Own Your Data

I had never heard of Lendle until they found themselves on the wrong side of Amazon’s API guidelines, but I agree completely with the assessment offered by _The Economist_: “The brief outage demonstrates a fundamental truth about the internet: if you don’t own the data you need to run your business, you’re dependent on the policies—and whims—of the parties that do.” (Link to post.)

I find myself making this point rather regularly to my students with regards to Facebook, but I also found myself making the same point to a university committee that is working to develop a digital repository. Worse, I wonder now if I didn’t make the point strongly enough as part of the team that is working to build a new infrastructure for the American Folklore Society. (We are using a software-as-a-service vendor, and my experience of it has been, er, eye-opening.)

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