This is a message of hope, but also one of caution for future actions. I’ve recently experienced that heart stopping, stomach dropping experience when everything I had written in this blog, from the very beginning, was GONE. Irretrievable. Unfindable. Unaccessible! As a result in one small error leading to a domino of missed opportunities, I could not access any of my domain content. My domain was gone. My location in digital space was lost.
Two weeks ago I received an email telling me that my domain hjdewaard.ca was being held for 30 day and would then be released for public access. I ignored that email, until I tried to access this blog site to do some writing. It was then that I put that email into a retrospective query, and immediately contacted Reclaim Hosting to find out what was going on. Indeed, there was a lapse in communication where my account was not continued due to an oversight in tracking the account. They would have to wait until the domain name was released into public access before they could reclaim my domain name and thereby catch this name before anyone else claimed it as theirs. While I realized there would be little chance of anyone else in the known universe wishing to claim this domain for their own, I was still concerned that this was happening at all. In the meantime, I was losing a window of opportunity to continue writing.
As evidenced by this post, this story has a happy ending. The domain is once again mine to claim. The blog is returned to full writing duty, searchable, locatable, and readable. What I now need to consider, as a future caution, is how to make a backup of my backup files in order to claim all this writing, from the very beginning of this PhD program, into an archivable source that is not reliant on serendipitous etherspace. My trust in the security of cloud storage and web archives has been eroded. Is there a way to create an alternative plan to ensure this writing is accessible when it’s needed. If this blog is to become an important element of my comprehensive portfolio or dissertation, then it needs to be secure, safe, and retrievable.
What I also realize in this adventure in etherspace is the reliance on others who know what to do and how to do it. While I am in control of this domain of my own, it’s no more or less than the new condo I’ve just purchased. It’s a room to call home. It’s my place from which to view the world. It’s set up to my style and liking. But I’m not totally alone in this condo tower. There are others here with me. There is a building manager to take care of issues as they come up – I don’t need to wonder about the day to day operations. There are workers who know what they are doing when repairing or replacing the elevator equipment – I don’t need to know how to do that. There is a structure in place to support my room with a view. I just need to remember I’m not in this alone, and when things go wrong, as they most certainly will, it’s important to remember I’m surrounding by supportive others. Just as the support desk at Reclaim Hosting worked to resolve all the issues with my lost and found, I’m not so worried that what I create here will be Irretrievable. It may be temporarily missing in the open, accessible spaces I call home, but with help from others, it will be found once again.
A BIG shout-out to Reclaim Hosting for their support and calming assurance.