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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Crisis resolved (and the virtues of back-up)
Our first day of vacation almost turned into a business crisis. We had planned our route to Israel with an overnight in Boston before transiting on Alitalia to Milan and Tel Aviv. Before leaving, I had set out the editorial content and advertising feature files, zipped them, and sent them to our production co-ordinator. But he hadn't looked at these files because of the surge in last-minute ads which kept him busy through the weekend.
Tonight, I was just about to turn off the computer (after spending a couple of hours resolving how to download our trip pictures), when he told me he was missing some files and stories. As it turned out, he was missing MOST of the critical content for our July issues. And, foolishly, I had failed to back up the files on my laptop.
Fortunately, I also have some human back-up, a good friend with a key to our house and its security password. I didn't expect to need his services; but tonight he came to the rescue, heading to my home office and retrieving the files. Phew. If this problem had been discovered 24 hours later we would have had major delays in our publications; if he wasn't there, we would have probably 'lost' the papers for a month!
Backup, backup, backup. I cannot express the importance of this too highly. If you don't have an organized backup system for your business -- both technical and human -- beware; you could be caught in an unresolvable crisis.
We got through this one okay. But it could have turned out very different, indeed.
P.S. Now that the comparatively minor camera problem is resolved, watch for images on; again I will use this blog only for stories and observations of business interest, so entries will be limited for the next month.

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