Did you lose a little faith in the cloud when you heard about Delicious shutting down (even though they say it will be sold now)? Do you use multiple services online to organise and express yourself? Do you need a backup of those things just in case? Well, I’m about to let you in on a little trick to do just that.
Lifecaching is a recently popular activity, which is the process of keeping your own copy of all your online activities for whatever reason. You might want it as a memento, as a backup of your online accounts, for it to be searchable or for something else entirely. Whatever your reason, it’s easy to set up and best set up earlier rather than later.
Setting up your life cache will involve the use of a few different online services, which can be chosen by you. For best results, you might like to set up a few lifecaches using different services and processes. This way, if one part of the process fails, the other lifecache will still catch everything from your online life. You’ll need your own account for most of the suggested services, which is generally straightforward to create.
Step 1 – Get A Single RSS Feed Of All Your Online Activities
Most of your social networking services, bookmarking services, blogs and photo storage sites will offer an RSS feed of your activities. You will need to copy and paste that RSS feed into a service that will combine them for you into one mega feed. There are lots of different services to choose from here, including lifestreams and dedicated RSS combining tools:
The lifestreams are the easiest to manage, since you probably already ensure they’re up-to-date and will automatically head there to add new services in the future. They also make it easy to add each service. The dedicated RSS combiners might not be on your radar so often and you might forget to add new things to your combined RSS feed. Your choice – but just keep that in mind!
Step 2 – Turn Your Single Lifestream RSS Feed Into Email
Use a service such as Google’s Feedburner or FeedMyInbox to turn your RSS feed into something you can subscribe to via email. There are plenty of RSS to email services out there to choose from.
In Feedburner, go to Publicize > Email Subscriptions.
Step 3 – Subscribe To Your Lifestream RSS Via Email
Subscribe to your RSS feed by email (Gmail is a good idea, here).
In Feedburner when you have activated email subscriptions, preview the subscription link and use that to subscribe your own email address.
This is also a very important point where you can increase the backup security of your lifecaching:
- Subscribe to your lifestream with multiple email addresses.
- Subscribe to the lifestream with a Gmail address, then ensure you automatically backup the Gmail account on your own hard drive.
- Backup all your email elsewhere online.
Step 4 – Diversify & Verify
Backups are all about ensuring the backup will be made and retained no matter what. If one link in this chain goes down, so does your backup. So make another one using a different RSS combiner, a different RSS-to-Email service and different email addresses. Also set up a reminder to yourself to check in on them and see that they’re still working.
Life Caching Benefits
Now that you’re lifecaching, you might wonder what you’ll be using it for. Here’s a few handy things I can suggest off the top of my head:
- Instead of searching Delicious or Tumblr for that recipe, simply search your Gmail. Or better still, if you’ve tagged the ingredients, simply search for the ingredient you’re looking to use.
- All the text of your blog posts are backed up automatically and independently of your blog backups.
- No need to remember where you wrote or bookmarked something anymore. It doesn’t matter if you Tweeted it or added it to Delicious “” a simple Gmail search will find it for you.
Why do you want to keep a cache of your online life? What do you use it for? What services do you use to create it? Let us know in the comments!
Image Credit: ShutterStock