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Fast Backup of Blog Acticles

Introduction
Many blogs and web pages have recommendations about how one can backup the articles in a blog. Many methods or software recommended are either time consuming to use, requiring registration/payment or not user friendly. This article will introduce one other method that one can use to backup thousands of articles in just mere minutes instead of hours.

How?
By using the Excel Spreadsheet's XML capability to read the RSS feed. Note that version earlier than Excel 2002 does not have this XML capability.

What is RSS Feed and What is XML Language?
RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a file format that one can send updated articles quickly to the Readers;
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a general-purpose computer language to facilitate the sharing of structured data across different information systems; for example, the Internet. It is often the language specified in RSS feed.

How Does it Compare?
This method can store thousands of articles in mere minutes instead of hours, limited only by memory and harddisk space.

What are the Other Limitations?
This method can store only html of the articles, the various links and other statistics. It does not store the images. The other limitation is that it may truncate any article that is more than 4,000 words or 19,000 characters or roughly about 12 pages per article (Excel 2003 and 2007 can actually store up to 32,000 characters in a single cell if spaces are included). Also, this method will back up only the published articles.

Why?
Because this method makes use of MICROSOFT EXCEL as a RSS reader and EXCEL does not recognize image feed; also, it has limits on the number of characters that each Excel cell can hold.

What is the Workaround?
One can use other software, such as "HTTrack Web Copier" to backup the blog once in a while. The author tried HTTrack. This program took him about 40 minutes and used about 50 MB of space to backup all the 33 articles in his blog; on the hand, the new method took him less than 5 seconds and about 600 KB of disk space.

Preparation
One would need the following :
a) A copy of Microsoft Excel installed in the computer;
b) A harddisk space of not less 500 KB for about 33 articles;

Things to do Next
1. To Backup the Blog
a) Start Internet and enter the following in the address:
http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/full?max-results=10000;
Replace yourblogname with your real blog name.
b) Click “go” and one would be greeted by the usual file download screen.


Save the “full” file to a folder that you can remember; the file will be completed in seconds.

2. To Restore Blog Articles
a) Start Excel. In the File Menu, open the “full” file and one would be asked if one wants to load this file “as an XML list”, click ok;



b) after that, Excel will load up the following screen that contain all the articles for the blog;
c) Look for a column that list the “Content” or “Description” of the blog; such as the one showed in solid square.


d) Check to make sure that it contains the necessary HTML language. Try to copy the entire content in the Excel Cell of the article that one is prepare to restore;
e) Goto the blog, paste this content in the blog's HTML Editor for the article. If the reference images and the website addresses are intact and valid, they will be restore automatically as if they were original copy of the article in the blog.

Process Automation
1. The Author has a little Excel Program to automate the process of downloading the RSS feed of the blog into the an Excel file called Blogback.xls.
2. Download this "Blogback" program which is only 185 KB into a folder. Doubleclick the program in the file menu of folder will show a screen to "Enable/disable the macro". Enabling the macro will start "Blogback" that will allow users to maintain 3 blog sites.

Note 1: The computer must have Microsoft Excel Installed.
Note 2: Users are free to examine and modify the source code which is available for view by selecting Tool/Macro/Visual Basic Editor in the Excel Sheet. It should contain no viruses/spywares.
Note 3: The Author only tested this method in Microsoft Excel 2003. "Blogback" should also work in earlier versions if they support the imports of XML files.


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