Omnidrive brings my online dream a step closer

Almost exactly a year ago, Doc posted a terrific idea that I linked to and riffed off.

The thought, in précis, was that someone should offer massive online storage, backup and hosting services in such a way as to be essentially seamless. It would be always-on, cheap, and completely secure.

As I said at the time: "I already use one of my Gmail accounts as a kludgy offsite storage system. I figure I can trust Google not to lose my data. I'm sure their multi-gazillion dollar server farms are way better put together and cared for than any home-office storage setup I could ever build. Plus there's the advantage that I can, in a pinch, access my backups from just about anywhere I can find a browser.

It's less than ideal, though, mainly because of the asymmetric download/upload deal I get from my ISP. If someone came along and offered me the same kind of broadband speed I get right now, but made it symmetrical and threw in some kind of low-cost mass storage option, I'd jump in a second - as would many millions of others, I think."

Well Omnidrive doesn't attempt to solve the asymmetry issue, but it sounds like they've gone a long way to nailing the "seamless" part. Read this report from Rafe Needleman for a taste of what they're doing.

Bonus Thought #1: there's a great object lesson for PR folk in Rafe's opening words. This is the glowing product review that almost never happened - all because "A PR person sent (Rafe) a wrong link". Doh!

Bonus Thought #2: My original post about this stuff in November last year, led to me making the online acquaintance of an excellent chap named Mike Warot. Together, we started to work on drafting something we called "The Kill Save Manifesto"- a two-man mission inspired by some simple predicates:
  • It’s the responsibility of the Operating System and one’s software applications to make sure they never lose the files entrusted to them by users.
  • If your hard drive goes crunch, you might well lose data. You should have a back up. Always.
  • But if a piece of software blows up your data, well that’s a flat out failure to fulfill an obligation, of the first order.
  • Requiring users to do “Save” is stupid. It’s unnecessary, sloppy, a bad, outdated paradigm. And it needs to die.
I'm afraid I got horribly busy with work and life stuff, and we never quite completed the thought - but it's with me again as I think through the Omnidrive stuff. Hey Mike! Wanna give it another shot?