I’m a tech geek at heart and have a hard time calling tech companies like Apple and Google evil. They can share my data with the government, track all my movements, and log everything I ever search for and I still, for some odd reason, trust them with all my information.
I have a YouTube account where I keep videos which I have deleted from my local machine. I have my Google Docs account where I keep all my precious spreadsheets and marketing data. I have a Google+ account and several other things tied up in the Google universe.
I don’t use Blogger or any other free service. After what I’ve read today, I probably will bring all of my documents back to the local machine. Blogging is too important to trust to the free hosts, especially if you’re going to blog seriously.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Free Blog Services
This story hit the news today about a long-time blogger on the Tumblr network. She had grown a blog of over 100,00 posts and had over 150,000 followers. However, she received 5 complaints that she had used photos without permission.
She denied the claim and has said she would have been more than happy to remove the offending posts if she had been asked. Was she asked? No, she simply woke up one day to find her account, and all of her posts and followers gone. Deleted. Non-existent.
For someone that curated her blog as a hobby, she is very upset. A lot of work, sweat, and time went into those posts and building a following, and she now has nothing to show for it. Imagine if she had built up that blog as a source of income. Imagine if it was her only source of income.
When you blog on another company’s server for free, where they control the content of the network, you’re entrusting all of your work to a third party. The employees of that third party deal with a lot of data and a lot of users. This isn’t the first time people have seen their digital lives erased with no warning.
In 2011, a man named Dylan lost 7 years worth of documents, photos, videos, academic notes, saved files, and much more; completely annihilated by Google with no explanation. He’s even visited physical offices of Google and no one seems to know how or even willing to help.
Nick Saber, in 2008 went through the same problem, although he was eventually let back into his account. This, after he was featured on some pretty high-profile blogs telling his story.
How many countless others that haven’t been covered by the media and have simply lost all they have?
If you’re a blogger and you are using a site like Blogger, WordPress.com, or Tumblr, you are entrusting them to be fair to you. To never take anyone’s side but yours. You’re also saying, you’re fine with the fact that, for all intents and purposes, they own your content. They can delete it at any time, or remove your access to it.
Why would you allow someone else to own your content?
Host your own blog! Host your own files.
Go get a Hostgator or Site5 account right now and start moving your valuable content to something you own the rights to. Then, go to Wal-Mart or Best Buy and buy an external hard drive to start saving your files to.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Never being in danger of losing your content is much better than gambling with it.