Living in the Cloud

A couple of years ago, I had blogged about the Technology I use, in a post entitled “Tomorrow’s World“.  As an astute commenter soon observed, “I see that the death knell has been sounded for desktop applications.all your data is tucked away in servers the upkeep of which is not your care.

Today, when I attempt to capture my reality, the little bit that was on the desktop has also vanished.  I find that the “cloud” has helped me in ways that I could not have imagined a decade ago…

I use Firefox on my desktop PC and Chrome on my netbook, to browse the web.  I also access many sites on my office laptop, and need to store all my bookmarks in a way that I can access them from anywhere.  For that, I use Delicious.  Any thing I ever want to visit again, goes to my Delicious account instead of my browser’s bookmarks.  Select stuff gets marked private, while the rest is freely available for any one to see (including me!).  No need to remember where I put that link, ever again…

I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, and Twitter to keep in touch with every one else.  This way, all my clever quips and any thing remotely personal go to my Facebook account, where access is restricted to only those I approve to join my network.  (As a rule, I have disabled any “apps” that were available at the start, and continue to block all “app requests” as they come – I find this saves me a lot of time and keeps my Facebook friend feed uncluttered.)  I use Twitter to update any one and everyone on my blog updates, photoblog updates and new links added to my Delicious account (from select categories only).

I use FeedBurner to re-publish my blog feeds as browser-friendly feeds, and to enable Email Subscription for my blog feeds.  This way, I also benefit from not changing my feed URL if I change the web servers or blog publishing platforms, as I have done multiple times in the past.

I use TwitterFeed to automatically “ping” my FeedBurner feeds (and photoblog feed), and post the updates via HelloTxt to my Twitter account (as tweets) as well as my Facebook network (as a status update).  This way, my Facebook network gets to see all my stuff – feed updates, link updates and personal posts, while my Twitter followers get every thing except my personal status updates.  Plus, I never have to sign in to Twitter to tweet any thing!

I use Netvibes to subscribe to nearly a hundred blog feeds which get updated daily (many, more than once a day).  It saves me countless hours scouring my favourite blogs and websites just to find out if they’ve published any thing new.  And, it keeps track of what I’ve already read (and what I have yet to read), irrespective of where I accessed it from.

I use Mozy‘s backup service to automatically backup critical files from my home computers onto the cloud, and only occassionally burn DVD backups of my full dataset and my digital photo collection, as a precaution.

Of course, I continue to use Google to manage my email, add reminders to my social and event calendars, chat with friends across the globe and Search.  I have also, since, added Google Docs to store and retrieve many Word, Excel and PDF documents that I need on-the-go.

I don’t know about you, but I seem to be living in the cloud! May be you should try it sometime…