This isn’t news, but I was reminded this week that a service I used in 2007 was no longer around and this was having a negative impact on one of my blog sites.
Back in 2007 I had a Nokia N73 and I used a now defunct application to upload photographs I had taken automatically to the blog. This application was called ShoZu, which had being launched in 2001 and was able to upload photographs to Flickr automatically. This was really useful, as I was on Vodafone and at that time Flickr was blocked by their content filters, so I couldn’t upload automatically. With ShoZu I was able to upload the image to the ShoZu servers and then it would upload a copy to Flickr. You could also use Shozu to post to Twitter and one function I liked was being able to upload automatically to a WordPress blog. Well it didn’t upload directly to WordPress, it merely adding HTML code and embedding the images hosted on the ShoZu server.
With ShoZu now defunct, there were no images, just dead links. So the blog posts consisted of a title and some dead HTML coding.
I have no recollection of when ShoZu went down, there was a news item in 2010 when they got taken over by Critical Path, but by then I was no longer actively using the service, having moved to an iPhone by then and having direct access to Flicker through the Flickr iOS app.
So it’s only when looking through archives of my old blog posts that I realised something may be missing.
Luckily I had copies of the images on Flickr (and on Amazon photos) so I updated the old blog posts and added copies of the images.
This wasn’t as simple as you may think as the blog post titles weren’t always clear about what the image was. However as the blog post link had the image file name in it, I could search Amazon photos for that file name and find the image.
It reminds me that embedding externally hosted content can be problematic, what happens when that service dies or is shut down. Just because something is free, doesn’t mean it will last forever.