Monday, April 29, 2013

Reflections - Cloud Services To Rely On #edchat @evernote


"Go ahead," I encouraged a short time ago, "break a few eggs."

Break a few eggs, indeed. That's exactly what Evernote did when they dumped RSS support for their public notebooks, a move similar to Google's wiping out of RSS support on their services in their push to move everyone to Google+.

At that time, I shared a few services I was using. Folks, I'm back to share the results of my experiment.

Initial Plan:
My initial plan involved using the following services to backup critical services like blogs, images, documents, and my web presence.

  1. Wordpress.com - Free and it's a cinch to import entries from Blogger to Wordpress.
  2. Flickr.com - $40 for two year account
  3. Email - Keep the Gmail account but keep it empty and just forward stuff to Evernote ($50 annually but I use it for a whole bunch more).
  4. Dropbox.com - I currently enjoy 16gigs free (help me get more!). If I want to really kick it up, like up to 100gigs, I would pay $99. Might be cheaper to keep the 16 and just move stuff I need online.
  5. Wikispaces.com - Wikispaces is free for educators. Thank you!!!

Reflections:
As I reflect on my efforts to achieve this switch, I can say with confidence:

  1. All my blogger entries are backed up at http://jmguhlin.wordpress.com AND on a laptop running Wordpress.org. Way to go, free open source software (FOSS)!
    Cost: $0.00
  2. Wikispaces.com replaces GoogleSites. Once I get my refunds, I'll be investing in them.
    Cost: $0.00 for educator accounts
  3. All my GoogleDocs/Drive, as well as pictures, are now backed up to Dropbox. I went ahead and invested in a $9 a month account and it's made getting away from GoogleDrive and PicasaWeb MUCH easier.
    Cost: $110 annually
  4. Flickr.com - Although I created a Flickr Pro account, I wish I hadn't. I could just have taken advantage of Dropbox's Photo Albums feature. What's more, it's very easy to arrange my 9 gig image collection there dragging files around than having to mess with some special uploader. Sharing albums with family is a snap. I'll probably try to cancel my Flickr account at some point.
    Cost: $40 for two years (but unless you're into people leaving comments on photos, Dropbox works fine)
  5. Evernote Premium - One of the main reasons I signed up for it was that I could easily store notes, to-do lists, and documents there, then SHARE them via RSS with others. Unfortunately, Evernote discontinued RSS in April, 2013 making their service unusable for sharing purposes. I will probably cancel my account (unless they change their mind and reinstitute RSS for Premium accounts), and use Dropbox. Ah, another migration begins.
    Cost: $50 for one year but I hope I can get a pro-rated refund.
There are so many phenomenal tools one can use these days that it's easy to forget that the best service is the one that isn't trying to make you capitulate and buy into THEIR model. Instead, the best service is the one that allows you to easily manage your content, facilitates collaboration with others, and enables sharing in user-friendly ways rather than through complex APIs.

That nice stuff said about Dropbox, don't forget that putting your data in the cloud also means--no matter what assurances a cloud service provider may give you--encrypting that data. For that, I recommend taking advantage of one of these no-cost solutions:
  1. AESCrypt.com - an easy to use, cross-platform solution that lets you encrypt individual files. I have some tutorial videos on this online! Check them out!
  2. BoxCrypt.com - another easy approach that is cross platform and enables you to create encrypted containers where you can store your confidential data.
  3. TrueCrypt.org - create your own encrypted containers.




Check out Miguel's Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure



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Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure