Blog | Kilburnlad My 'Kilburnlad in Retirement' blog has closed
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My 'Kilburnlad in Retirement' blog has closed

In 2008, when I retired, I started a blog on the Blogger platform. It was to be a record of what I got up to with my new-found freedom. At one point it became very eclectic but over time it ended up being almost entirely dedicated to film reviews. In October 2016 I decided to stop posting to it, and I migrated the film reviews to this site, where my fishing diary had moved previously, and where my more recent golf diary is based. Put simply, was to become my web presence.

I left the Blogger site frozen at October 2016 but did set up some feeds from this site, namely this blog, the fishing and golf diaries, and the film reviews. I was reluctant to delete the Retirement blog as it contained some nostalgic posts, and that's how things have remained. But the time has now come to say goodbye to what is now a little-viewed blog. To ease my 'loss' I researched the possibility of archiving the content. Blogger allows you to download a backup in the form of an XML file, but in its raw form it's quite intractable. I looked to see if there was any way to open the file in a viewable form, but drew a blank. But there were other options.

One was to use a site called BlogBooker. It offers a free plan that is limited to six months' posts for the creation of a Word document, or a year for a PDF. I gave it a try and it certainly worked, albeit I only had six months of what was an eight-year blog. So I took the plunge and bought the Standard Plan, which gives me high quality images, an unlimited posts range, up to 12 'books' and 120 minutes of processing time. I have one year to use these credits. The cost, £21.90.


I probably could have managed with the Basic Plan, certainly in terms of the credits offered (4 books; 30 minutes; 6 months; £13.90), although the images would then be medium quality. I've downloaded both a Word version and a PDF version of my blog, using two of my book allowances and 18 minutes of processing time. The Word version is actually delivered as one book for each year, in my case nine documents. In Word, embedded links are maintained, as are the images. However, embedded videos are absent, for obvious reasons (see later text). There is also no indexing of the posts. The PDF version provides a full contents listing with active links to each post. It's also formatted with a gutter ready for use as a book. Links are no longer embedded but appear as footnotes to each post. Images are again maintained whereas embedded videos are marked as [EMBED]. Comments are carried across and shown after the relevant post in both the Word and PDF version.

So what about the embedded videos? Well, for this you need to turn to Google Takeout. This facility allows anybody with a Google account to download their data from a wide range of Google products, and in the case of Blogger this provides the embedded videos. It also provides other data, such as comments, profile, followers and settings, although these are a mixture of .atom and .csv files, which are of questionable use.

If you really do want to make a book from your blog, then the Word format would certainly require a bit of work to tidy up the presentation, but being in Word it obviously allows you free rein to do what you want. The PDF formatting is generally much better, in fact quite acceptable considering the amount of data and images that have been processed to produce the document. But having said this, I doubt you would want to go straight to a book from the default document. My PDF version runs to 2208 pages!

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