Yesterday was World Backup Day, intended to raise awareness of the importance of backing up personal and archival data. I hope you won’t mind me sending this reminder a day late. The fact is, it’s never too late to back up your data—until it’s too late. Don’t wait until you have a system crash or data corruption: Back up now!
If you missed it, I wrote a series of blogs on using cloud-based storage solutions to keep your writing and other valuable documents safe. Here are links to those articles just in case you haven’t yet set up your automatic backup sync:
- Cloud Backup: A Brief Primer for the Practicing Writer
- Cloud Backup for Writers, Part 2: Using Dropbox
- Cloud Backup for Writers, Part 3: Using OneDrive
This can’t be stressed too much: Back up now! Whatever storage you choose, whatever method you find practical, just do it—and frankly, one day a year is not enough if your livelihood, or at least your precious creations, are stored as bits of data.
Yes, I’m rather passionate on topics such as this. In part, that’s due to my history as a tech writer and editor for IT professionals. When you work with guys who are experts in computer security and have them explain complex concepts to you in simple terms so that you can explain back to them how to write about those topics grammatically so everyone else will understand, those concepts tend to stick with you. You also tend to learn a thing or two, almost by osmosis, about how all this computer techy stuff works.
Which is why I feel I’m in a pretty good position to help other writers overcome technical shortcomings or fears about using technology. The thing is, you don’t have to be a technical wizard to use computers and the Internet with technical savvy. You need only be able to read and follow directions with an open mind—provided those directions are written at an appropriate level of understanding. You need to be willing to push all the buttons and see what happens.
With that in mind, I’d like to open the floor to suggestions: Are there technology topics you’re having trouble with? Are there tools or procedures you’re sure should be easier but currently you struggle with? Do you have trouble with formatting something in Word or converting file formats? Are you trying to be active with social media but the interfaces are too confusing? Whatever your problems might be, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see if I can come up with a simple set of directions that should help you.
For anyone who thinks technology is dull and that writing about it must be even duller, I have only to point to the many fun April Fool’s jokes that tech companies and journalist flood the ’net with each year. A couple of years ago at my old job, we editors had a great time concocting a story declaring that cloud computing was all a hoax. One person started it, wrote a paragraph or two, then passed it on. In that way, most of the editors contributed something, and it was actually a fun creative writing project. Here’s the opening:
Seattle, Washington — Shawna Bogan, Amazon junior marketing associate on the Kindle team, revealed on Tuesday that she invented cloud computing on a lunch break in April 2008. The revelation sent shockwaves through an industry that has been gradually building a foundation on such market-speak as “hosted services,” “Software as a Service,” “cloudsourcing,” and “cloudstorming,” among other ridiculous nonsense. Indeed, the market has seen an explosion of new business ventures whose very existence hinges on a notion that is now revealed to be false.
“We were all just sitting around in the break room,” Bogan said, “trying to figure out how to explain that all of Amazon’s Kindle titles were stored on a PC under my desk. I suddenly realized that, since no one would actually see my PC, the files could be anywhere—even up in the sky.”
You can read the rest of the article on WindowsITPro.com, and believe me it just gets crazier. Good times. Anyway, I’ll leave you with two things:
- Back up now!
- Send me your technology-related problems/questions.
Let’s see what we can do. Follow B. K. Winstead on Twitter at @bkwins