Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Archiving The Blog

Screenshot of Table of Contents
Roger and I have been blogging since late 2004. It's been nine years, although our archives only go back to January 2005. Not sure what blogger did with our posts from late 2004, when we were lamenting George W Bush's win over John Kerry, and just settling into our first winter in Port Townsend, WA. They are simply gone.

Screenshot of a post from 2009
Back in October we thought about archiving Dharma Bums just to have a complete record of it, and just in case something crazy happened like blogger deciding on a whim to pull the plug on the whole endeavor. So, we did a bit of online sleuthing and found this wonderful and easy website BlogBooker that converts several different kinds of blog domains into pdf files. We had to export the entire blog to an xml file (that's done under blogger settings). That took some time. Once the file has been completely downloaded, it can be uploaded onto BlogBooker. That also takes quite a bit of time (well our upload speed is embarrassingly slow). BlogBooker then converts the xml file into a pretty fine book of the entire blog.

Screenshot just because I love this guy!
We have plans to eventually print the whole thing. It's a huge file and would probably take five or six reams of paper and a lot of ink. At this time, blogger doesn't have a way of setting date parameters. So, we think we'll probably create a new pdf of the entire blog once a year. If you're thinking at all of keeping an archived file of your blog, we highly recommend checking out BlogBooker. It's free, but they will also take donations. We gladly donated some EUROs through PayPal for this excellent project.

PS-- If anyone out there knows how to convert old Haloscan comments into something readable, we have 20 files of ridiculously unreadable xml stuff that we would love to actually read again. All of the comments from the beginning of our blogging days until 2009 are archived in this absurd format. 


  1. It's something to consider as I also find I can get dates something happened off my blog better than anywhere else.

  2. Well...neat!
    A treasure preserved

  3. I did that recently with my current blog. Wish I'd not delted my original blog; so much that I thought I had kept in Word documents on my local computer were lost. Hmm...need to calendar this to do it on a regular basis. I'm really glad to know you've make PDFs of your blog from 2005...that's great!

  4. Love the idea of having this kind of document printed and bound in volumes, capturing life via blogging in periods of 2 years at a time (like some people do via photo albums). So glad you were able to do this - such a valuable reference of your life from many perspectives and a nice gift for the younger generation one day.

  5. Thank you for that I was wondering whatto do as well, now I know. Mind you I know how to convert them to PDF by copy & pasting the blog from edit into word but I will try the website

  6. Oh, arrgggg! Now you've got me going! I immediately jumped on this and came to a screeching halt where I can no longer get to my dashboard on wordpress, appear to have no blog when I sign in and there's no help in the FAQ...

  7. See? It lets me comment under my old blog name....but I can't get access to the admin page. Grrr. Because I would really like to do as you've done...

  8. Wow! what a cool idea. I love analog versions of online things. And I worry as do you about the sudden disappearance of precious stuff. My kids were tiny, and Chet was a year and a half old when I started blogging. Now he's about to be nine. I'd have to do this in town with unlimited bandwidth for the download size would be enormous and it could never happen out here in the country. But it's a good thing to try. Thanks so much! amarkonmywall, I sure hope your problem gets resolved! Blogger often leaves you dangling like a participle, doesn't it?

  9. Rain-- The blog has become an incredible resource for verifying personal history.

    FC-- It really is a treasure preserved!

    John-- We sensed what it might be like to lose our entire blog, so we thought having a pdf of it that fits on a thumb-drive would be a great thing. Sorry to hear that you deleted your old blog. Sure wish that could be recreated.

    Sky-- It is a wonderful thing. Can't imagine what it's going to be like to have it printed and hold it in our hand. Over 2500 pages of our lives.

    Bill-- The website does a beautiful job of exporting. It makes navigating the entire document so easy. I can't wait to see what you think of it.

    amarkonmywall-- If your blog still exists, it should let you in, shouldn't it? Now I want to go look for it and see what's up. Keep us posted on this.

    Julie-- I hope you find the time and the bandwidth to do this. It really doesn't take that long. I've gotten so obsessed with things happening instantly. I get all wah-wah if I have to wait a minute for something to upload, okay I'll confess even a half hour is a reasonable amount of time to wait for 2500 pages to upload.

  10. It is taking me a long time to reply to my blog comments. I do love the great link.. I guess backing up our blogs is the one thing we can count on. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I started in 2004 also and lost my first blog .it was ocean and forest walks....I remember reading your blog back then. cheers.

  11. Now you've got me thinking of backing up our blog. We have only been online for a little over a year, so we won't have the massive archive that you have. But still, I don't want to lose it.

  12. Nora-- I remember your blog from back then. I'm so glad we have reconnected.

    Mark-- We're just thinking and planning ahead for when things change. We didn't want to run the risk in the future of losing our entire nine years of writing and photography. The pdf archive is a very cool thing to have. I hope you will archive your blog. One never knows how things will change.

  13. I hope you find an answer to the Haloscan question.
    I'm curious: Is that pdf file a series of same-size pages (e.g. U.S. letter size)? Because it might truly be cheaper to "publish" the files as a book via a self-publishing site. That obviously will only work if you have some ability to manipulate the pages to a uniform size.
    You know, there are some of us who might be interested in buying a copy. There's always an ebook option that could be quite affordable for your fans.
    Anyway, just a thought....

  14. Does blogbooker back up comments too?

  15. CCorax-- I think the pdf file is a series of same size pages. I haven't checked that. Good idea about self-publishing rather than printing out the entire 2500+ pages. Thank you for suggesting that, and for even thinking people might be interested in buying a copy. We're blushing.

    Hattie-- BlogBooker does back up comments. The pdf file has all the comments since we were compelled to switch from Haloscan to blogger comments in 2009.