Blog | Jan 11, 2011 | 5 Comments

[social media vulnerability]

[the day nearly died]

By now, Yahoo’s announcement–and subsequent retraction–about shutting down the social bookmarking site delicious is old news. But I’m still upset. I keep thinking about how vulnerable we are when we depend on free social media resources.

Last year, I wrote a blog post about how much I love social bookmarking.

Since that post appeared, I’ve only increased my bookmarking activity, frequently tagging 20 sites a day, often many more. Client project information, social media ideas and resources, travel plans, health issues, recipes—possibly as much of my life is on delicious as is on my laptop. It’s not a social site for me; I literally can’t work without it.

Yahoo showed me how very vulnerable I am.

I don’t want to know the whole story behind Yahoo’s decision and subsequent reversal. No matter what they said (such as, “We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you”), we can’t ever trust them again, can we?

Fortunately, I found a helpful blog post about how to back up delicious bookmarks and import them to other sites. That sure made me feel relieved. And stupid.

We’ve all learned to backup our computer files regularly. Why would social media resources be any different? But when thinking about vulnerability online, instead of focusing on backups, I focused on privacy. Now I’ve learned that I need to be even smarter about protecting myself.

Blogs are very vulnerable, too.

Blogs can be taken down or taken over by hackers, crippled by plug-in malfunctions or mismatches, or even shut down by the hosting site. It’s hard to imagine WordPress going away, but you never know. Fortunately, my social media consultant, Lori Randall Stradtman, installed an automatic backup program for my blog. And when I recently asked her if it was safe to update WordPress and 16 plug-ins, her answer was simple: if your backup program is working, you don’t have to worry.

In addition, I receive email and RSS feeds of my blog. And I get an RSS feed of my tweets, which is really only helpful if I forget to bookmark an article link I happened to see there…

What else should I be backing up? Share your advice.

If you have another idea or experience, please post it here or on my Facebook page. Thanks!

P.S. When following the directions in the article about exporting bookmarks to another service, I had trouble with Mister Wong (could not accept my Yahoo login, which is what I use for delicious) and success with Pinboard. I had to pay a one-time fee of $9.06 to join Pinboard – which the article failed to mention – but it will probably be worth it.

Photo credit: From wikimedia commons. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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Author: Claire Wagner

I'm a seasoned freelance writer/editor and an enthusiastic community manager. I'm passionate about developing and sharing good content.


Thanks so much for mentioning me in your post!

You shine the light on a very shadowy subject that most online communities are loathe to talk about. Self hosting (and backing that up regularly) is the only way to be sure your time and inspiration spent creating content isn’t lost forever!


[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LoriRandallStradtman, LoriRandallStradtman and Claire Wagner, Claire Wagner. Claire Wagner said: New blog post: [social media vulnerability] […]

Thank you for this posting, Claire — as you said, we all take the ‘cloud-based’ services for granted, but they can disappear in a moment. I know that I need to regularly export my LinkedIn contacts, for one thing. Happily, LinkedIn makes it pretty easy to do that, but you have to think to do it. You’ve just inspired me to remind myself of this regularly. There are also people I only know how to contact through Facebook.


Anne Janzer


Anne, I need to put LinkedIn exporting on my housekeeping list. Thanks for reminding me about that!


Claire Wagner


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