Sunday, February 10, 2013

Online Content Archiving, Some Thoughts.

It has been reported in a documentary that committing your own thoughts to writing has the property of helping one focus and control one's stress. I tried it out and it does seem to help me deal with my own circumstance.

The trouble is, I've been doing it all over the place and at all sorts of random times. I've traditionally never succeeded in maintaining a diary, mostly because I've never found the self-discipline for writing down my thoughts at the end of every night (then again, I've never really had a regular bedtime, I used to just go to sleep whenever I feel tired, heh). I'm also a little paranoid about writing down my private thoughts on some physical medium. A premature leak results in awkward moments and unnecessary embarrassment in the context of a local social context which does not easily forgive uncomfortable private thoughts, even if they do not end up driving one's public personal behavior. That defeats the purpose (for me) of doing this for stress-therapy.

I have my own personal private blog where I archive notes for my eyes only. It offers a window into my thought process and helps me reconcile "me then" with "me now". In spite of cyber security and privacy concerns (which I don't really care about other than the said awkwardness issues above), this offers me a great way to write my private thoughts at any random time and from anywhere. The downside has been that the content exists (from my perspective) as a amorphous blob "somewhere out there" which has the property of uncontrolled "liveness". Lack of control is a well-known source of stress in humans, heh. My key concern is loss or attenuation of data. This has happened to me before in the form of changes to flickr policy. I found that the images I uploaded for free were downsized, and then to add insult to injury I could not access pictures beyond the last 200 unless I coughed up some cash. Since I had a sense of emotional attachment to those images, I was not happy about that. To cap it off, the original file names had been replaced by a name-hashing algorithm, so if I simply saved the images to a local drive (not that said feature was available), they would be in some arbitrary state of disorder. Long story short, I ended up with a time-consuming process of a reconstruction to preserve some of my fond memories on a local drive. I do not wish to have to repeat that for my own fond (and bitter) memories in my blogs.

So, what I would really want is a way to archive and sync content in as general a way as possible. So far, I've not found any tool online that meets my (still not fully clear) personal requirements. This calls for a personal software development project, maybe? We'll see :).


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Chee Wai Lee said...

Thanks, but that blog of yours seems to be focused solely on religion and has nothing to do with the technical aspects of archiving one's blog data.

I appreciate the thought, but I'm a committed atheist (if there's ever such a thing :P).