Daniel Petersen's Blog

Developing two videogames -- 9001, an addictively fast paced arcade game, and It Usually Ends In Nuclear War, a strategy game which is something of a mix between Civilization and Stellaris.


Use Local Backups, Control the Things You Can

Posted on 2016-07-15

I just read this story about an artist who had been keeping a blog about his artwork on Google’s Blogger Platform. Google disabled his email and blog account for an apparent terms of service issue, though they haven’t communicated exactly what term had been broke.

There’s a good lesson here in having multiple backups of the things you care about. I think most people understand that. I think it’s less obvious that relying on a service like Blogger is inherently dangerous. You’re giving someone else control of what you can do / say, and if they happen to not want your content for whatever reason, you’re allowing them to remove that content at their discretion.

Where you can, I think it’s important to not put yourself at the mercy of others. Own your website domain. Own your website data. If possible, make your website content platform agnostic so that you can switch to another host if need be.

This site is just static HTML, for instance, so any website host in the world should have no problem hosting the content. Something like Wordpress would be just as good. There’s a tradeoff here as I think using a service like Blogger or Tumblr will drive people to your site. I just don’t think it’s worth the price of admission of allowing another entity to control access to your content.

This isn’t just about blogs. People who rely on Youtube for a living are very much at the mercy of Google. The same goes for websites which rely on adwords to make revenue. Steam has a near monopoly on the PC video game space. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s too much that can be done about those three.

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