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Last modified on November 14, 2010
Cloud storage for the most has its advantages. As well as its disadvantages. It's not the end-user's fault for the majority of the disadvantages, though they can be easily improved with a little effort.
I've been thinking more and more about Diaspora's approach to social networking, and even though it's still barely a launch off the ground, I still appreciate the concept of it. Which has led me to the better understanding that all user data would be more secure if all user data was controlled by that user.
Websites are a big part of everyone's Life, whether people want to admit this or not - One way or another a website(/online service) is used to conduct their daily business. Pulling money out of the ATM, filling a vehicle up with gas, making a phone call, and plenty more.
One of the biggest at this current moment is social websites / networking. There's plenty of websites out there that allow you to share photos, music, videos, etc. This is all good, however none of this information is exactly globally accessible / controllable. What I mean is users can't click a few buttons and all their pictures from X amount of websites disappear - And if at max, their account.
From my understanding Diaspora was supposed to allow people to plug-in and un-plug at any given time. Or, cross information between services. If it's not, that's what it should be.
Also, from my understanding the majority of people are scared of what cloud storage has in store for them. The fact that their data is out in zombie land with no eyeballs to make sure it's safe, or has eyeballs making mis-use out of the data, is not up to them. So my proposal is extremely simple - Plug every user into a cloud service of their choice, and enable that cloud service to interact with their website (Facebook, for example).
The bigger and more comfortable point of this document handling, too. Google Docs is an amazing suite, but the fact that it's out of one's control makes it nearly impossible to fully trust. Sure, Google has procedures and policies to help ensure their users that the data will be kept safe - But, what if? Just what if.
With being able to have your data stored on Amazon S3 (for example), and then telling Google Docs to peak in your S3 account to use the documents, etc, would make things a lot easier. Combining cloud services with front-end services (like websites) would make a more comfortable approach for end-users in my opinion. (and) That's what I'm trying to get across.
Of course there's going to be competition, between cloud services--That will always happen for the most part - But knowing that your data is in one place and at your will, used and removed in many more.. I'd say is more comfortable.