More on file systems, how I work now
I now work on the Internet, which means that the only networked file systems I have access to are on my home network. I still use them extensively for file storage but I no longer have a simple way to share the files with others, either was work in progress or published. So do I miss the file systems I used on the LAN years ago – YES, here’s why:
- The only way to share something now is to either copy it to a collaborative space, attach it to a blog post or email it
- Every one of these options requires me to make an explicit action that disrupts my flow of work, which means that I don’t do it very often
- My blog is public, so I can’t upload much to it that’s work related so its not much use
- There isn’t a direct one to one mapping between every file I work on and collaborative spaces, so I would end up needing to copy some files to two spaces, or having to create additional spaces to find somewhere to put everything
- No one looks at the collaborative spaces anyway because they are not RSS enabled, so there is little point in posting them anyway.
First thoughts on what would I like:
- A way to stream files in certain directories – as they change – up to an internal blog, which others can subscribe to as an RSS feed. An ability to add tags to these files that map to blog categories so that people can be selective in the categories they subscribe to
- A simple way to annotate these files with meta-data that makes the blog more interesting
- A simple way to publish files to web based collaboration spaces, preferably from within the application as part of the save process.
The list above is not very well thought through, but the key point that should come through is simple, quick, transparent for me, and also for the consumer of the changes.
I work on a very large number of files every day. However for people who work on a few things for longer periods of time I think they could probably get away with the following solution:
- Storage all files on their local hard drive
- Backup their files to another PC in the same office every night (robocopy /mir)
- Backup their files off site using a service like the one from Iron Mountain
- When they have finished publish their files to a collaborative space