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Who Owns Your Hosted Data Destiny?

Delicious’ Future is DEAD!!! Uncertain

As you probably have heard, an internal strategy slide from Yahoo was made public over everyone’s favorite secret-killer, Twitter. It basically showed social bookmarking site Delicious listed under a “Sunsetting” heading which many assumed to mean that Yahoo was killing off Delicous. The leaked photo immediately caused an uproar on Twitter. Many people use Delicious (some fervently) and within hours there was a popular #savedelicious hashtag, a mad rush to export Delicious bookmarks and a ticked off Yahoo looking for the person who leaked the slide. Yahoo eventually said that they weren’t going to outright kill Delicious, but were rather looking for someone to take over the property. Exhale.

What Happens to Your Data?

Let this be a slap in the face to us all. What would have happened if Yahoo had really pulled the plug on Delicious as quickly as everyone was freaking out it was? What would have happened to all of your bookmarks?

“Well, Matt, the answer is simple,” you would say. “I always, before I commit to any hosted data storage commit to a backup and export strategy so that I have full ownership of my data. My bookmarks would have been safe. Duh! Jeez, what do you think I am, an idiot?”

Or, this is what you would say, ideally. The truth is that the vast vast majority of us have no Plan B when it comes to managing our hosted data. If something goes wrong and a hosted site accidentally (or not accidentally) wipes our data, we’re screwed. When someone tells us to back up our data, we all nod our heads and say “yes. YES! You speak the TRUTH!” and then consider putting it on our to-do lists next to “Watch Dog’s hair grow” and “Measure driveway’s loss of height due to erosion.”

Losing Hosted Data is Terrifying

All it takes is one failed server and all of your data is gone. Not just momentarily unavailable but gone. Think of all the places on the internet that host your data. Gmail, Bloglines, Delicious, Twitter… Now think of all the places your organization stores data. Google Analytics, Constant Contact, Netvibes, WordPress, Basecamp… It starts to be a little scary how much info is up there.

Put Together a Back Up Plan! Then Back That Up Too…

Having a clear backup strategy for your organization and yourself puts you back in control of what we like to call your “data destiny.”

A quick Back Up Plan includes:

  • A list of properties that have hosted data
  • What data to export (if other than “everything”)
  • How to export the data (.csv file? straight download? copy and paste?)
  • Where to export it to
  • How often to export the data (monthly? weekly? yearly?)
  • Whose responsibility is it to make sure exports are kept current

To the right, I’ve embedded our (needs javascript so please click through to actual post RSS Reader readers 🙂 social media backup toolbox to get you started. Check out these links and share your thoughts about backing up, hosted data and Delicious in the comments below!

Links for Taking Control of Your Data Destiny

What’s your organizational back-up strategy?


1 Comment to Who Owns Your Hosted Data Destiny?

  1. December 28, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe Delicious will not be closed. It’s still a titbit service with lots of followers.

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