One great thing that I’ve loved about the Net is that we can not only connect again with old chums but we can relive old memories and sometimes get a jolt to recall them.
One of my favorite destinations was at Facebook, which had a great application called ‘My Restaurants. which let you chronicle all the places you’ve eaten at around the country and which ones you’d like to try one day. I found out that there were dozens of NYC restaurants I liked and would return to, plus places in Boston, L.A., Miami, Memphis and Austin that I wanted to go back to or try some day. I was having a lot of fun with this- not only could I remember where to go but I also had a great list of places to recommend to friends and to go try out one of these days.
And then the application died. I was heart-broken. All the hours and days I slaved away on it, noting my favorite places and recommending to others and making reminders to go back… All gone. The page is just a blank, empty space. I wrote the developer to beg them to get it going again but haven’t heard anything. All of that work, effort and joy… lost.
And there you have a problem with pouring yourself into a site or an application. What are you gonna do when it shuts down, malfunctions or just mysteriously disappears? You’ll feel like a moron for wasting all of your time but you’ll also be devastated that all that info you were hoping to carry along with you is just gone.
So how are you gonna trust Facebook or other sites that can’t give you any guarantee about the long-term safety of your information? (not to mention privacy concerns) Do you really wanna get frustrated and hurt again? (sounds like dating, doesn’t it?) You’d be better off saving your precious info on a word processing file on your own machine and then backing it up on a CD.
That’s why I was both excited and weary when I heard about Songkick. This site lets you create a data base of all the shows you’ve been to and lets you search by artist and city to help jog your memory. I was getting all giddy about finding out when I went to this Sonic Youth concert or that Sonny Rollins show or that Al Green show. Not only that but you can also see which friends were at shows that you didn’t know about before.
But then I remembered ‘My Restaurants.’
What if I go through all this trouble and then it disappears? Does Facebook have any guarantee that all the rest of your info there won’t disappear one day and there’s nothing you can do about it? Does Songkick have a guarantee like that too? Do I wanna be a chump again? Can’t these programs have some kind of way for you to back up and save all your data so you don’t risk losing all your work and info?
Unless I can back-up my info at a site or application to my own computer, I’m gonna be kinda of weary of doing that again and so should you. Why risk the heart-ache?