We enjoy many online document storage vehicles today that didn’t exist just a few years ago. How many of them are a long term solution and how many are simply a passing convenience that will go away as business plans are rewritten?
I use sites such as Flickr with its 1TB of free storage, Pinterest and other similar sites that also offer free storage but know that the image files I’ve put on them are constantly at risk of being deleted should and when the business model for the site owners change.
Additionally, I store images on my Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox, Box.net and other similar services, but once again know that they are only ‘temporary’. Ditto my Evernote and similar accounts. Once again because I don’t pay for the hosting of my images and data on those sites. I’ve read the EULA’s and other use agreements for these sites and know that the host companies make their money by exploiting my images, my traffic, my name and my browsing history along with some if not all of the same factors for those who look at my images. There really isn’t such a thing as a ‘free’ lunch. Someone has to pay the costs to keep the online storage in service and companies are in the business of making money.
That said, I’m increasingly using Family Tree by FamilySearch as a repository of images and documents about my ancestors. I know that they are a non-commercial site whose costs are born by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Family Tree doesn’t have to turn a profit. One of the base tenants of the LDS religion is genealogical research and the funding associated with it will continue to flow as long as the church exists. Total cost to me to use Family Tree? Nothing although as a responsible user, I like most folks do my best to assure the data and images I add to the site are accurate and supportive of that data.
What online ‘free’ venues are you using to store your genealogy documents? How long will the site be viable? What is your storage strategy? Do you hope your document images will survive you or have you knowingly chosen your venue with the knowledge that the hosting is temporary?Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2013-12-15 12:11:35
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