I don’t trust the cloud
Saturday, August 15th, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Since StixCampNewstead I have been meaning to write a post about trusting the cloud. I did start it, but it turned into quite a long and detailed post that I never got around to completing.
It seems that every couple of weeks that something happens to compromise user data. A couple that I noted were Ma.gnolia losing their database, Bloglines being neglected after being sold, Google dropping services, Kodak chaning their terms of service, and one of the many examples of Facebook privacy issues. The one prompting this post is the recent (now reversed) decision to shutdown tr.im (a URL shortening service).
I don’t use URL shortening services very often, partly because I haven’t needed to and partly because I also don’t agree with them, but this type of action by tr.im has made me decided to setup my own. I’ll probably use one of the WordPress plugins, but Lifehacker has an article with other options.
I have all sorts of data that ranges from private data I need to keep (emails, document, financial records) to public data that I don’t care about (dents and tweets). In between is data that I care about, both private (family photos) and public (photos for competitions or that I have up on Flickr).
I have two rules:
- If the data is private I try to store it at home (with appropriate backups) instead of on a remote service.
- If I care about the data I make sure that it is stored at home, or if stored in the cloud I have a backup.
The first rule is why I still run my own IMAP server instead of shifting it out of the country to Google or similar. The second rule is why I still have all the originals for my photos that are on Flickr and why I have nightly cron jobs to backup this site, my delicious bookmarks, etc.
My data aside, it is interesting to see what othes are doing, and not just for their own data, but for others. One great example of this is the Archiveteam which is keeping track of services that are going down, but also steps in to try to preserve their data, as is happening with Geocities. Archiveteam is run by Jason Scott, creator of BBS: The Documentary. His blog post FUCK THE CLOUD prompted quite a reaction and now, six months later, it is still getting comments.
It isn’t just your own data that you should care about, but also any data that you rely on.