Nabaztag just deleted all your bunny messages.

Nabaztag Does not Respect Your Data

The other day I noticed that the hundreds of messages you guys had sent to me in the past few months through the Nabaztag bunny widget on my blog had disappeared. At first I thought that it was a problem with the Nabaztag web site, a visual glitch, surely they could not have deleted them? For a web application, deleting user's data without copious amounts of notice is tantamount to shooting yourself in the foot repeatedly while yelling, "Hey, look at how unbelievably stupid I am, I don't deserve to be in business!"

Unfortunately, deleting the messages is exactly what Nabaztag did.

Here's the first response they sent to my support email:

When they are not played again, archived messages are stored for a two months period. We will now extend this period to 6 months (and also explain this rule on the website).

We really do apologize for the inconvenience.

Firstly, this is not an inconvenience. An inconvenience is your site being down for a couple of hours. Deleting people's data without informing them is a very serious matter.

Furthermore, a great number of the messages that were deleted were less than two months old. So I emailed them again and received this response:

Ok, you were refering to messages sent through the API. These only have a lifetime of one day. I'm sorry, but we cannot provide more time for these messages as they can reach (as in your case) a huge volume.

I don't know which is worse, that they delete messages after one day without telling people or that they are so dumb as to save the MP3s of the messages instead of just the text. If they did the latter, they wouldn't have a storage issue. Instead, they choose to give fuck all respect to their user's data and delete their messages.

And, contrary to what their support department maintains, it has not always been this way. My archive had hundreds of messages and none of them were deleted until the whole lot was deleted in one go the other day. They just decided to implement this policy one day and delete people's messages without even the common courtesy of giving us any warning so we could back things up.

This sucks, Nabaztag. And yes, I'm angry.

Some of you put a lot of effort into sending my some amazing messages and I was looking forward to featuring the best ones on this blog. Now they're all lost.

Nabaztag, I strongly urge you to reverse this ridiculous policy and start respecting your user's data.

Until Nabaztag wakes up, if you're using the Nabaztag API or receiving messages on your Nabaztag that you care about preserving, either have the online interface email you (so you have a backup) or save the messages in your own database before making the API call.

I personally apologize from any of you who sent me bunny messages through my widget for not backing them up and safeguarding them better. Like a fool, I trusted Nabaztag. Unlike Nabaztag, I place a great deal of importance on your creativity, time, and effort, whether in leaving me a comment on my blog or sending me witty bunny messages to brighten up my day. (And I really loved some of the clever messages you guys sent to me over the past few months.)

Nabaztag may not be sorry, but I am.

Update: I got another email this morning and it looks like things are changing. Here's what it reads:

I think I have some good news for you.

**None of your messages have been deleted.**

They are all stored, not in your received messages, not in the archived one, but in your sent messages (when using the API, you're the one sending the messages). Go to the website in the 'Sent' tab and you should see them all.

In the future I would also recommend you to turn on the e-mail notification of messages, so that you have also a copy of your messages in your e-mail (oh wait, you already did this).

Well this is a relief. I'm not entirely certain but I don't believe they were there yesterday. I am definitely sure that that's not where they used to be so this is the result of some change at some point (they used to go in the Received messages and I could archive them, in which case they would appear under the archived messages.) In any case, I'm just happy to have my messages back and now I'm going to manually go through 476 pages of messages to copy them for safekeeping. Don't you want my job?

It would be great if Nabaztag could confirm what their latest policy is with regards to messages so that we know and can plan accordingly, especially when building applications that use the API. It is in their interests to keep the messages (as text, not MP3s) indefinitely as it will also mean that people use their web site instead of using other people's sites to manage their messages in the long term.

Update: Well, I just made it to page 30 of 476 and my arms are tired from all the copy and pasting from their web site into Numbers. Can we please have a feature to back up/export these messages? Even if it's just a single page that dumps them all at once so we can copy and paste. This is going to take hours otherwise.

Update: Looks like Nabaztag's support has come through in the end. Franck from the Nabaztag Infirmary just sent me an Excel file with all the messages from the API. Thanks -- that's saved me a few hours of copy and paste! :)