After some serious reflection, I’ve decided to take a new approach to the FileSlinger™ Backup Reminder. I’ve been writing this newsletter since July of 2003. It started as a very short reminder with some basic information about why it’s important to back up your computer. It’s grown—too much. Some of you do actually read it through every week, a compliment I appreciate, but I’m not at all sure that a 1200 word e-zine is a greater service to readers than a 400-word e-zine.
Between the e-zines and the blogs, I’ve got far more to read than I can keep up with—and that’s just the relevant and interesting stuff. I have reason to believe that most of you are in the same position, and get far too much e-mail. When you probably don’t have time to read it, and I know I don’t have time to write it, what’s the purpose of the format I’ve been using?
It’s not that I think backing up your computer is going to be any less important in the years to come. (In fact, with the new Data Retention Act in the EU, backup will only be bigger and bigger business—buy stock in storage now.) But you don’t need a 1200-word article to back up your computer. A subject-header-only message would work just as well for the reminder function of the Backup Reminder Newsletter.
The past year has taught me that not only would I rather write about computers than try to fix them, there are things I’d rather write about than computers. I’m not a Real Geek and never will be. I’m not even a technical writer. From a business standpoint, it makes much more sense to focus my energy elsewhere, specifically my column on The Business of Writing (published on WomensRadio.com and republished in my Author-ized Articles blog) and my FileSlinger™ Favorites tips for independent professionals.
So I’m going to try a new approach to this e-zine: keep it short. I may experiment with making short posts to the blog during the week when I discover newsworthy items (such as the passage of the Data Retention act or the acquisition of LiveVault by Iron Mountain) and then collecting those into the e-zine. And I’m open to suggestions about what you’d like to see. Also, I especially like featuring real stories from readers and others, so if you have one, send it along!
And whether you read the e-zine or not—back up your data. This week’s nightmare tale is a top blogger’s loss of all her e-mail since August due to a server failure. (Guess who is looking for someone else to host her blog/website/mail server?) Don’t let it happen to you.