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Girt By Sea

It's right there, in the opening verse of Advance Australia Fair so it must be true.

Life on-line: What if it all goes pear shaped?

With the gold rush from developers and start-ups to get twendy new "Web 2.0" sites up and running offering up everything from free online storage to free calendaring services I am a little concerned about what happens to my information once one of these services goes belly-up ... and it's started already.

My desktop (Netvibes) isn't really a problem as it's merely a collection of RSS/iCal feeds augmented with a few specific modules feeding from Flickr, del.icio.us. I do use their notes so might have to think about having a back-up of them somewhere.

My biggest worries are the two main content holders, Flickr for the photos and Writely for the documents ... oh, and Blogger I s'pose for my "diary". I feel quite comfortable that these services will be around and available for quite some time as they're owned by Yahoo! or Google. I should include the spreadsheets (iRows) but to be honest I'm not sure I'd miss them ... just not a numbers sort of guy!

Calendar and ToDo lists (30 Boxes and Remember the Milk), hmm ... not sure what I'd lose really. The ToDo list can go and I'd re-write them on a piece of paper, just not a biggie. The calendar would be a pain especially things like anniversary's and birthday's AND the rugby and World Cup calendars! I would survive though.

What else ... email/chat (Gmail), well I'd be stuffed to be honest! It's my main communication method and the one service that I "use" as opposed to "have stuff stored on".

Instant Messenging (meebo) - I would resort to using the native versions of MSN and Yahoo! which would seem like a retro step but I'd probably not even notice it after a week.

All in all then my biggest fear is totally centered around the biggest content holders (Flickr and Writely) and my one main web service, email (Gmail). If these services disappeared for whatever reason then I would loose a lifetime's work ... and so, me next mission (alongside discovering a way to have a central store of contact details shareable around the the apps) is to see how I can negate the risk ... backups!

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