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While everything you said is correct, at the same time, there's no sense in losing access to data that's recorded and is sitting right there for the taking, if only there were a more convenient way to extract it.

It would be very wise of Twitter to offer a bulk export function - not because they have to, but because it's to Twitter's benefit to not have me thinking twice about whether I should post to Twitter or communicate in some other, more archive-friendly way.




From Twitter's perspective, you're absolutely right. From a user's perspective, the bulk reliance on singular companies to manage our data is an issue that I'm afraid is going to become dangerous.

Look at the 2.5 hour Facebook outage from a couple of days ago. If Facebook were to be hit by an airplane or asteroid, a seriously significant portion of 500,000,000 peoples' lives would be lost, if only just in photos. If my house were to have the same thing happen, 150 people would experience a somewhat lesser loss.

I have thousands of emails between close friends in Gmail that I would like to preserve, but no convenient system exists for archiving them away from Google. The point of archive is to have redundant systems on which to rely. Archiving my Gmail with Google is therefore not an archive since it's still only one system.

It's like leaving a tasty pork chop in the 'fridge at work and expecting the cleaning lady to not toss it over the weekend. I really think archive should be the responsibility of the user.


I have thousands of emails between close friends in Gmail that I would like to preserve, but no convenient system exists for archiving them away from Google.

How about IMAP?


Tried it, volume is too large. Every client I've tried crashes before it can get everything, and there is still the issue of convenient storage format. I'll probably have to write my own archiver.


I wrote this a few years ago to archive my Gmail emails to text files (and the attachments to whatever they are).

I haven't ran it in awhile but when I did it worked and was able to download my emails from the very beginning without crashing. Anyway, you might find it useful...

http://github.com/Jaymon/Popbak


I have been using Zimbra Desktop as an email client, http://www.zimbra.com/products/desktop.html, in my Mac in several GMail accounts with no problem. There are versions for Window and Linux.


So use getmail_fetch through the POP server; it downloads a few hundred at a time into a maildir format. Hard to get more convenient and storable than that (tar it up and gzip or 7zip it).


That reminds me of Jason Scott's comments about trusting "the cloud" with your data and not keeping it locally: http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/1717


That's exactly right




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