You’ve written a long, detailed, exhausting blog post. It’s really great. You’re proud of it. You hope the students in your class will be in awe of your awesome blog post. You’re stoked. You click Publish. And nothing happens. It’s gone. WTF? GONE? HOLY $#!*! GONE!

Sometimes, things like the Autosave feature don’t work perfectly, or some network glitch may interfere with publishing a post. I’ll outline a few tips I’ve learned to help prevent the agony of Lost Post Syndrome.

First, periodically copy the text of your post. That way, if your browser crashes, or the server blows up, or the Blogging Gremlins look at you funny, you can still paste the text into a new post (or into a text file, or an email, or whatever). I’ve learned to do this with any form on any web page where I don’t want to retype the text if things go badly when submitting the form. It’s not an elegant solution, but it works. It’s saved me lots of grief. Copy that text.

Second, you can manually click the “Save Draft” button on the post editing screen. Again, not elegant, but it will save the draft to the server, so if your computer blows up or crashes or is running Windows or something (was that redundant?), the text is still available to you via UCalgaryBlogs.ca – see the screenshot below: “Save Draft” is on the right side of the page, under the “Publish” heading.

editpost-savedraft

After clicking “Save Draft” you’ll see some extra info below the post showing the timestamp of the saved version, and a handy yellow “post saved” indicator above the title.

draft_saved

Third, if you’re really paranoid, write the post in a separate application. NOT Microsoft Word, though, because it tries to he “helpful” when copying and pasting text into a web page, and does a royal job of munging the text in the process. Use a plain text editor (I use TextMate on the Mac, or BBEdit, or TextEdit. On Windows, Notepad or Wordpad or something should work fine). When you’re ready to publish the post, just copy the text from the text document and paste it into the Add New Post screen on your blog. You’ll have to set any formatting or add any images after pasting it, but the text will be safe.

Fourth, you might want to try the “Turbo” tool offered on your blog – it integrates with the Google Gears application to download a bunch of stuff to make your blog writing better – loading the scripts and files locally from your computer rather than from the server each time. This is especially useful if you’re on a slow internet connection – the files only load once, when setting up the Turbo feature, and then run locally after that. This isn’t a bulletproof solution, but should make some of the script loading errors go away. And your blog writing experience will be much faster. Please note, though, NOT TO USE TURBO if you’re using a shared computer. It stores your login info as part of the local files, so it’s really not the most secure solution ever devised. But if you have control of your computer, it’s pretty cool.

The “Turbo” link is in the dark toolbar at the top of the screen (see the first screenshot above). After clicking it, you’ll see the “Gears Status” section of the “Tools” page, as shown here:

gearsstatus

Click “Enable Gears” and your browser will start automatically downloading stuff, including Gears itself, if required. You should also see a security warning, as shown below:

gearssecurity

With Gears enabled, resources should load pretty reliably, hopefully making blog posting and management a bit less error prone.

With that said, however, there is no 100% error-proof way to post content online. But, if you follow these 4 tips, you should be pretty safe.