You Are Deletable

From Danah Boyd this cautionary tale of a fellow who hosted his entire life on Google, fell victim to a phishing scam, his account was misused, and four years of his life were summarily deleted. This reminded me of the actKM deletion event when it was hosted by Yahoo Groups (one member complained to Yahoo! that another member was violating his IP, and the legal boyos decided to keep life simple and removed 7 years worth of messages and 1500 email contacts without notice).

Lesson for me: own your content, and if you’re using a hosted (especially free) service, back everything up. Eg we love Google Calendar, but have an every-15 minute backup onto iCal.


2 Comments so far

Stephen Bounds

Yup, the first thing I look for in any Web 2.0 application is:  how hard is it to take a complete copy of my data?

90% of the time, it’s not possible without resorting to screen scraping or some other ugliness—a big reason why I’m loathe to recommend hosted apps to anyone I work for.

Google Mail still has its uses, though.  Any time I send a message, I automatically BCC it to my GMail account.  I’ll also send copies of significant documents to that account.  It’s a very cheap and easy offsite backup arrangement.

Posted on February 15, 2008 at 12:04 PM | Comment permalink

Amir Ahmad

Hi Patrick. Gotta agree with your points. Losing so much of your work and info can be a real pain.

Sorry to go off-topic but I just wanted to tell you that I’ve finally launched that “KM lifestyle” blog I told you about months ago. smile

Posted on February 18, 2008 at 01:29 PM | Comment permalink

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