And with the click of a button…

…I inadvertently deleted the whole of Shiny New Books!

It’s a long story – but involves finding ourselves as admins locked out of the website. Why?: Because we were using more than our allotted space, I discovered when I ‘chatted’ to our webhosting company. Solution: moving from ‘managed WordPress’ (controlled by web hosting co) to ‘non-managed WordPress’ (controlled by us). Oh I said, and ended the chat. I didn’t realise when I later clicked that yes button to switch that it would wipe the site. Of course we’ve been lazy over the years and back-ups/archives are only partially available.

But to paraphrase the Six Million Dollar Man‘We can rebuild it!’

Thankfully, my co-editor Harriet, who had nothing at all to do with this problem other than being locked out too, has been extremely understanding, as have all of the regular contributors to Shiny that I’ve managed to contact. A huge thank you to all of them.

I’ve recovered most of the earlier content (while Shiny was a quarterly) that I had no back-up for via The Internet Archive and its ‘Wayback Machine’. We have a good amount of content from more recent times, and luckily our reviewing team are better than me at archiving their own pieces. So I am working on the mammoth task of rebuilding Shiny from scratch (getting it restored professionally was not financially viable).

It’s going well, if slowly. The rebuilding has allowed me to give Shiny a lovely new look with a bold front page, and clean posts. I’m updating all the broken links, spotting typos we missed first time around and generally tidying up posts, adding alt text on images etc. So all good! I’ve learned a big IT lesson, and will also back-up and archive all content religiously now too.

Obviously, Shiny continues to post new content each Tuesday and Thursday, so I hope you’ll visit and explore. This Thursday, it’s our turn on Rebecca’s ‘Not the Wellcome Prize Blog Tour’ for instance, (and it’ll be my turn on the above tour next week).

The volume of this work will mean more catch-up posts here and fewer visits elsewhere from me for a bit, but you know I like a project! 😉

13 thoughts on “And with the click of a button…

  1. Laura says:

    Oh Annabel, I’m so sorry to hear this. What a massive pain. I’ve only written two posts for Shiny, I think (Djinn Patrol and Ghost Wall), but they’re both on my blog so let me know if you need copies.

  2. Dark Puss says:

    The reliability of modern computer hardware means that only people like me tend to archive as obsessively as we had to back in the “good old days”. I remember using a PDP 11-44 with removable RL02 discs (physically huge and only 10/20 MBytes) for my PhD. There was the real possibility that a simple power cut could destroy a disk. I used to archive to another disk (stored in my office not the lab) and then onto 6250 bpi tape (archived in my flat). I never did lose an original disc but I knew enough sad stories to take care. Well done for getting the site back, if only partially, so fast!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thank you. Actually I’ve enjoyed tweaking its new look. Now the hard work of reposting begins…

  3. Mark Thornton says:

    Oh crap Annabel. Can’t imagine what you must have gone through from the moment you got the initial creeping feeling that something disastrous had happened right the way through to the depression-session when you realised there was no turning back.


    Sometimes these things are (very well-disguised) blessings, and as the quote goes “There’s never enough time to do it right, but there’s always enough time to do it over”.

    Good luck – and I’m sure there’s nothing I can do to help, but if there is – let me know.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Mark. (I’ve found your two pieces you did for us by the way! But they’ll have to wait a good while to get reposted.). I’m actually enjoying reading all these wonderful reviews our friends have written again, and tidying everything up, and so on – so there are silver linings indeed.

  4. heavenali says:

    Oh Annabel I do feel for you. What an absolute nightmare, I think I would have just gone to bed and wailed. I can’t remember what I have reviewed for shiny, but have sent you something I have. Absurdly I have only been keeping word copies of my blog posts for about the last three years. Good luck with it all.

  5. Café Society says:

    It’s any comfort, (and it probably isn’t) been there, done that! In a not dissimilar situation, a friend of mine had her laptop with her entire PhD on it stolen. She had her notes, but she had to re-write from scratch.

  6. Elle says:

    I got your email about this and was so sorry to hear it, though very impressed by your fortitude with regards to the fix! I think I do have a couple of reviews for Shiny, probably from around 2015-2016; I’ll see if I can dig them out and ping them over soon.

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