Thursday, 28 December 2017

Subtle background changes to the blog

Keen-eyed blog-sleuths may detect one or two subtle changes to my blog. Yes...the profile picture has changed, though it's still the usual me. But it's more subtle than that! If you look at my 'Complete Profile', you'll now see that not only has the number of profile-viewings suddenly reduced to very little, I'm said to have been on Blogger only 'since May 2011'. But some readers will know that isn't correct. I've been posting on Blogger since February 2009, and the 'Blog Archive' on the right edge of my main screen view does indeed show posts going back to that time.

So what have I done?

Well, I've rationalised my Google accounts. In February 2009 my internet was being provided by an outfit called Tiscali, a company long since taken over by a bigger fish in the communications industry. I had a picturesque email address - driftwoodbeach@tiscali.co.uk - and the blog was set up using that address. Later, in May 2011, I began to use Google's Chrome browser. I set it up with the Gmail address I had by then - lucymelford@gmail.com. That Gmail address became the name of my main Google account, and therefore the prime portal for everything provided to me by Google to my desktop PC, laptop, and (from 2012) my Android tablet and phone. Except the blog. That stayed where it was, at the old Tiscali address, which had become a secondary Google account.

As the years passed, having the blog in a separate account, set apart from the rest of my Google stuff, became more and more awkward. And occasionally it was a nuisance, when for instance I was away from home and for some reason I couldn't sign into driftwoodbeach@tiscali.co.uk address, even though lucymelford@gmail.com was readily available.

I began to wonder whether the blog might become orphaned at some point, should Google proceed with some rationalisation of its own, and wipe it all by design or blunder. I had of course a complete backup of every post in a long series of monthly Word documents, but copying the content of those into a brand new blog would be a truly monumental task.

I really wanted to shift the entire blog from the driftwoodbeach account to the main one. But I suspected that it wouldn't be easy.

I was both right and wrong. Wrong, because there is in fact a proper procedure for lifting a blog out of one Google account and dropping it into another. In principle, it's dead simple. But I was also right, because in practice it's tricky to carry out every straightforward little step without a daft slip-up. I got it correct on my ninth attempt.

What you have to do is get yourself (as the owner of another Gmail account) set up as co-author of the blog. You send an emailed invitation to yourself as the 'new' co-author (in my case at lucymelford@gmail,com), and accept it. The blog settings then show two author accounts, yourself as administrator of the blog, and yourself as the new co-author. You then swap the admin role to the new co-author account. She (that's myself at lucymelford@gmail.com) now acquires full admin rights - including control of what the blog looks like, and all final editorial control. And that's that. Getting the sequence of actions absolutely correct, in order to achieve this end, wasn't so easy. But it's done.

So now everything is conveniently handled by one Google account.

The driftwoodbeach@tiscali account is redundant. I won't delete it yet, just in case I still haven't quite made a mistake-free blog transfer. And I may never delete it, as it might be useful to have an established but 'empty' account ready for some other use. No doubt, however, I will get a message at some point from Google, warning me that they will automatically bin that old account if it remains unused for more than six months.

Will readers notice any practical difference? I don't think so.

If anybody wants to delve into what I was writing years ago, they still can. It's all still there. But, you know, human nature being what it is, I suspect that nobody does. Nor ever will, not unless I become infamous for some unforeseen reason.

Sequel
I've deleted the old driftwoodbeach account. My phone wouldn't show me the new Gmail-account version - only the old one, and yet wouldn't sign me out of it. So it had to go. I deleted it from the laptop, and everything then defaulted to the Gmail account, including what I saw on the phone.

Goodbye driftwoodbeach. At least, goodbye in Googleland.

4 comments:

  1. That first post was at 5.22am...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duh! Was that getting up or before going to sleep...?

      Delete
  2. I am now fully awake and thinking more clearly. Google is certainly capricious and apt to eliminate services with hardly any notice. In the past I used Google Reader to follow blogs. Many times I was able to recover whole blogs which folk had lost access to because of a Google error or ones which had been deleted at a low point in their lives. It was simply just a few clicks in "READER", copy and send. Once this service was eliminated and I wanted to preserve a copy of my own writings I tried many times to follow Google's instructions on how to get an archive copy, everyone came back as "no information exists on this blog"!

    The blog still exists but there seems to be inconsistencies between google and apple which makes it very difficult to access through my old route and gives very little control when finally signed in.

    Lesson is make copies as you go and do not trust services to be there beyond the short term. The idea that once on the net, always on the net may be true to some extent but the ability to find it for average user is doubtful at best...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sadly, I don't see Blogger escaping at least a radical facelift at some point. Or Google may spoil it by making ads compulsory instead of voluntary. I personally take some pride in my blog being an ad-free zone, as I'm sure a lot of other people do.

    Blogs come and go, and I suspect that few persist for more than a couple of years, so there must be a lot of dross in Google titanic memory banks which it longs to clear out. Possibly many temporary bloggers would be happy if they did, and made the indiscretions embedded in their past writings impossible to find. I certainly have some, but it would be a colossal task now to edit them out, after 1.8 million words written and almost 1,900 posts. I rely on the canon being just too large for any but the very determined to track down whatever I would now ideally want to delete!

    Lucy

    ReplyDelete

This blog is public, and I expect comments from many sources and points of view. They will be welcome if sincere, well-expressed and add something worthwhile to the post. If not, they face removal.

Ideally I want to hear from bloggers, who, like myself, are knowable as real people and can be contacted. Anyone whose identity is questionable or impossible to verify may have their comments removed. Commercially-inspired comments will certainly be deleted - I do not allow free advertising.

Whoever you are, if you wish to make a private comment, rather than a public one, then do consider emailing me - see my Blogger Profile for the address.

Lucy Melford