Every day I publish content. Whether it is a tweet, a photo on Flickr or a post like this, it is all content. So how do I keep a backup of it? In one sense, I don’t need to. Google and the other search engines will do a good job of indexing it forever but I still want my own copy.
So, I looked around at how I can back up my lifestream. I share with you three different options you may wish to use to backup your varied social lifestream.
At the core of all the social networks is an RSS feed. Your Twitter account should have an RSS feed at the bottom of the page, or on the sidebar to the right [here is the feed for TNW Apps]. There should also be another one for your replies and for favourites so you can choose which ones you wish to back up. Similarly, there are RSS feeds for your blog, your Flickr page, even your Last FM account (here’s mine for example). These RSS feeds are the key to the most basic backups you can do.
1. RSS to Email
There are a number of sites that offer RSS to email capability, Personally, I use www.feedmyinbox.com for ease of use. Sign up for an account (most basic accounts should be free), then take the relevant RSS feed and add it as a subscription. You will then get a copy of your content living in your inbox. At the very least you now have a duplicate of all your content.
One thing you will need to think about is the number of feeds you use. Feed my Inbox will give you 5 feeds for free with the option to add more for a small monthly fee, others may vary so have a look around. There may be a smart way you can group the feeds together to save you money but this may require a bit more effort.
2. RSS to Email to Evernote
Evernote has been growing its social media backup services for some time. A solution to try is taking the RSS to email function and then sending it onto Evernote. If you have an Evernote account you should have a unique email address that you can send things to. I use a Gmail filter to send any of my feeds directly to Evernote. I am sure the same principle should apply with other email services if you have a root around.
There is also a direct to Evernote Tweet function which allows you to send individual tweets directly to your account. This is great for backing up individual tweets but not for the whole stream.
Cliqnote have partnered with Evernote to offer a wider backup solution by harnessing multiple streams. This sounds like a great idea but I have to sign up for a Cliqnote account and then add in all my services (Twitter, Facebook etc.) from which I can then connect with Evernote and backup the content I choose. I have nothing against Cliqnote but having done the same thing with Plaxo and Friendfeed, I don’t want to do it again. The selection of individual content, again does not help me with my total backup requirements and is also a manual process.
3. Backupify – App.
Backupify is awesome, and one we have reviewed before. In short this solution takes the headache out of all the backups by allowing you to set up the content you want to backup, scheduling the frequency and notifications and then letting it get on with the job. As the service is backing up to Amazon AWS storage, I can be confident that it is in a safe place. The inclusion of a dedicated WordPress plug in means I can back up my full blog (or blogs) database, not just the page content. With more services coming soon (Xmarks, YouTube, Tumblr) this looks like it will grow as I do, and keep up with the ever-changing social scene.
After much playing, I am now using Backupify. But I am sure these aren’t the only options available. Some of you will be using Yahoo Pipes and feeding Google Docs or something even more advanced. Would you like to share how you do it? We’d love to hear in the comments.