About John Boitnott

One of a small group of social media consultants with a background in the newsroom, John consults with a variety of sites and publishers on how to build their popularity on the Internet. John has worked for NBC and Village Voice, Venturebeat and Kip Prahl and Associates. John is currently Vice President of Business Development at Circleclick.com.

Cloud Storage: Keeping Your Holiday Memories Safe

halloween kids

The train’s about to leave the station. Next stop: Candy

I still remember the moment my Dad took the picture of my friend and I in our costumes. I remember it because I’m able to go back and look at the picture to this day. It was Halloween, 1980 and I was proudly dressed up as a train conductor while my friend Rich dressed up as Jerry the Cat from the “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. We happily strolled up and down the blocks near our houses, under the watchful eyes of our parents, collecting Snickers and lollipops while getting frightened by crazy neighbors who turned their front yard into a haunted house. I’ll never forget all those Halloween memories, and pictures like this are part of the reason why.

At this point in my life, all that really remains of that holiday are photos, and a few snapshots in my mind. I still remember some excitement here, a vision of a pile of candy there. I can still see my elderly next door neighbor who gave out Hershey Kisses. But a lot of what happened that night is gone. The unfortunate thing about this photo is that it’s fading along with the memories themselves. The fortunate thing is that this doesn’t have to happen anymore. Cloud storage is making it a thing of the past. Here are some of the reasons why the cloud is taking away that fear of losing your Halloween memories.

Don’t Let Your Memories Fade

One of the best things about cloud storage is that images don’t slowly lose their sharpness and brightness as the years go by. While going through a pile of photos the other day, I saw that the stuff from my Mom’s childhood was getting particularly faded. Oh sure, I could take all those ancient negatives and bring them to a photography store where they turn them into pictures again. It’s almost at the point though where it’s too inconvenient to drive to wherever that service is still done, pay the expensive price, and then still be stuck with a physical photo that is just going to fade again. In this situation, I recommend uploading them to a cloud service right away. Cloud storage services like Box, Bitcasa, Sugarsync and many others are perfect for converting these old photos into files that will stay in the same condition forevermore, saving your memories from certain doom. Bitcasa even has an “Infinite Drive” that lets you store an unlimited amount of these memories.

pictures on floor

Old-school cloud storage

Say “Bye” to Photo Envelopes, “Hello” to Convenience

When I want to reminisce about Halloweens past, a lovely pile like the one above is what I must sift through. I keep all the old photos and many keepsakes in a large moving box. Many of the pictures are in plastic bags. At that point, I must rummage through old envelopes filled with photos that were once developed in a Fotomat booth in a shopping mall parking lot back in 1977.

The modern convenience of cloud storage has made all that obsolete. I remember my mother shared photos by mailing them in a large manila envelope and writing “handle with care” on the front. Now, I share my holiday photos on Twitter and Facebook from my tablet or smartphone through one of the more advanced cloud storage mobile apps. With Bitcasa, you can send friends and family a single link that takes them to a folder with dozens of photos from that glorious, candy-filled night.

Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.

Another Halloween memory preserved in the cloud.

Bad Weather is No Threat

When I was 15 years old a massive earthquake hit the San Francisco Bay Area where I live. After the 7.1 quake struck, we all watched on TV as thousands of people lost their homes in fire and rubble. This type of disaster makes many of us worry about what might happen to the precious memories of our childhood that we store in shoeboxes around the house. I specifically remember the sadness when I thought about life with no record of holidays and birthdays. The threat of tornadoes and floods still plague thousands of people who don’t realize that cloud storage is a great option. In fact, it ends this worry once and for all. Whether it’s your Facebook timeline, your Instagram feed, or your Dropbox account, those pics of beloved pets are safe on a server. If you’re interested in getting started with a cloud storage service or just want to compare some of the best out there, please check here.

What Google+ Says About the Future of Mobile Apps

Google+-Mobile-AppsI was listening to my rock radio station of choice the other day, and when the commercial for a big bank mobile app aired, some thoughts I’d been having about social media and apps started to really make sense.

The spokesperson, in jocular, soothing tones, told me how even if I forgot to deposit my checks before I went to the ballgame, it didn’t matter, because I could do so with the app while the pitchers warm up. “All you have to do is take a picture of both sides of the check and boom it’s deposited,” he said.

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“Permanent” Traffic Doesn’t Exist on the Web

Gandalf Eyes

What do people think social media professionals do for a living? They are not wizards like Gandalf. They can’t raise their staff and command visitors to become permanent residents of a site. [Read more...]