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Open Thread Thursday: Disaster Recovery Plans

open thread

[Open Thread Thursday is a new feature at GeneaBloggers where a topic is presented for discussion.  I think that many members of our blogging community as well as readers may have the same questions around a specific topic.]

Today being the first of the month, it is Data Backup Day here at GeneaBloggers. Besides just backing up your genealogy research database, we try to encourage genealogists and family historians to do a comprehensive inventory and survey of all of the genealogy-related data they have on hand.

Data backup is just one component of a Disaster Recovery Plan.  What is this?  Well, what if you lost everything – perhaps due to natural disaster or your website/blog hosting company tanks.  How long would it take you to get back up and running?

So, here are the open thread discussion points – leave your answers, ideas and even further questions in the comments:

  • Do you have a disaster recovery plan for your genealogy research?
  • If you lost all your data, do you know where your backup data is, how old that data is, and how quickly you could get up and running again if a disaster were to strike?
  • Do you backup your blog?  And not just blog posts, what about all the time you’ve invested in template customization, gadgets, widgets, sidebars, selecting colors?  Are these settings saved somewhere on your computer or printed out?
  • If you run a genealogy business or a genealogical society, can you have your website up and running in a day if your hosting service goes belly up or their servers die?  Don’t think it can’t happen to – read here about how Family History Expos lost their website back in February 2010.
  • Would you attend a webinar on data backup and disaster recovery if it were offered online? How much would you be willing to pay to attend such a session especially if an e-book or quick reference were offered so you can create your own disaster recovery plan?
  • Do you think disaster recovery would be of interest to genealogy conference attendees as a presentation topic?  Too technical?  Would if be better geared towards professional genealogists and genealogy business owners?

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

7 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: Disaster Recovery Plans

  1. Thomas,

    Thanks for the backup reminder! Preserving family history is our goal at

    We started our photo preservation service specifically to address the risk of losing a generation of our historical record. My fear is that digital photography is so focused on instant gratification that there is far too little concern for how future generations will access the records we are creating today.

    Having a set date each month to backup is a great way to start healthy data habits and overcome the inertia of best intentions. For additional motivation, we have just added a free photo scanning offer.

  2. What a timely topic. I have been working on developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan for a while now. Trying to make it more automatic.

    I definitely would attend a webinar on this topic and think it would be a great topic for a conference. People are more aware of this as an issue than a few years ago. I think if you can point people in the right direction as to how to develop and implement a recovery plan you would be doing a lot of people a huge favor.

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