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What to do when you get evicted from your virtual homestead

April 11, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • FlipShare, the online network for sharing videos shot on the Flip camera, is closing. Users will have to transfer their content before it all disappears at the end of 2013.
FlipShare, the online network for sharing videos shot on the Flip camera,… (Eric Risberg / Associated…)

If you're like millions of people out there, you’ve spent time cultivating and curating your life online. You post videos and photos, you share links and connect with friends and family in real ways, virtually. Your musings, poignant moments, snapshots and vibrant exchanges are captured and cataloged. But what happens when you essentially get evicted from your online home? 

As Instagram users fume about Facebook’s buying the popular photo-sharing network, considering packing up their photos, comments and community isn't something you do hastily.

Well, the homesteads built on Cisco’s FlipShare and Apple’s MobileMe have, essentially, been foreclosed on and shuttered.

FlipShare is the video-sharing platform that worked with the once white-hot Flip video cameras, the quick-to-Web video camera that spawned a wave of pocket-sized camcorders on the market. Cisco Systems bought Flip in 2009 for $590 million and put it to pasture two years later. While Cisco hasn’t disclosed figures, sales of Flip cameras in 2007 and 2008 totaled 2 million prior to the purchase of parent company Pure Digital.

Now, the clock is ticking on FlipShare. Users have until the end of 2013 to rescue their videos. In that case, Flip users can transfer their videos to Givit, which is in partnership with Cisco. The video transfer should move quickly. They have well over 200 servers in the Amazon server farm. Also, Givit offers free iOS and Android apps.

Of course, that works as long as Givit remains in business as well.

MobileMe users aren’t so lucky; they have only until the end of June 2012, and there is no true replacement homestead. This content, unlike mail, contacts, calendars and bookmarks, doesn’t have a home on Apple’s replacement iCloud. There’s a roundabout way to store the galleries you’ve built. You can essentially download a .zip file of your gallery at or you can sync the gallery photos to your iPhoto library.

In other words, you can keep your memories, but there is only iLeave, no relocation program as there is with FlipShare.

As we use these cloud-based platforms to replace our real-world journals, scrapbooks and social networks, we all need to consider a real or virtual back-up plan for the day we are told our time line has come to an end.


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What to do when you get evicted from your virtual homestead

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