Jim Cloudman

So long, Tumblr

September 13, 2015 Permalink

A word of advice to anyone using two factor authentication: when switching devices, test out the authentication before giving up your old device. Because I didn’t, I’m only able to post to this blog on my phone, and only until it next asks for authentication.

I’m not sure how things got messed up so badly. 1Password’s 2FA feature means you should be able to sync the same authentication between devices without reconfiguring it, so my money’s on Tumblr losing the configuration when I changed my phone number. I saw nothing to indicate this when I changed it, but I can’t say for sure that I didn’t miss something. 1Password could be the culprit too, but I had no trouble with other platforms using 2FA with it. Google, Dropbox & Microsoft accounts all work fine.

Tumblr’s support offered an option to verify my identity, but it required a picture of me to be on my blog, and I’ve never taken a self-portrait that I thought good enough to post. They then told me there was nothing they could do, so that’s it, sadly. My fault, I know, but this is going to be a rough transition.

The biggest problem is that I have no backup of my blog. I know Marco Arment wrote a backup utility for OS X, but I haven’t had a Mac in years - I have one now, but it came too late to help. That means I either have to lose the last six years of posts, or when creating a new blog somehow redirect old links to the old Tumblr pages to keep them alive. That’ll take custom programming, which I can do, but that’s not going to be ready quickly.

Finally, don’t let this dissuade you from using 2FA for your site; it’s a very powerful security feature that you should take advantage of. Just be careful when migrating to a new device.