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Backups, upon backups, upon backups

August 6, 2009

If you’ve been in the Web game for any length of time now, you’ve hopefully got yourself established on more than one platform (re: your Web site). Reason being, things go wrong, and if you’re not in more than one place when they do, you may as well be invisible.

Just last weekend, KING5.com went kaput, but the newsroom had a savvy enough staff to resort to their blogging platform and handful of social media sites. Similar story with WSDOT last winter (which I blogged about previously).

Being prepared extends beyond just your site. Today, I’ll be helping behind the scenes on a local candidate forum that’s happening in Maple Valley. If we’re successful, this will be Sound Publishing’s first live broadcast. We’ve test run all the software, obviously, but just in case, we’ve got a few layers of backups. Here’s what it looks like:

  • If everything goes OK
    • Broadcasting live with Livestream
    • Updating with text, using Cover It Live
    • Recording with another camera (unlinked to the ‘Net), just in case
  • If Livestream fails
    • Recording on a separate camera and will post to pnwlocalnews.blip.tv
    • Updating with text, using Cover It Live
  • If wireless Internet fails
    • Recording on a separate camera and will post to pnwlocalnews.blip.tv
    • Updating to Cover It Live via Twitter/SMS
    • Have a guy (me) watching things remotely, who can get in touch via phone and post updates as necessary

While I’d love to say there’s nothing that can go wrong, I know better (thought I’m reasonably confident everything will go fine). “Hope for the best, plan for the worst,” right? Any time I’m headed into a live coverage situation, I always make sure we’ve got backups, upon backups, upon backups, until I get to the point that we end up back where we started and literally can’t back things up anymore.

Update: I had to open my stupid mouth (“…I’m reasonably confident everything will go fine”)—something wasn’t going right in Livestream yesterday, so it was a good thing we had so many backups. The Cover It Live wrap-up is available at the link.

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