I have to say, this post by Daniel Rasmus on Fast Company is one of my favorites on the cloud thus far: “Help For Cloud-Storage Hoarders.” Clever, extremely relevant, and entirely true. Guilty, I have Distributed Data Disorder, or DDD.
What is it?
DDD is an ailment associated with online storage whereby you’ve dug yourself so deep in a hole of multiple online storage services, emails, social media sites, etc. that you no longer remember where you put what, what you named it, and have no simple means to find what you are looking for.
Daniel paints an awesome picture leveraging his personal experience. Does this sound familiar?
“I have personally gone through the hoarding of 5 ¼” floppy disks, 3 ½” floppies, CDs, Zip disks, flash drives, memory cards, and hard drives. What are we hoarding now? Online storage. Have you collected Microsoft SkyDrive, Google Drive, Box, and Amazon cloud storage like flash drives to some virtual key ring? Do you have images scattered across Apple’s Photostream, Google + and Picassa, Flickr, and Facebook?”
You can read all of the symptoms on Daniel’s Fast Company’s article, and there is even a couple cures proposed, so check them out as well. I have to think there’s even more research and development going into this epidemic. It cannot possibly affect only a select few. All of the infographics, stats, and charts I have blogged about in the past are evidence this is a growing concern for many.
The simple answer to this…store everything at home on a home NAS or cloud connected storage. Home NAS products have the ability to push photos and videos to social networks like Facebook, can be accessed via smartphones and tablets much like other cloud storage services, and even offer large file sharing opportunities through providing friends, family, co-workers, etc. access to your NAS, or even a specific folder or file.
But, you have to make a commitment to buy the hardware, set it up, and manage it. The whole beauty of cloud is that you don’t have to buy hardware or software, and you don’t have to worry about upgrades, patches, or maintenance. Cloud storage services, many times are free (at least to start) and it’s the “free” that sucks you into the service and the vicious cycle of DDD continues.
Wouldn’t it be great if it really didn’t matter where you stored something? What if your smartphone, laptop, desktop, or tablet itself could just present all your files in the file and folder architecture you are used to, the one you prefer. Where your device or system goes to retrieve that information is no longer your concern. It knows that the video you took of your daughter’s tennis match was saved as Megan_Tennis_091212.mpg and saved to Google Drive, or Facebook, or even locally. The idea that we need to do our own storage management is the problem, and sorry, most of us are just not that organized and/or interested in the science of data management.
Why couldn’t we just hit save, and be done with it? Like the old days.