Nikon Cleaning Up the Servers


Got this email from Nikon over the holidays: 

"Dear Customer,

This is an important warning from “NIKON IMAGE SPACE”. Please note that your “NIKON IMAGE SPACE” account is about to be deleted automatically due to lack of login activity. In order to avoid for your account to be deleted, please login to “NIKON IMAGE SPACE” before the deletion date.

Account deletion date: 1/29/2014

You can login to “NIKON IMAGE SPACE” from the URL below: * Members of “my Picturetown” can login to our new service “NIKON IMAGE SPACE” using the same ID and password registered to the former service. Based on the rights Nikon holds stated in the Terms and Conditions, your account is scheduled to be deleted on the stated date. Once the termination takes place, all data including your uploaded files to My Photos will be erased without any possibility of recovery. Please see “NIKON IMAGE SPACE” Terms and Conditions page for more details.


Just goes to remind us that all these cloud storage agreements are really just temporary in nature. Over the years we’ve seen many photo storage and display services come and go, with very few ever coming up with a business model that makes it likely that they have a long, healthy life ahead of them. Even some of the big services are questionable in that respect. Once growth in new accounts disappears from a photo service, the company in question has to make back their costs from just the pool of folk already there, and as those folk post more and more, the costs naturally tend to go up. 

So, as a friendly reminder to those of you using any Web service to hold your photos: make sure you keep your own copies of photos locally. It’s one thing to use a service to make it easier to share your photos with others, it’s an entirely different thing to think someone else is going to keep your precious photos around forever. 

Also: as even Flickr fans have discovered, if you invest a lot of time and energy with someone’s Web based solution, you sometimes discover that the rules change and all your organizational work can fast disappear. 

People seem to forget that big behemoths such as Facebook are actually less than 10 years old and that it’s changed things in big ways several times during that time. Instagram is less than 4 years old. One of the oldest of the photo-related sites is a grand old 15 years old (Shutterfly). I have a very difficult time believing that the same companies will be doing the same things 10 to 15 years down the road with photos, so be careful.

I’ve written it before, but in the digital age you really need at least three sets of your images:

  1. Your Working Set. Probably on a hard drive in or attached to your computer. 
  2. A Backup. Usually on an external drive attached to your computer.
  3. An offsite Backup. Usually on a portable drive you store outside your home/office, but these days perhaps in a cloud-based backup service.

If your computer crashes, is lost, or is damaged, then #2 will restore your photos. If you house/office burns down (or sinks into the rising ocean ;~), then #3 will restore your photos. 

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