Should I trust the cloud?

My husband often questions my blind faith in the cloud. I’m a huge fan of Dropbox for storing presentations and photos, my documents (collaborative and independent) reside in Google Drive, my lists are in Workflowy and my beloved (!) blog isn’t backed up anywhere… just for a start! I’ve ignored his reluctance to trust the cloud and laughed at his suggestions of the possibility of losing my data.

It turns out that I am naive.

Searching through some old posts today, I discovered, by accident, that a slide show created in PhotoPeach is no longer accessible. A quick check of the site led me to this announcement (and no slide shows!)…

Important message:

We have encountered a problem while upgrading our servers to accommodate the growing data and traffic. Some slide shows created from Jun 2010 to December 18 2012 will not be accessible at this time. (December 20, 2012) Affected data recovery for up to 50% of our users has unfortunately not succeeded at this time. All PhotoPeach features are still available and we have upgraded our data management systems. Again, we sincerely apologize and hope you will continue to enjoy PhotoPeach. For a detailed explanation of what occurred and information regarding refunds for affected premium users, please click here.

So, now I’m wondering… Should I trust the cloud?

Or should I admit he was right?🙂

21 thoughts on “Should I trust the cloud?

    1. I agree! I’m not sure about smaller, more restricted places like PhotoPeach. But I am sure, sure, sure that Mr. Google is much more responsible with my data than I am. Can you imagine the PR nigthmare that would ensue if everyone lost everything on their Google Drive? I am 100% certain that the big guys have some pretty serious back-up. Much better than my external hard drive!

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  1. I’m a HUGE fan of the cloud, but I’m also a fan of my external hard drive. So many tech companies come and go. They are sometimes purchased by a larger company that in turn shuts them down. I save in the cloud daily, but I also frequently download my stuff and put a back up on my hard drive. (BTW, I still have a filing cabinet, too.)

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  2. Hello Edna,
    I had such fun thinking over this one. My train of thought went like this: “Should I keep those worksheets and lesson plans from 2010? Do I have room for another lever arch file on my bookshelf? Should I copy the copies?”
    I also recall the moments I have lost files, usually older ones, and then shrugged off the loss and recreated something better!
    However, chronicling our own professional learning journey is easily done online. I would hate to lose useful stuff, and stuff that has defined me as a learner. Hmm, now to go and back up a few of the things that really count before TOS and archive access change.
    cheers
    Brette

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    1. Glad you had fun! For me… Anything on paper was dumped when we moved into our new building a few years back. Like you, I’ve lost documents many time and found creating something new to be a more valuable use of time than searching for old. I do have systems now… Kind of🙂 the only truly important thing not backed up is my blog and I plan to do that this weekend.

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  3. Hi Edna,

    Just last week, Kelly and I were wondering where some of our embedded student Photopeaches went to. Now we know! What a pain.

    Yesterday one of my colleagues was up in arms after finding out that a year’s worth of work in his Dropbox was missing/lost/deleted.

    Clearly the cloud is here to stay but I do hope we can trust it. Like you, I generally have blind faith!

    Kath

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  4. Points well made by other commenters Edna.
    There are two slightly different aspects to this I feel: firstly there are artifacts (files/photos) which can (and should) be stored both online and offline. As others have rightly pointed out, each has its merits and neither is safer than the other I’d argue.
    Secondly there are the creations like PhotoPeaches that you make online. An offline version isn’t an option, unless the tool offers a download (like Prezi). So where we use online tools to make unique products, then that has to be on the understanding that they might actually be rather more ephemeral than those created by offline tools. Just something to come to be aware of perhaps … and be ready for those student excuses “PhotoPeach ate my homework.”

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    1. You can be relied on for a sensible response, as always, Ian. I do make sure that what really matters is backed up… mostly. Will consider all online creations as ephemeral in future!

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  5. This is the same question many IT departments in school districts ask. When one of them asked Google about the safety of their storage, I was told that company representatives laughed that a school district would think that they would be more secure than a multi-billion dollar corporation.

    It doesn’t matter where or how you store it, losing something is always a risk. As mentioned, having a back up is good but dropbox actually does that for you as well (it stores in the cloud and on your computer).

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    1. Yes, I like that about Dropbox.
      Love the Google response! At least I don’t lose documents (as in not be able to find them) anymore, thanks to Google Drive. I can’t tell you how much I panicked when I couldn’t access it once for about a minute!

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  6. Hmmm… not so sure about George’s comment. I deleted some “junk” off my computer a few months ago only to find that Dropbox was synchronising and deleting stuff in the cloud as well. Worse was that it was a shared account and was deleting stuff from someone else’s computer too! Thankfully she’d got a separate back-up…

    Ignoring user stupidity, I wonder if the cloud storage has less risk if you’re paying for it (directly) than if you aren’t. I’ve never inspected the legal terms closely.

    Further ramblings:
    I’m happy that I’ve lost some stuff – like my naive comments in user groups when the Internet was in its infancy – wish it’d lose more of those – destined to haunt me forever! (I shouldn’t have mentioned this, should I?!)

    I file stuff in the cloud and manage to forget where I’ve put it. Then when I rediscover it I often wonder who wrote such words of excellence (rarely) or such crap (often!)

    Will all this junk haunt my descendents for all eternity?

    Will my descendents be able to access my accounts to retrieve their inheritance?

    Was that really “whatedshusbandsaid” ? If so, Hi!

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  7. User stupidity is a major factor that can’t be ignored🙂
    I love the question ‘Will my descendants be able to access my accounts to retrieve their inheritance?’ Lots to think about there!!
    Yes, it WAS what Ed’s husband said! It’s his first appearance in over three years of the blog, despite reading every post (he says).

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