I Do Exist, Honest!

After a stressful day I appear to exist once again. If you tried to visit my blog yesterday you would have seen that it had been removed. Worse than that Google had decided to suspended my entire account. That meant I lost access not only to all my blogs, but photos in picasa, my calendars, my gmail account, and my Google+ profile. It was almost as if I no longer existed (online). I filled in the contact us form to request my account back and then almost a day later I got this e-mail from Google:

We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. The issue you described should now be resolved.
I don't think I've ever been quite so relieved. While the whole experience was a bit of a nightmare it did get me thinking about how I could keep backups of all my Google data in case something similar happened again in the future. After a little bit of hunting around the web (via Google of course) I came across the Data Liberation Front.

The Data Liberation Front is a Google engineering team who are trying to make it easy to liberate your data from Google products. This is useful for either moving your data to a competing service or for simply backing it up locally.

They have step by step instructions on exporting your data from most of Google's products, but they are also developing Google Takeout. Google Takeout brings together a number of the export tools into a simple interface allowing you to select which data you want to download. It then collects the data together into a single zip file that you can easily download and archive. Currently it supports: +1’d sites, Buzz, Contacts and Circles, Picasa Web Albums, Profile, and Google+ Stream. As far as I can tell the aim is to add more products to this list and I'd certainly appreciate Blogger being included.

So if you don't have a recent backup of your Google hosted data maybe now is the time to do something about it.


  1. Mark, you anarchist, shut up and be happy. they do us proud. It doesn't help to be wary. Very wary.