A blog is quite a fragile beast when compared to a physical notebook; it requires reliable storage for a whole suite of files as well as appropriate software and hardware to display its contents. As this OFC blog has grown in size, I have started to wonder what would happen if, for some reason, the backend files were destroyed, or if I simply stopped paying the hosting charges. Right now I have no way of being able to reconstitute the blog outside my hosting company’s infrastructure. This is what I shall be exploring in subsequent entries.
In many ways this is a digital preservation exercise. However, I’ve decided to address it as a topic in its own right because of the special characteristics of blogs; they are large integrated entities which have to be accessed as a whole. This OFC blog is nothing special; it is built on the WordPress platform which enables text and images to be created directly without having to deal with HTML code; and it is hosted by a specialist company. I pay an annual fee for the domain name – pwofc.com – and for the hosting service; and as part of that service I can request the hosting company to take a backup of the site whenever I wish. WordPress is free and gets updated from time to time. In other words, this is a very standard configuration of the type probably used by millions of bloggers. I’m hoping, therefore, that a practical archiving solution which enables a site to be easily reconstituted, will be readily available. We will see.