marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Something [personal profile] geekinthegreen said about Geocities shutting down and not letting you access your data immediately made the shutting down of AOL Hometown in 2008 spring to mind for me. I can't imagine why, can you, but thinking of it made me want to read the Wiki on Hometown (I wouldn't have known there's a Wiki but for the fact I keep getting referrers in my stats from that page).

Perusing another external link on the Wiki, I came upon this guy, who quite hilariously explains why losing your data at some fickle website's whim ought to be against the law. While I hesitate to agree because *ahem, I won't drop any names* some content creators seem to want all their work to disappear forever (for privacy or copyright reasons or hell-if-I-know-whatever), I agree that a website shutting down or changing the range or type of service it offers (as Bravehost did) is no excuse to yank your data away from you and not let you have access to it ever again.

Today I was in the same boat as AOL Hometown users were over four years ago, which means NOTHING has changed in spite of Jason Scott's advocacy, except the name of the site responsible for the data-yank and the reason given for the yanking. Seriously, go read this and this and definitely check out this: good stuff, still as perfectly relevant today as it was four or five years ago, and makes my fight to get my files back from Bravehost seem like the right thing to do (which I wasn't sure about until I read all that JS had to say on the topic).

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Seems I can't catch a break anymore. My FTP hosting site, Bravehost, which has years worth of my CSS and theme layer files, will no longer let me near them because my FTP access was disabled for no good reason at all.

My letter to Bravenet

Text of the Support Request (filed in the Hosting/Renewal Issues category because FTP Support has likewise been disabled, making it impossible for me to get them to correct this error by any normal means):

Love Bravenet so much, but my free FTP account was disabled despite having a valid free website built at which was put together using SiteBuilder long before July was over.

Your FAQ on this topic says: "Your second option, if you want to stay with a free account, is to create your Free Website using our Bravesites website builder. [...] Bravesites will continue to be supported with a free level." Link to that statement is here:

I did exactly what that quote says, as explained in my first paragraph, so why was my FTP account disabled in spite of it? Could Bravenet please restore my FTP capabilities since disabling them appears to have been a mistake? Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

In the meantime I can't find another website that will, like Bravenet, allow both direct file manager access and publicly shareable links to HTML files without, you know, paying a monthly fee, which I'm really not in a position to do right now. Bravenet is also storing the only copies I have of any of those files. I don't have them backed up on my computer or on any USBs or discs, so without FTP access, I will never see them again.

Update, next day: This is not going well. I'm already wondering if getting the BBB involved might help, since Bravesites is flagrantly breaking their promise to do what they said they'd do. I created my free Bravesite like four or five weeks ago, the first time I saw the notice about it, and obviously well before July was over. There's just no excuse for them to disable my FTP access when I did exactly what they said I must do to not lose it.

Update, later on next day: I'm not sure what did it...maybe the response where I said in part, "I don't upload warez or whatever it is you guys are all twisted in a knot about, I just upload little text and CSS files, perfectly small and harmless things, and you're going to treat me like I'm the rest of the riff-raff you're after? Seriously?", which yes, I said after I finally lost my patience with them, but at any rate, I have a Pro Account on Bravenet now - for free - for the next two days, and I figured out how to transfer my already-uploaded files to Bravesites for public viewing, so everything's OK now - and thank God, because that was driving me nuts.