The Popular Podcast #148: Lifestream Backup

Today we discuss reasons and methods for backing up your lifestream. Jessica has been testing out and reports back on her experience so far. The conclusion: self-hosting your backup is best, and offers an option to do that with your Amazon S3 account.



Review of

I had a chance to test out‘s yearly backup plan, which runs for $29.95 a year. I successfully backed up my Twitter account, and just logged in to find my Flickr account completely backed up as well. I got sidetracked for several minutes looking at gems such as this (from my senior graphic design show in undergrad):

this is a redundant image from years ago now brought back to life

I have some reservations with using a service that I don’t host myself, which makes running on my own S3 server (if I had one) sound very appealing. This service is still in it’s infancy, and I expect them to add many more features. After viewing my Twitter and Flickr backup, I have a few immediate concerns: instead of XML files, why aren’t tweets backed up individually like the photos? Next, will I ever be able to search my backup? I’m uncertain if they backup things like photo tags and other properties. My ideal lifestream backup solution would be similar in brute force to, but I really want a friendly and searchable interface for browsing my backed up stream. If they provided a customizable, skin-able, solution, they could be a contender not just in backup, but also in presentation.

My concerns are growing the more I poke around my backups. My Twitter feed seems to only go back to October 2008, but I signed up sometime in April 2008. And what will I do with these files once I have them backed up? Does Twitter offer an option to import an XML file of tweets? The searchability and presentation of the backup data is beginning to prove extremely important.

In this set on Flickr, I have several screenshots of the site interface with commentary on functionality by founder Rob May. Check it out for a more thorough look at the service’s innards. What are your thoughts? Would you want to use a service like this? What in your lifestream do you find integral to back up? What would your lifestream back up dream come true look like?

Log in to download my Twitter XML file and see for yourself. Do you find a file of this type useful? (1.4mb)


Download the file here.

1 thought on “The Popular Podcast #148: Lifestream Backup

  1. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for the review. Twitter only allows us to go back 3200 tweets via the API, so any Twitter backup service will only pull your most recent 3200 tweets. But, that is part of the reason people should start backing them up so that over time they have access to all of their tweets.


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