Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friendster to erase older content; a warning about "somebody else's free service"

A story by Jenna Wortham in the Business Day of the New York Times Wednesday (April 27) reminds us of the risk in relying on “free services” to preserve content. Friendster, an “earlier” social networking service pre-Facebook, will erase early posts and old photos, in a story (subscription) here .

There have been other “erasures” (a term Clive Barker used liberally in one of his famous novels).  AOL cut the plug on its Hometown AOL publishing, although users were given a facility to move content to Blogger.  And Yahoo!’s GeoCities is no longer around; in the early days (before 2000), many smaller organizations used GeoCities for free sites. 

It’s still best to save your data (and postings and pictures and videos) yourself, in the Cloud, or, better still, on a flash drive – more than one, with a copy kept in your safe deposit box if you travel a lot.  If you have more than one laptop, keep multiple copies of your stuff. 

The trick, however, is to figure out how to keep your presence effectively deployed if Internet business conditions change, which is possible in a future “do not track” environment.  If you are a publisher, know your content and your own goals. 

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