Cloud Computing is Dangerous when You don’t Own the Cloud

February 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Cloud computing is dangerous when you don’t own the cloud. I learned that lesson again this week when Facebook removed the MrExcel.com page at Facebook. Gone are hundreds of Excel Q&A posts. Gone are event notices. Gone are the 2000+ fans who would be notified when I posted there.

Go to Bing or Google and start typing “Facebook removed”. They will suggest the most popular search phrases. Two of the top five suggestions are “Facebook removed my business page” and “Facebook removed my Fan Page”.  Here are a smattering of the first of 87 million results for “Facebook removed my business page”.

FacebookRemovedMyBusinessPage

 

As I read through a few of those angry posts, most people received a cryptic warning via e-mail telling them why their page was deleted. No such luck in my case, the page is simply gone. Maybe I did not spend enough on Facebook Ads. Maybe an unhappy staffer is hacked off that we didn’t solve his problem at the MrExcel.com message board. Maybe they simply hate Excel. Fans of Mike Girvin might recall when Facebook removed his ExcelisFun page at Facebook, wiping out 2000 videos he had posted. Luckily, all of those videos also reside elsewhere.

I know the page was there on Sunday, January 26, 2014 when I re-tooled the left navigation bar at MrExcel.com:

ThePageWasThere

 

That link… https://www.facebook.com/pages/MrExcelcom/23311773565 was working that day because I tested it.

I started MrExcel.com in 1998. Originally, everything was posted on the server that I own. As the Internet morphed, I started doing more posting outside of MrExcel – videos at Libsyn, videos at YouTube, blog posts at WordPress, article links at LinkedIn, some Q&A at Facebook. In retrospect, I was lazy. It was easier to let Facebook worry about Responsive Design rather than me having to buy a new book to figure out CSS, JavaScript, or jQuery.

Today, there are 747,000 pages hosted on the MrExcel.com server. I have 259,000 registered members. The content lost when Facebook deleted the MrExcel.com Facebook  page is tiny. I am not here to cry because Facebook capriciously wiped out a few hundred Q&A and 2000 fans. Yes, I feel bad any time any good Excel content gets deleted from anywhere. People took their valuable time to answer the Q&A, often with great answers, and Facebook deleted it all without warning. But that’s the danger when you are trusting someone else to host your content. Facebook owns those servers, not me, and it is their call what is worthy of staying and what is worthy of being deleted.

We’ve been slowly moving content back to the MrExcel servers. This blog you are reading is a collection of posts that were originally posted at Blogger or external WordPress sites and is now back on a server that I control. Microsoft might decide to prune the older posts at their Answers message board, but at MrExcel.com, I am intent on keeping every post, going back to archives of the very first message posted in 1999. We are working on a site reorganization, and this tiny hiccup with Facebook wiping out my page has reminded me to pay extra attention throughout the website reorg to make sure the old content does not get lost.

If you look through a few of those 87 million results for “Facebook Removed my Business Page”, there are some stories where the page was returned. If you’ve read this far, can you spend two more minutes to help carry out the suggestions provided by others who have met the same fate?

Steps to Report a Facebook Business Page is Missing

1. Copy this URL to the clipboard. You will need it in step 2:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/MrExcelcom/23311773565

2. Go to the Report An Issue with Facebook Pages site:
https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/164405897002583?rdrhc

Paste in the URL from step 1 and a short comment asking why the page is missing.

ReportAnIssue

 

From now on, when I walk into a small business and see the sign “Will you Like Us on Facebook”, I will cringe, knowing that the small business is trusting a third party with whom they have no relationship to host their content and maintain their customer list. All of that can be lost in a moment when Facebook decides to prune.

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Entry filed under: Administrivia. Tags: , , .

This blog has moved Watching a Morpheus Lander Free Flight at KSC

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