Scorching in the IT Kitchen

If you cast your mind waaay back, you’ll remember the IT Kitchen group effort we had at the end of last year. It was an interesting experiment–open up a weblog and a wiki to edit access by any person who came in off the street, and see what happens.

Well, like all new things it had its up and downs, not the least of them was my own fussing and hovering. But the real killer came after the Kitchen had been quiet for some time.

The Wiki was hit — hard– to the point where I didn’t even know how to recover it. The weblog, which had been relatively untouched for the longest period of time was also hit badly: in comments, trackback, and people coming in through the open doorway I provided. It got to the point that the only access to IT Kitchen was from spammers.

I ended up making a backup of the database and then closing the account. I wasn’t sure about putting it back up again, but I figured I would after a couple of months passed and the spammers hopefully had lost the address. Not the wiki — I won’t do a public wiki ever again. But a closed version of the weblog, in Wordform, so people’s links wouldn’t break.

Unfortunately, the CD I had burned of the backup ended up corrupted, and I couldn’t restore the database. The hosting company is great about backups, but not to an account that’s closed. Even then, if I had checked with them a few weeks back, they probably would have still had the backup.

There’s not much I can do to restore the entries at Kitchen, but luckily, some are still accessible through The Wayback Machine. I had hoped I would be able to also recover from Bloglines, but it looks like this service only goes back to January (or most recent 100 entries, whichever comes first).

If you do have an entry at the site you want to recover, now is the time to do it. And if anyone happens to have an aggregation of all the original entries, I sure would love a copy because I could re-build the weblog from this.

Lesson Two learned: One backup is not enough.

Lesson One learned: wikis updated by the general public only work if there’s enough people interested in helping to maintain it to offset the spammers, trolls, and script kiddies. In other words, the only viable public wiki is Wikipedia.

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