Flickr long ago promised an easy option to get all of your photos out, no fuss. They never delivered. Since I use pretty much none of the Flickr community features and only use it for photo storage, and since I’m doing a fairly crappy job of taking new photos and uploading them, I’m not really sure I should be staying on Flickr. Maybe I should go back to a self-hosted solution, like Gallery or whatever the new version of iPhoto pops out.
On the other hand, I’m thinking of moving my blog over to blogs.law.harvard.edu because the server is snappy and well-maintained (by me, actually) whereas agblog is neither of those things. And of course WordPress makes it really easy to export your data and import it into another WordPress blog. I’d just lose my custom theme, which I’m not sure how much I care about anymore.
On the third front, I’m trying to get my spam under control and wondering what is the best thing to do with my email, knowing that IMAP is probably still it and Gmail is most decidedly not.
It’s my information, dammit! I want to outsource the management of it on a temporary basis, to make my life easier, but I want to maintain complete control over it. Mark Pilgrim is so right when he says:
Praising companies for providing APIs to get your own data out is like praising auto companies for not filling your airbags with gravel. I’m not saying data export isn’t important, it’s just aiming kinda low. You mean when I give you data, you’ll… give it back to me? People who think this is the pinnacle of freedom aren’t really worth listening to.
So what’s a guy to do? For goodness sake, I just replaced my Linux box with a dedicated NAS appliance, not because I don’t know how to maintain Linux boxes (give me a break), but because I do it all day and I just don’t want to have to do it at home as well. So what’s the best, easiest, most flexible, way to handle a blog, my email, and my photos in a way that I completely control but that I have to manage as little as possible?
Honestly, dreamhost one click installs are kind of nice. Upgrading is straightforward, so vulnerabilities get resolved fairly quickly. I installed a one click install and then installed my theme etc over it and now it autoupdates. It saves me a huge headache, but I made most of my modifications in the themes and plugins. I did the same with gallery, but honestly, it runs pretty slow on dreamhost. Dreamhost runs on NFS and the gallery guys include like 1000 little files on every request. As for email, I use gmail because I’ve never had to worry about it since. And it supports + addressing. I did think the Mail.app + gmail experience was somewhat lacking, but I think that might be because the Mail.app experience is somewhat lacking in general.
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