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Thursday, July 28, 2011

More on Missing Blogger Photos and Google+ (Update 2)

If you know anyone who uses a Blogger/Blogspot blog please forward this post to them before they join Google+. It is a follow up to two previous posts:

Synopsis of Problem: As more people join Google+ many bloggers who use the Blogger/Blogspot platform are inadvertently and irretrievably deleting all of their blog images from the Google+ interface. Some have been blogging for years and there is no feasible way for them to go back and re-add the hundreds or thousands of missing photos back into their blog. Especially if they didn't keep copies of their original image files.

If however you only changed your privacy settings from "Public" to "Limited" simply re-setting the album back to "Public" will make the images visible once again. You can do this from Google+ by clicking on the "Photos" link in the black tool bar at the top of your browser. Select the "Actions" then "Album Properties" and look for the visibility option in the lower left corner of the dialogue box. Re-set to "Public on the web."

Despite assurances from a Google Team Member in the "Recovering Deleted Photos" below that a warning was added to the Google+ end where users were seeing and deleting the albums, others have posted in other forums that even since the warning went into place they have not received it and deleted their albums without realizing the connection they had to their Blogger blogs.

Sources where I read about this problem include:


The Problem in Pictures



Here is a screenshot that clearly shows the problem. Look at the upper left corner. It shows the Google+ logo and some of the Picasa photo albums that contain my blog images. They showed up automatically when I joined Google+.



Now look at the upper left corner when I'm on Picasa. It shows the Picasa logo and the same photo albums.

Apparently, Google assumed viewers would know they were looking at their original photos being stored for their Blogger blog on both websites. The problem is, a lot of people didn't. In fact many thought the albums on Google+ were duplicates of their images on Picasa and deleted them, thus deleting all of the images forever as Picasa had no backup of the files that could be retrieved when the problem was discovered.

To add to the confusion a lot of Blogger bloggers did not, and some still don't, realize that Blogger stores their uploaded blog photos on Picasa.



In Picasa I did receive this dialogue box that alerts me that the Picasa and Google+ are somehow connected. But, some people are reading this box, thinking they don't want their photos shared with their Google+ friends sharing their photos in their circles:

"Albums you've shared can in turn be tagged and shared by others"

The way this line reads seems to remove all privacy options for the original owner of the photos. So, people started deleting the Picasa account or some of the albums not realizing that as they did they were irretrievably removing the photos from their Blogger blog.

Some users went to Picasa for the first time and saw duplicate images.

Also, unbeknownst to a lot of Blogger bloggers, when you use the built in photo uploader you can delete an uploaded image from a blog post but Picasa will continue to store that image until you go to Picasa and delete it from your photo album there. If you upload an image multiple times, this results in multiple copies of the image being stored.

After joining Google+ other users went to Picasa for the first time and saw duplicate images like the sample above. Not wanting to store unneeded photos and not seeing a way to delete individual images while on Google+ they begin deleting entire albums not realizing they were deleting all of the images from their Blogger blog.


The comments by those this has happened to are, especially for fellow bloggers, pretty heartbreaking. Imagine if I lost all of my photos from five years of blogging because I deleted my albums by accident. Ugh. Someone would have to come find me and console me. I can't even imagine how upset I would be.

I will continue to update on this topic until a fail-safe warning or retrieval system becomes available because I don't want to see this happen to any other Blogger bloggers out there.

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