There are many valid routes to take in choosing what system to use to back up your digital data.
You could export data piecemeal from each service – download your Twitter archive, your Facebook data, use VaultPress for your blog. You could use a service like Backupify, which provides automated cloud backups of your Facebook, Twitter, Google apps and Flickr account.
Or you could check out SocialSafe, a newly revamped digital library service.
SocialSafe was originally conceived as simply a backup tool, allowing users to extract their content from social networks and store it on their own machines, just in case anything happened to the originals (the network was hacked, or experienced a shut-down and lost any data).
The service has now developed into a backup machine that also enables you to aggregate all of your social content across various networks and utilize it as a personalized searchable library of your online life.
Currently, you can use SocialSafe to back up Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, any blog, and Viadeo. Backups can be scheduled regularly or randomly using the calendar:
Here are a few worthwhile uses of SocialSafe:
• If you back up a Twitter account with SocialSafe, you can get access to your tweets, mentions, DMs, favorites, followers and people that you follow. But, diving deeper, you can also use the data to see clearly who you’re following that’s not following you back. That more detailed info is not available as part of your downloadable Twitter archive (which, incidentally, the SocialSafe team is working on being able to have you import directly into your digital library if you wish).
• SocialSafe enables advanced search across all of the data from all of your social networks that you have backed up to its library. So if you want to track your interactions with a key client on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, you can do so easily right within SocialSafe.
• You can actually create a “Yellow Pages” of sorts of your Twitter followers using a few simple Excel filters. Download your Twitter followers data from SocialSafe into Excel, then search by any keyword (“marketer”, “Philadelphia”, “food”) to come up with a handy customized database that cuts through the noise. We wish, though, that you could do that slicing and dicing right within SocialSafe instead of having to download it to Excel and fiddle around there.
• SocialSafe grants you access to Facebook photos tagged of you that others took, which a normal download or backup wouldn’t do. PLUS all those Facebook photos come along with their tags and comments, which is pretty neat to be able to look back on. However, those images are currently limited to the thumbnail size in which you see them on Facebook. Right now, SocialSafe doesn’t give you access to the original photos in their raw size.
It’s also worth emphasizing that SocialSafe lives on your computer (functions on both Mac and PC), rather than in the cloud. Consumers may not realize that cloud data is vulnerable, so cloud-only backups aren’t necessarily rock-solid. That being said, having your entire digital life backed up only on your hard drive seems a little backwards. Plus, it can eat up storage space (~700 MB or so).
It would probably be wise to utilize a reliable external drive like LaCie in tandem, or else back up the backup (ha) to the cloud using Dropbox, Mozy or another similar service. The SocialSafe team does say that there is a plan to give readers an option in the future to back up to the cloud. Right now, it’s only local.
Another update coming down the pipeline is a function called Insights, an in-service analytics tool that’ll let you plug and play right in your data library to determine things like follower rates.
Pricing-wise, SocialSafe is pretty reasonable. You get a 60-day free trial off the bat, after which you can opt into a tiered system (starting at 4 accounts, up to 20) which charges you per year.
Interested? Download SocialSafe for yourself right here.
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