Cloud Computing (evernote vs ringo)

I’ve written a little about the note-taking and organisaton tool, Evernote, before. It’s basically a note-taking tool that allows you to easily clip screen shots, bits of text, images etc. to an endless virtual roll of paper, easily searchable as well.

Well, recently Evernote announced a web-based version rather than the stand-alone desktop application I’ve been using up to now. Sounds promising, the browser is the application, right? Certainly nice if you’re moving around computers from work to home or out and about travelling and I love organizational tools like this.

Except…cloud computing is …well, vaporous! Your data exists on someone else’s server, in someone else’s business model. I pay $20 or so a year for a Flickr account and I back up all my photos there. I figure Yahoo might be a bit more strenuous about backing up their severs than I am, so that makes sense to me.

But what if Microsoft did buy Yahoo? What if they close Flickr down? Or combine it with another application somehow?  I’ve got a gmail account too, but I also back it up with Thunderbird every few weeks. I don’t expect Google to go away anytime soon, and it’s a bit old fashioned, but I like having access to my data on my hard drive, sometimes.

It came home again this week. A long while ago I joined up to an online photo service called Ringo. I never used it much, but which might explain what happened to it. The email from them this week said without much explanation: ‘As of June 30, 2008 the Ringo service is ending and you will no longer have access to your Ringo account’. Gone. A bit like Yahoo Photos just … went.

I love web 2.0 online applications; I track my reading (goodreads), my bike rides (mapmyride) , my Amazon wishlist, restaurants I’ve visited (meetmethere) and the music I listen to on my ipod (last.fm) But, I still don’t quite trust any of these things to be there forever.  Call me old-fashioned!

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