Personal cloud musings

In Uncategorized on 2010-01-28 by Kyle Maxwell

I don’t like trusting all of my data to other people, particularly not to folks that have given me good reasons not to trust them. Besides, while I do like some things to “just work”, other times I want to experiment.

So I want to build some sort of personal cloud. Today, I have an ever-churning mishmash of Google services (particularly Google Docs but also Gmail, Voice, Wave, and Notebook), Backpack, Flickr, WordPress (both self-hosted and the commercial version), Delicious, Posterous, and the ubiquitous Twitter. Some of those still have a role to play, of course, while others (yeah, Facebook, I’m talking to you) have fallen by the wayside.

So what do I mean about a “personal cloud”? I want the following:

  • Note-taking, scribbling, and writing bits for my private use
  • Web-accessible file storage (private and shared)
  • Bookmark synchronization
  • Link publishing with fine-grained control
  • Multiple blogs with different names, designs, and topics
  • Task tracking and project planning
  • Reminder/tickler service

I also want to have the whole thing secured via SSL and self-hosted. Other bits that matter to me include open standards so I can mix and remix and publish easily (RSS, Creative Commons, etc.), and it all simply must get driven by penguins and gnus (think GPL and all that that implies). In fact, I would give up a bit of functionality (if required) for this last part. Richard Stallman may look like he stinks, but he’s got his heart in the right place.

So at the moment, I think that a combination of WordPress MU (or 3.0 if it comes soon enough) plus possibly a wiki on a dedicated server would do the trick. I may or may not choose to go with a VPS rather a fully dedicated server, but I need to look into some of the legal implications. This definitely takes care of several of those points, but I don’t quite know how to do the bookmark stuff. Bookmarks can (mostly) live in somebody else’s infrastructure as long as I can pull them out for backup in an automated fashion.

I know it doesn’t exist as one fire-and-forget package. But I think I may start taking a crack at the integrated architecture this would require.


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