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The Yahoo House is on Fire, What Do We Grab First?
With Yahoo losing people left and right and nearly every media outfit calling them dead, I started to wonder about my data. The Flickr founders left earlier this week and tonight we’ve learned that delicious founder Joshua Schachter has also tendered his resignation (via Dave Sifry).
Now let me be clear that I don’t think Yahoo is closing shop by any stretch of the imagination but the question is a good one for any Web application or company to which we put data into. Certainly has made me think about the Web services I use from both big companies and startups and how often I need to backup the data. This is not about data portability, I am only discussing my data (photos, videos, text) not how other users interact with the data (comments, etc.).
There’s three main services I use on Yahoo: delicious, Flickr and Yahoo Mail. delicious offers an export function which I found easy to use. With regards to Flickr and Yahoo Mail, I was unable to find anyway to save out my entire collection of photos or mail. I’ve got nearly 3,700 photos on Flickr – no way I am saving these out one-by-one. And I was one of the first Yahoo Mail members and it’s still one of my primary email accounts even today. Please let me know if there are ways to export this data in batch form.
If you are building a Web service, have you considered offering an export function from the beginning? If not, why?
I think today we’ve learned another great lesson. How many horror stories have we heard from people who lost an entire hard drive filled with data. We’ve learned to backup our hard drives to external drives for safety. Perhaps we need to do a better job of backing up our Web services for safety as well. One has no idea when a Web service might not be there the next time you attempt to access it.