Fargo is (I’m really simplifying here!) Open Source software by Dave Winer that lets you build a blog out of files stored on your Dropbox online storage account. Ron Chester explains very well here why he is using the Fargo Web publishing system.
I find particularly important, and a must-read for many “sophisticated” users of the current popular social networks, his explanation of why it’s pretty dumb to publish anything more relevant than pictures of your last breakfast on Facebook:
- I had even less control over my content over there. I had posted many comments on threads started by others
- Then one day a woman who had started many threads that I had commented on… abruptly closed her Facebook account. All those threads suddenly disappeared, along with my comments on them!
- what about all the threads that I started and all my pictures on Facebook? Could the nerds behind the curtain decide I should be kicked off too? Theoretically, yes
So Chester gave Fargo a try also because “Dave Winer doesn’t own my content on Fargo. I do. I really do! In fact, it’s in my Dropbox account at all times.”
Now, as good as that post remains in general, there is a big weakness here. At least if the point is to “own” one’s own content. Because as things stand now, they are surely much better than before, but who “owns” Chester’s content now is not Chester. It’s Dropbox.
What if Dropbox erased Chester’s account and/or changed their Terms of Service overnight to something he can’t accept? Is he prepared? Ditto for the comments on his current website. The moment Disqus disappears or becomes unusable for him, those comment will vanish, won’t they? (not a critique, just a contribution to paint the whole picture!). These, by the way, are exactly the reasons why I proposed the percloud last year.