Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today's Database Deadpool Entries

No, this blog is NOT going to morph into DatabaseDeadpool.com... you're welcome to register that domain if you want. Or this one.

But, when another data-based organization goes off the air because of problems with the data, it rings a bell. The point is not whether the organization is big or small, commercial or volunteer, traditional or Web 2.0, the point is the data is important to someone.

And the question is, if you are the one managing that data, are you protecting it?

The answer in some cases is "apparently not".

Today, BikeReg.com ...

Here's the email about BikeReg.com from the president of Pioneer Registration Services:
From: BikeReg.com Support
Date: Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 8:17 PM
Subject: BikeReg.com Status

On February 21, BikeReg.com suffered a severe hardware failure. Due to this there was some data loss. There was not an issue of security, just loss of data.

We have recovered a large amount of the data at this point. In order to verify our data recovery, we are asking for your help. If you have registered for an event in February please forward us a copy of your confirmation receipt. This will allow us to double check that you are properly registered for your event. If we need additional information for confirming your registration we will be in contact.

If you do not have a confirmation email available, please send along:

Event Name
Category Registered
Your Name
Your email used during registration

Please do not reply with sensitive payment information.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.

-Steve Roszko-
President / CEO

Pioneer Registration Services, LLC
Sport Specific Online Event Registration Services
BikeReg.com | SkiReg.com | RunReg.com
AthleteReg.com | PioneerReg.com
Sounds a bit like Ma.gnolia.com, doesn't it? Not quite as severe (Ma.gnolia's recovery attempt failed), but as with Ma.gnolia the end users of BikeReg.com are being asked to help.
(Whaddaya think? Would that approach work with YOUR customers?)
It looks like the parent company is still on the air, but all four of the sites it manages are not:

BikeReg.com has been off the air long enough to pollute Google's cache:

So, let me ask the two big questions: (1) does Pioneer use a database? and (2) do they back it up? The evidence seems to indicate "apparently not".

How about you?

... tomorrow, Wikipedia?

In this article Are We Safeguarding Social Data? the author talked to Ed Chi, a senior research scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC):
Chi also suggested that Wikipedia's data is not getting backed up as often as it should be. Losing data from Ma.gnolia is a personal loss for many, but Wikipedia is one of the great achievements of the digital age, and losing even a day's worth of edits would be significant. We can't afford to lose sight of the basic upkeep that will allow us to hold on to what we create.

Losing a large volume of socially created data would be a cultural loss. Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, WordPress, etc. store troves of data that will be valuable to future generations. I hope the data is being treated accordingly.

1 comment:

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