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With Posterous shutting down, reminded me of one of the reasons I started ReadyMadeWeb—giving our client a safe haven for their data.

The web is a boom town right now, but boom towns go bust, or at least many of the shops in a boom town do. In this case, the founders of Posterous actually struck gold—they have cash and cushy jobs at Twitter—but their users have gone bust.

This is why the team here at ReadyMadeWeb is so careful about the services we recommend to clients. When evaluate web-based applications and services, we look for both long-term business viability and ease of data export. We only want to recommend long-term solutions to our clients and we never want their data to be held hostage or left stranded. suggest a few great guidelines to make sure your content is actually yours:

Own your domain name. If you want to post content, anything more substantial than cat pictures, things you may want to come back to in the future, you should own your domain name. It’s cheap and ensures that your links won’t have to change even if you need to move to a new platform. Then, once posted on your own space, you can share links to Twitter & co.

Use services that have open APIs. If you post content on a host that has no content export policy, then you are basically throwing that effort into a black hole. The instant that they shut down, you might lose it all.

Use these concepts for anything of importance that you do online. There are rumors that Google might one day shut Google Reader down, do you have your feeds exported as an OPML file? Do you periodically download your email using IMAP from your web mail service? Do you have your calendar and contacts synced to a local machine?

I couldn’t agree more with these three recommendations. In fact, I think I’m going to go download an OPML file of my Google Reader feeds.