Friday, 14 February 2014

Reinvent: Updating my identity on the web

Inspired by my attendance at 2014 I am in the process of "rebooting" my identity online and refreshing a lot of the services that I use.

I have been doing this since the start of the year and I've gotten to the point where I believe my blog should be a part of it.

The main aim of all of this has been to get onto reliable modern cloud services and move away from old ways of doing things that I have been doing for over a decade.

Nothing here is groundbreaking or new, but it might be worthwhile for others to reflect on some of this.

What do I mean by the old ways? Things like ISP email accounts, GeoCities services and services that are at risk of failure without an easy way out. Yes, this all stems from being burned by Google's Reader demise, and much earlier the aforementioned termination of GeoCities by Yahoo.

Thankfully in both cases my data has survived but the solution that I came up with weren't necessarily much better. For example my solution to Google Reader was to run Tiny Tiny RSS on a slow computer behind my home internet connection without a useful backup scheme and hampered by slow upload speeds. That's not a modern way of doing things.

So what do I consider the modern way? Well, creating your own open identity online - starting with A domain name of your own. Then we can attach services to this running in the "cloud" and use the domain name as a way of mitigating against changing services. For example, you can find this blog however you did, but from now on it's accessible via - meaning it could change to WordPress or something else in the future with less effort. And I don't have to worry about natural disasters taking out my data as much.

So far my change has involved the following steps, which I hope to elaborate on:

Buy the domain name. This is the enabler for everything else.

Associate some email accounts with the domain name.

Get a password manager - this process creates a lot of new passwords and the modern way requires them to be unique and complex (and my brain can't cope with them all!)

Get some cloud resources - virtual machines and databases and/or hosting

Start running some cool services - such as the RSS platform and a blog

Comments welcome as always.