Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Google and Twitter could screw up your life, here’s how to protect yourself

Photo by Lee Otis

Photo by Lee Otis

I’m scared. There, it feels better now that I’ve said it. I’m scared, because I’ve come to the realization that I depend way too much on third parties to manage everything I do. In just over a week two things have happened to me that have me freaking out.

1. I was wrongly suspended from my Twitter account for two days.

There’s no way to export your followers and folks you’re following on Twitter. So, if Twitter locks you out or suddenly goes down, how can you stay connected with those people? When Twitter suspended my account, I posted here comparing the feeling with suddenly losing access to your email. Imagine being locked out of your email account with no reason?

2. Gmail was down.

I depend heavily on Google for Gmail (among other things). I have around ten Gmail accounts that I use daily. Without access to my friends, family, clients and potential employers I am left in the dark. I need my email! This week Gmail went down for a while, long enough to make me panic.

Here’s two ways I’ve decided to protect myself.

1. I’m gradually moving my friends on Twitter over to Identi.ca. I still intend to use Twitter, but the potential of Identi.ca is incredible. People can follow me on the opensource, microblogging, Federated network, the network acts similarly to Twitter. The big difference in the two is that Indenti.ca can be hosted locally as well. So, I can start my own channel with friends on Identi.ca. I can host the channel on my own server, which means I can protect and backup the conversations and contact details.

Laconi.ca is the code that powers Identi.ca and is something anybody interested in microblogging (and online communication in general) should familiarize yourself with. Jay Ridgeway wrote how to create your own microblog in 7 steps on his blog. Jay writes that, Laconi.ca supports federation, allowing for subscriptions to microblog feeds on different domains. You should also check out Louis Gray’s awesome post about this.

2. Yes, I hate Outlook as much as the next person, however I plan to use it to back up my Gmail. I could use my MacBook for this too, but my PC tower at home should do the trick. I haven’t set this up yet, but it should be relatively easy to do. Try following these directions to do this yourself: http://www.emailaddressmanager.com/tips/outlook-gmail.html or http://lifehacker.com/software/email-apps/using-gmail-imap-in-microsoft-outlook-2007-318140.php. You should also export your contacts from Gmail to have a backup.

I love the concept of cloud computing, but going local makes sense too. On the note of backing things up, you should back up your photos right now. I back up to an external hard drive often, then I bring it with us when we travel. If your house gets robbed the thief will likely steal your computer. In the good ole days I doubt they would have stolen your photo albums.

Photos are irreplaceable, unless you back them up to a third party service, but what if that service goes down? :-) Do you see where I’m going with this?

Dave

http://www.davemadethat.com

View more posts from this author
  • Funnily enough, I sort of back up my photos TO Flickr, at least some important ones. I had originally put them on a dedicated external hard drive. Then one day I had the great idea of defragging said external drive, and the drive's table of contents got fried, rendering the drive useless, along with 4 years of photos.

    They're still there, I've seen them when I slaved it to a Linux setup, but was unable to do anything thanks to the NTFS partition of the drive. So it sits here on my desk, waiting for the day I find a utility that allows for proper recovery.

    So it can go both ways. The Cloud can also be used for backups. Mozy.com is one service that seems reputable.

  • Thanks for the Outlook/Gmail links. Since this week's outage I've realized that I need to do the same in the way of backup.

    I do backup everything to my external hard-drive (mostly I was concerned about my massive music library). But you are right, thieves would be likely to take the whole kit and caboodle. Then again, the way my poor puter is wired around everything it may be more of a pain. Having a desktop can have its advantages!

    The one thing that is most important to me, however, is my writing, which I back up on USB, Google docs and two computers. I take the password protected USB with me everywhere I go. But I hadn't thought about those pictures…it is true. Getting those back would be hard to do.

  • Thunderbird is another great option for backing up your gmail account … and it's FREE and multi-platform. Here's a How-To article on backing up from gmail to thunderbird: http://email.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_back_up_Gmai

    As for Twitter … I'm not super worried about being locked out of my account. In fact, it would probably be GOOD for me to spend less time on Twitter/Plurk/Pownce. :-)

  • Thanks Crystal. I have two small kids, so the family photos are so important
    to me. That's my main concern. It sounds like you're doing a great job
    keeping most of your content backed up though. Good luck.

  • Thanks for the tip on Thunderbird.
    LOL! I know the feeling about microblogging. I have a tendency to drop in
    from time to time :-)

    Cheers.

