I wrote about the importance of owning your data for blogging a while back and last week’s Twitter crash coupled with the demise of an URL shortener only reinforce that in my mind. The case of tr.im may not be so obvious to some, but whenever you use a URL shortener, that connection gets stored in the cloud and if the service goes down, you won’t be able to trace back the link. This is a real problem on Twitter where everyone uses URL shorteners and that’s why I write up Friday’s Finds with real links.
The main issue is the increasing use of software as a service (SaaS) which is simple, easy and out of your control. SaaS provides ease of use to many of us, but in return we become dependent on that service provider, much as we do with proprietary software.
Anyone who uses social media for professional purposes should know what SaaS they are using and think about a backup plan.
- Blog: hosted on an independent server, with tape backup, using open source software (WordPress)
- Facebook: no backup, but nothing worth losing, IMO
- LinkedIn: contact information copied to Hard Drive
- Twitter: Weekly synthesis of important posts put on my Blog with ‘Friday’s Finds‘
- Flickr: original photos on Hard Drive
- Slideshare: copy of presentation on Hard Drive
- Delicious: OPML file downloaded monthly
PS: I also backup my Hard Drive