11:43 AM

MegL wrote on June 14, 2015, 1:32 PM

That is very true. I wonder if one of the "past web" programs such as the wayback machine might still have the articles available, so writers can save them?

valmnz wrote on June 14, 2015, 3:36 PM

I'm afraid the kind of 'stuff' I write on here and similar sites is not the backing up kind, definitely only one off thoughts of the moment kind of writing. However, I do back up my research and other writing in three different places.

Last Edited: June 14, 2015, 3:36 PM

Gina145 wrote on June 14, 2015, 7:58 PM

Dare I ask which the other site is? I've still got content on a few sites that I don't visit regularly so I'd really like to know if it's one I use.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:38 PM

If for no other reason than as proof that you published the content, it's a good idea to save stuff until you're paid. A word processor doc takes up very little space on a computer, and you can archive the files or burn them to DVD.

Good on you for backing up your whole computer! A lot of folks don't do that, and really should.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:39 PM

Gina, it's World Famous Writers (aka Elite Visitors,) as mentioned in the article above emoticon :smile:

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:41 PM

Sadly, the person who did this wasn't even a site owner. It was a newly appointed administrator. I don't blame the owners for that at all. It was obviously done in anger.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:49 PM

From what I can glean, it seems that circumstances just presented themselves and a decision was made on the spot.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:50 PM

I'm glad you didn't lose any content there, Coral.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 8:51 PM

I can totally understand not wanting to let things get too complicated...

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 9:55 PM

Actually, that was pointed out by someone. I didn't get the impression it would make a difference to the fate of the site, but hopefully some of the writers will make use of the archive.

Ruby3881 wrote on June 14, 2015, 9:58 PM

It's a pity so many people this that way about their writing on sites like PP. I'm not saying we should be writing 100-word features, or anything. But if we could at least write focused posts with discoverable titles, it would start bringing in external traffic. Too many fluff pieces just drag the whole site down emoticon :sad:

Shellyann36 wrote on June 15, 2015, 12:26 AM

It seems that if you are writing anywhere these days it makes sense to backup what you write. Have a copy of it in case something happens online.

HalBLaurie wrote on June 15, 2015, 3:46 AM

Yikes... I never joined World Famous Writers, and now I'm glad for not doing so. I ought to be better at saving files of my work, but usually it doesn't even occur to me. The one revenue earning site I joined that closed down, Helium, at least gave fair warning and allowed me to download my work before they officially closed shop. I'll definitely consider saving my work to a flash drive or something similar.

BarbRad wrote on June 15, 2015, 4:40 AM

I started writing first and pasting into site pages when I started Bubblews. Unfortunately, I did not do that with Squidoo and HubPages. I am trying to go back and make copies now. I sense that the content sites will start falling like dominoes, and HubPages may be on its last legs, though I hope not.

GrannyGee wrote on June 15, 2015, 6:24 AM

Ruby3881 ... I saw that and I was disturbed by the way you were 'spoken' to ... I have to say that you shouldn't have been 'talked' to like that. In fact, it made me decide to take two 'friends' off my Facebook. When people can't ask legit questions ... that bothers me. You did it in a very good manner... it was strange how defensive some people became. I'd been taking note in the last week of two people in particular ... 'speaking ugly' to other members if they dared to question ... it wasn't right. So, know someone took note of the way you were spoken to ... and they didn't like it. You weren't treated fairly.

GrannyGee wrote on June 15, 2015, 6:27 AM

Ruby2881 That's what I saw ... they didn't own the site, yet she spoke very ugly to you. I saw her do that not long ago. I did have respect but, in the last week I was listening, watching, sensing .... it all went awake. It made me angry but, I'm not getting into a war online with anyone .... they can go fight their own wars. If I choose one, I will win it ... that's one that all would come out as losers. I'm sorry you were mistreated ... that's why I unfriended several people on my Facebook.

Nar2Reviews wrote on June 15, 2015, 7:22 AM

Good advice but then online sites don't have to keep online content. A lot of review sites end up putting content into archive files that are never seen again.

FourWalls wrote on June 15, 2015, 10:27 AM

Oy. I wonder if the people behind EV will be able to find a new job at the B-ooze place. emoticon :winking:

Gina145 wrote on June 15, 2015, 1:07 PM

Ruby, I know about that one. But in your first comment you mentioned people scrambling to save posts from another site. I thought you were referring to a different site there.

AliCanary wrote on June 18, 2015, 7:26 PM

I even take screenshots of the article that include the publication date. That's pretty useful to nail down proof that you published first, in cases of plagiarism.