  • My problem with Flickr is that (to my knowledge) you can't download more
    than one photo at a time. Can you? So, how can you be sure your photos will
    be safe there forever? Remember, it is Yahoo :-)

    Mozy sounds pretty cool. I'll have to check it out.
    Great to hear from you Tim! How's the family?

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • Thanks for the Outlook/Gmail links. Since this week's outage I've realized that I need to do the same in the way of backup.

    I do backup everything to my external hard-drive (mostly I was concerned about my massive music library). But you are right, thieves would be likely to take the whole kit and caboodle. Then again, the way my poor puter is wired around everything it may be more of a pain. Having a desktop can have its advantages!

    The one thing that is most important to me, however, is my writing, which I back up on USB, Google docs and two computers. I take the password protected USB with me everywhere I go. But I hadn't thought about those pictures…it is true. Getting those back would be hard to do.

  • Thunderbird is another great option for backing up your gmail account … and it's FREE and multi-platform. Here's a How-To article on backing up from gmail to thunderbird: http://email.wikia.com/wiki/How_to_back_up_Gmai

    As for Twitter … I'm not super worried about being locked out of my account. In fact, it would probably be GOOD for me to spend less time on Twitter/Plurk/Pownce. :-)

  • Thanks Crystal. I have two small kids, so the family photos are so important
    to me. That's my main concern. It sounds like you're doing a great job
    keeping most of your content backed up though. Good luck.

  • Thanks for the tip on Thunderbird.
    LOL! I know the feeling about microblogging. I have a tendency to drop in
    from time to time :-)

    Cheers.

  • My problem with Flickr is that (to my knowledge) you can't download more
    than one photo at a time. Can you? So, how can you be sure your photos will
    be safe there forever? Remember, it is Yahoo :-)

    Mozy sounds pretty cool. I'll have to check it out.
    Great to hear from you Tim! How's the family?

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    – Dave

    Dave Delaney
    Social Media Coordinator at Griffin Technology
    Greater Nashville Area

    Confirm that you know Dave Delaney: https://www.linkedin.com/e/rmcde7-guhp0k8m-1f/isd/4770049554/4yoFF9EZ/?hs=false&tok=1k_knh32i5LAY1

    You are receiving Invitation to Connect emails. Click to unsubscribe: http://www.linkedin.com/e/rmcde7-guhp0k8m-1f/hvqRr_Y9jg5g7Z3lI-v1V-utDvRZCVfqTs4iv8Y51uOYpjvHMHnr/goo/notifications-APRN8F05JH%40disqus%2Enet/20061/I1658479553_1/?hs=false&tok=2cruCQl7O5LAY1
    (c) 2011 LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

  • I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    – Dave

    Dave Delaney
    Social Media Coordinator at Griffin Technology
    Greater Nashville Area

    Confirm that you know Dave Delaney: https://www.linkedin.com/e/-7yhnab-guhp0kiu-34/isd/4770049609/p8eSl_z7/?hs=false&tok=0Uh_6qzWq5LAY1

    You are receiving Invitation to Connect emails. Click to unsubscribe: http://www.linkedin.com/e/-7yhnab-guhp0kiu-34/oT3hcOLpd7NZb4FAnJ0gDrD3ALcNcNtwHSAoBcLmuSGIxuYX8qgS/goo/notifications-QBEC86TQO3%40disqus%2Enet/20061/I1658479567_1/?hs=false&tok=0RNylALTu5LAY1
    (c) 2011 LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

  • I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

    – Dave

    Dave Delaney
    Social Media Coordinator at Griffin Technology
    Greater Nashville Area

    Confirm that you know Dave Delaney: https://www.linkedin.com/e/-pim3ik-guhp0l3s-5g/isd/4770049571/etjQ6wjr/?hs=false&tok=1o1g9TcvC5LAY1

    You are receiving Invitation to Connect emails. Click to unsubscribe: http://www.linkedin.com/e/-pim3ik-guhp0l3s-5g/yJ1pfCDylas4EivGby2B4VMCWhtq0epoSpCOQMDQNWtM3ay5Mxfw/goo/notifications-YIDP07V8D6%40disqus%2Enet/20061/I1658479603_1/?hs=false&tok=1i3aDPL6e5LAY1
    (c) 2011 LinkedIn Corporation. 2029 Stierlin Ct, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.