Who Owns Your Content?

With so many platforms out there for hosting content, it’s easy to wonder why I bother to run my own blog on my own server. But then the recent move by Apture to disable their “Live Editor” feature reminds me why it’s all worth while.

If you’ve never used Apture, it’s a set of scripts you can install on your blog (or website in general) and use to embed content like images or youtube videos on your pages. One of the neat features of Apture is that you could actually use their “Live Editor” to add content to your page after it was published. I never tracked down the exact mechanism, but the basic idea is that their servers store all the embedded objects for your page, and when your page gets loaded the Apture script automatically checks their server and then embeds the images, videos, etc. dynamically.

Long story short, if you use Apture’s “Live Editor” feature, those links, images, and videos only show up because a server owned by Apture tells them to. Apture’s recent email included the following tidbit:

If you previously added Apture links to your posts using the Apture Live Editor (triggered by hitting the “e” key on your keyboard and inserting links into previously published posts) they will continue to render on your pages. We will do our best over time to keep them rendering, but if you notice missing links please do not hesitate to reach out to us on Get Satisfaction or via email.

That sums it all up – if Apture were to ever go bankrupt or otherwise stop supporting your page via their server, your “Live Editor” images, videos and links would disappear. If you use their pre-publishing solution (where the links and objects are directly embedded in your webpage by you), this isn’t a problem. So I’m not saying to steer clear of Apture totally, just be aware of your risk.

This type of thing highlights the risk we all face to losing the content – whether that be pictures, videos, or blog posts. Make sure you understand the platform you chose to host your content, or you may get an email someday telling you that the site is going down and your content is going with it…