It was a hard week for hardware in my house. My trusted TiVo and my MacBook Pro both broke in the same week. The Mac was quickly fixed (a $1700 repair including new logic board for free under AppleCare) and I actually had a new TiVo in the closet. In both cases the real loss (even if temporarily) was not the hardware but the data. This got me thinking about where is my data stored and the advantage of online data storage.
The first change I have made is a return to del.icio.us. del.icio.us is a popular bookmarking tool that you are probably already using as was I but not for my main bookmarks. I use Safari on the Mac as my main browser in large part because of the hundreds of bookmarks that I have in the browser. I am experimenting with adding all me newest bookmarks to del.icio.us instead.
Advantages of del.icio.us :
- My bookmarks are now backed up on someone else’s hardware
- My bookmarks are now shareable
- My bookmarks become browser independent
- There are plugins for both Safari and Firefox to let me use my bookmarks in an integrated fashion
- I can now tag and describe my bookmarks
Disadvantages of using del.icio.us :
- When I am offline I no long have access to my bookmarks
- I have to decide what information is public. When you watch my bookmarks you get insite to what I am thinking these days. That can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Chris Brogan had twittered about Evernote recently which made me look again at this service. It is a difficult to describe service that allows you to put your notes (including pictures of hand written notes or any other pictures) into a database. The database is automatically mirrored onto the Evernote servers on the Internet.
The idea then is that you could collect scraps of info on your computer or even from your cell phone. You can then organize or view them from anywhere you can open a browser including your cell phone. The service even has built in OCR functionality so that pictures of a sticky note, for instance, can be searched via a text search. I have just started using the service but could easily see it replacing my current solution (SOHO Notes) for those little bits of information you want to find again.