Every hero must have a plan to tackle the situations or problems the daily routine presents. This is also true for parents (the true heroes of our present age). But, we know from experience that no plan is executed perfectly as it was design. So, the hero must always be prepared to elaborate a backup plan, in case the original scheme goes haywire.
As good administrators and planners, we must have a backup plan. In the digital realm, backup strategies are essential for safeguarding our information (text, photos, videos, presentations, etc.), and to restore them in case the hardware or the unexpected fails. Good backup strategies are a must to preserve our most cherished moments in time (our first child birthday, the first tooth, when he/she starts walking).
Before the era of Facebook and Twitter, backup plan were limited to copying our hard drive data to a secondary disk. Very simple. Nowadays, most of our data is shared in the so-called “cloud”. Our photos, comments, interactions, videos, and so on, are shared with our friends using Facebook, Twitter, the new Google+, MySpace (barely alive), LinkedIn, and the list goes on. Do you have a backup plan for all that data? Do I need to backup my social graph (i.e. all my social data stored in a remote network)?
Think about it. Remember the Amazon crash? What would happen if there was some data loss in the recovery process? If you didn’t backup your social data, where are you going to retrieve it from? Maybe is in your local hard drive. Or your phone. But I bet that without considering backing up your social data, there will be some irretrievable data loss.
So, here is a helpful guide on how to backup and restore your social data on selected networks. Let’s start with the most ubiquitous of the social networks, Facebook.
How to backup your social data in Facebook
Login to your Facebook account, and then, go to Account Settings.
Click in the Download Your Information “learn more”. The following screen will appear.
Click the “Download” button.
Click the “Download” button (Facebook wants to be sure that you are requesting to download your social data).
Click the “Okay” button and that’s it. As shown in the box, you will receive an email when your file (zip file) is ready to download. Pretty simple and straightforward.
How to backup your Tweets
During my research for this article, I tried to find a backup function (a la Facebook) in Twitter. Apparently (I may be wrong), Twitter does not offer a function for backing up your tweets, direct messages (DMs), followers, following, lists. Maybe is not an essential tool for the Twitterverse (the Library of Congress is currently archiving every tweet since 2006).
I will show you how to backup your Twitter social graph using a tool named TweetBackup (tweetbackup.com). It is powered by Backupify (I run this tool weekly for Google Docs and, of course, Twitter).
Here we go!
Go to tweetbackup.com and Sign Up.
Press the “Authorize app” button
Enter your email address (for backup notification status). Also, check (default) or uncheck the message suggested.
If you are comfortable with the warnings, click “Sign Up!”.
Click on “Please login”.
Again, press the “Authorize app” button.
Violá! You are in the application main page.
Check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for some insight on the capabilities and scope of this application.
There are lots of third-party applications for backing up your tweets. I chose this one because of its simplicity and ease of use.
Do you backup frequently your social graph? Are you using any tools, beside the ones shown, for your backup strategy? Do you see any shortcomings in these apps?
Let us know.