The past couple of months I’ve been working on what I’ve corporately dubbed “My Digital Strategy”. What this is in reference to is managing all aspects of my life digitally in a way that is easy to scale, easy to manage, and secure from hardware failures. I’ve put a lot of thought into this and the best solution is to use MindTouch for this.
Let me itemize some of the concerns I have and how they will be resolved with MindTouch.
The First Concern is that I want to ensure that I have portability with my information. This concern is based on the fear of my laptop dying (had it for about 2 1/2 years so anything is possible) and the ability to access information from another hardware source(like a smart phone). MindTouch obviously is a benefit as it sits in the cloud(or in layman’s terms on my server) so if my laptop crashes I can easily jump to a different computer and have access to all of the information. MindTouch also has a smart phone friendly skin which allows for navigation of the site in read only mode. With the new browsers coming out on smart phones I’m sure it will be easy to edit in them too when not using the optimized smart phone skin.
The second concern is ensuring that I don’t become scattered across the internet as far as my data goes. It is so easy to be roped into all of the new startups that offer free memberships, unlimited storage, and shiny features. What ends up happening is that you have 50 logins to 50 sites and in turn 50 copies of the same information. MindTouch comes in handy here because if you want to maintain your membership with some of these sites you can easily pull the information together on MindTouch and expose it in a way that is useful but also allows you to do a little housecleaning on the unnecessary accounts out there. With MindTouch’s Web Oriented Architecture it is easy to tie together your relevant information from across the web, whether it be videos, pictures, online office docs, or any other digital media.
The third concern I have is being able to have a location that I can easily add information to. This is a really critical concern for me as I have a lot of side projects outside of work along with organizing papers and information at home. MindTouch shines really well with this because of the ease of use, accessibility of the API, and available tools. You may not know this but MindTouch has a Desktop Connector that allows you to drag and drop a folder structure from Windows which will in turn create the folders and attach the files within those folders to their respective pages. There are also tools to post content to MindTouch from any application that you can print from using the Aurelia Reporter tool. This helps a lot for publishing from email clients, other word processing like open office, and even from financial software. Also with the new addition of the MindTouch MailBox Service, you can have any e-mail post to MindTouch so that you capture the information in a centralized location that is indexed and easy to reference and draw from. This is beneficial because of my side projects and all of the resources tied to them.
The fourth concern is being able to have information in a centralized location so that I can easily secure the information through routine backups. This is easily done through an automated Script within MindTouch that you can setup as a cron job to export the db and attachments and then with the cron job, export it to an external server. Now as my install grows I will probably switch to a solution like rsync as the attachments will grow fast.
The fifth concern is that I wanted to aggregate all of this information in a location that I can restrict information in a way to keep certain data private but share other data with friends and family. With MindTouch’s Granular permissions it is easy to do this to ensure that private information is kept private.
Now some of you reading this may chalk all of this functionality up to any wiki software. But you would be sorely mistaken. Of the information I’ve mentioned above you may be able to find some wikis that have APIs, and you might find some that have tools that make it possible to post to, but you won’t find any with the Web Oriented Architecture which allows you to tie your information together and you also will not find a wiki that takes the ease of use to the next level to allow users like me (not programmer by trade) to be able to create scripts and dynamic calls to sources within and outside of MindTouch. This in turn puts MindTouch in a class of its own as a Collaborative Network which Aaron talks in greater depth here. The biggest differentiating factor that MindTouch brings to the table for my digital strategy is that it doesn’t become another countless login/decentralized resource like other wikis are. It brings all of the information together in a way that makes it easy to contribute, consume, and use.
Mind you that this is just my personal digital strategy for keeping my life in order. Imagine what it can do for a company, no matter what size you are. I hope this is beneficial for people out there that are struggling with the same issue of what to do with all of their digital stuff and where to put it so that it is useful.
Note that I encourage you to download and try MindTouch out locally using our trial download.
Note that although this seems like a marketing post it was more me putting my thoughts in writing for how I was going to implement my Digital Strategy. I’ll let you know how it goes along with details of the setup that I used.