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You Should Host Your Own Exocortex

I remember a time when it was widely believed that Internet shopping would never happen, because people were too afraid that their credit card details will be stolen. People were paranoid about their personal data.

Yet today we put our personal details on Facebook, our creative work on Blogger and send our most intimate messages through Gmail. Some of us are even starting to keep our documents on Google Docs, and our diaries on Google Calendar.

People look at me strange when I tell them I’m waiting for Twitter to decentralize. Microblogging is blogging in miniature. There’s no technical reason why people shouldn’t host their own microblogs, just like they host their own blogs.

Project like Open Social imply that Facebook type websites could also fully decentralize. Facebook is popular because they insist that you use real names. If you had a central directory linking real names to websites, then the social networking aspect of FB could also be fully decentralized and self-hosted.

What about Gmail, Google Docs and Google Calendar? They could be replaced by webtop systems like EyeOS, G.ho.st, or DesktopTwo.

These systems form your exocortex. If it exists in corporate owned and corporate-centralized form, why should you bother with user-centralizing and hosting it yourself?

Ignore for a moment all the the privacy issues surrounding Facebook, YouTube and even Google. Ignore also how fragmented your digital identity currently is.

What will you do if Google accidentally locks you out of your account? Can this really happen? It already has.

When you give your personal data to any company, and expect them to do the right thing, you’re looking for trouble. It’s your responsibility to safeguard your data. The only way you can do that is by hosting your own exocortex. It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.

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