How many of you live in fear of the day when your favorite media sharing service, be it a blog or a photo or video site, sends out the dreaded "Download your crap before Tuesday because we're shutting down" message?
With monetization of many sites proving somewhat difficult, its only a matter of time before more of them go belly up.
Or what if it's not a belly up--but just a fuckup. You think your photos are safe at Yahoo? Given all the upheaval and turnover at Yahoo!, Flickr is nothing short of a PR nightmare waiting to happen.
"All your photos are gone. Ooops!"
I feel the same way about Typepad. It's pretty hard to replace nearly five years of blogposts, and I'm sure there's probably some way I can export them every so often, but that's a pain.
The major flaw is built into the hosted web services model--the hosting is always tied into the service. I recently rediscovered the awesome editing ability of the Motionbox service--but do I trust they'll be around forever and be a safe place to keep my stuff? Not so much--and that's the hurdle that a lot of these startups face. People aren't willing to trust their valuable bits to an unprofitable startup. Enterprise startups face the same issue, with corporate CIO's telling companies "Sure I'd like to roll you out across the company, but what happens if you guys don't make it."
I'd like to see more companies start reselling me storage at Amazon. I trust that Amazon, tied to a boring old e-commerce cash cow, will be around. I'd be more willing to try new media sharing services if I knew that they were all just a layer on top of my existing choice of cloud storage.
As an alternative, how about a service that backs up all of my online media to Amazon automatically. We already have Mozy for desktop docs, but more and more of our lives are going online.
As it turns out, my friend Rob May is building just that--Lifestream Backup. The service isn't live yet, but it will be soon. So if you're concerned about your Flickr photos, Facebook shots, videos, blogposts, etc... Check out their quick survey and sign up to get notified when they're live.