Last month my friend Suw twittered something that surprised me a little.
Obviously, I knew about Pownce and I remember reading about Twitter buying Values of N, so I get they shut down I Want Sandy.
I headed over to GetSatisfaction to look at IWantSandy’s product page. What a wash of anger and sadness. The closure topic has hundreds of replies and 95 faces and 17 faces most of which were Rael’s and he doesn’t really count. Rael has made an export available for I Want Sandy but it hasn’t been up there for too long. In fact, it closes today. Something that a lot of people objected to.
This isn’t totally dissimilar to the way we closed Yahoo Photos (not that I was involved in that project). I think it’s sad that something can close in the space of a month and after that period user data is lost. The idea occurred to me that while archive.org is great for public data it sucks ass for private data. The idea of the data haven was born.
Imagine this. You sign up for the newest shiniest start-up service. When you sign up you have the option to guarantee your data will be preserved by somedatahaven.org. If that service goes belly up they can pass your data and login credentials to somedatahaven.org who will allow you login and export your data. If an independent organisation can take on the role of guaranteeing the data availability of a number of services that you sign-up to then it’ll be a huge step forward for data portability. This would be especially true if the data could be syndicated as easily transformable open standards to be accepted by other services.
So, I want to build this service. However, I’m a busy man. I might build it anyway, because I’m an engineer with twitchy coding fingers, but I’d really like half a dozen or so people that would want to sign up to such a service so I can work with some real customers and support their needs while building. If you are interested email me.
So as I Want Sandy shuts down for good today, I hope we can create a better solution for the future.