There’s a scene in an Eddie Murphy movie where he plays a character named Kit. He is a scattered and painfully funny type of guy and when he gets freaked out, he encourages his not-so-confident self with this: “What’s my name? Kit. K. I. T. Keep It Together. Keep It Together. KIT.”
That’s how I feel when think about my business and personal computer data. I have to remind myself to keep it together… . Sometimes, I have to remember not to freak out, for example, when I lose two years worth of blog posts to operator error.
Enter Lifestream Backup, a new service to backup and secure your online life. The idea behind Lifestream Backup is that you secure all the data contained in the online services you use.
You may be asking “Why do I need to back up data, if it’s already part of an online service? Those services are pretty secure.” I would have to say you’re right; they are secure and not so likely to fail.
But they do get hacked from time to time. You may also be like me and think, “I can do this particular account setting step myself” and then lose all your data with the click of a button, even after the system asks you repeatedly “are you sure you want to do this?” That’s how I lost two years worth of blog posts.
Jason Falls, chief evangelist at Lifestream Backup, offered a recent example of an online data loss. “When Ma.gnolia [the social bookmarking site] went down in February; people just flat lost their bookmarks. Poof! Gone! If that ever happened to Flickr, a lot of families would lose their memories and archives of their kid’s lives. We solve that problem,” he explained.
In only 15 minutes, I signed up for and configured Lifestream Backup in very few steps to secure my online accounts at Flickr, Google Docs, Basecamp, Twitter, Delicious, and my WordPress blogs.
Here as the steps to backing up the data from your online services:
Step 1: Sign up for the free trial.
Step 2: Log in, which takes you straight to “My Settings” (shown just above here) where the screen is so easy and clear you can’t miss it. You are presented with “Service Settings” for all the current services Lifestream Backup offers. More are in the works. Gmail backup is possible starting end of this month.
You click “Manage” and a simple box appears to the right asking for your username and password at that service. If it takes more authentication than that, you’ll get an additional screen like the following. You get directed through a few more easy-to-understand screens and then you’re done.
Step 3: Click “Manage” for each of the services you want backed up. Each one literally takes only a minute or less.
Step 4: You’re done. You can then go check back and see the history and archives.
This brings me to the primary downside that I spotted, and which the founder, Rob May, was quite willing to admit — there is no push button solution to restore all that info to the appropriate accounts. You have to do it manually. However, he told me they are actively working on an automated restore function. I’d expect it to be there quite soon.
Other than the restore options, which I still hope I’ll never have to use, I’m very excited by how easy this online backup service works. There is no better way to say it than Jason Falls did: Don’t lose memories, don’t lose mission-critical documents or emails. Your data resides in the cloud and storms occasionally hit. Having redundancies built into your online life seems prudent, to say the least.
If Eddie Murphy’s Kit has taught me anything, it is certainly to “keep it together,” in more than one place.
Learn more about Lifestream Backup.
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About the Author:TJ McCue is the strategic content guy at Q4 Sales and founder of Sales Rescue Team. He blogs at Dun & Bradstreet’s AllBusiness.com about online research and marketing.
TJ: Sounds like a great service. What is the price after the free trial?
Thanks for spreading the word, T.J. We sure hope folks know that our service is meant to be their online insurance policy. We’re anxious for feedback, though, so we can make the tool better. Would love for everyone to sign up for the free trial and let us know what you like/dislike and what would make the service convincing (if it’s not already) to win your trust in us.
Martin – After the trial, it’s $4.95 per month right now. Less than a good cheeseburger. We don’t want people to have to break the bank just to know their data is safe. But we’d love to hear thoughts on pricing from folks as well.
Hey Martin, I see that Jason Falls at Lifestream Backup is already engaging here. Thanks Jason. I’m sure your responsiveness will inspire trust.
This sounds great! I’m going to take advantage of the free 30 day trial. Thank you TJ for bringing this to our attention.
I’ve signed up for my free trial but can’t figure out how to set up the WordPress account. Can anyone help me? Where do I find the WordPress plugin key for the settings? Any help would be appreciated.
So now we have cloud-based backup for cloud-based data to go with cloud-based backup for physical data (companies like Mozy). When will one of these services offer to handle both?
I’ve asked one of our technical folks to help walk you through the WP key. I did it when I set mine up but dont’ want to steer you incorrectly. Thanks for your patience. You may also want to go to the site and click the “Feedback” tab that hangs on the left side of every page. That will get you to our support team perhaps a little quicker.
Robert: The great thing about LSB is that you can go in whenever you like and manually download your backups and put them on your hard drive or back up drives. (So you can be backed up in our cloud, your computer, Mozy’s cloud, your back up drive, etc.) Needless to say, you’ll be really safe. We sure hope you give it a try. Redundant backing up can’t be a bad thing!
We’ve thought about it but would rather partner than go head to head with a company that has lots of cash. We have have talked to several of the major players in the space, and while I can’t disclose much about those talks, expect to see a joint solution down the road.
Rob (Lifestreambackup Co-Founder)
Several people have had the same problem, and we are working on better instructions for the wordpress plugin. The key can be anything you make up. Think of it as a password. The only requirement is that it be at least 3 characters. Enter the same key in the plugin and on the site to start your backups.
Thanks Jason and Rob for diving in quickly to answer questions. I’m glad for this help on WordPress as I was just about to do that one myself. Great.
I have to try this too. Thanks TJ for introducing this to us!
Jason Falls: Thanks for the information. Do I get a cheeseburger too!? 😉 As an experienced purchaser, I will come back to you regarding your pricing, comparing apples, oranges, and cheeseburgers…
Tell you what, Martin. If you’re ever in Louisville, look me up and I’ll buy you a cheeseburger. And let us know when you’ve got thoughts on pricing. We’d love to hear it.
OK, I am on my way to Louisville, KY… 😉 For more on my return to the Land of Opportunity, please read my post: http://bit.ly/MeltingPot
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