Longevity, Life Services and the Cloud

At Orange, my R&D group oriented its work around the notion of “life services” in which customers would find daily utility. As the web approaches its 7000th day, life services have come to mean something very different to me…

October 1999: I signed up for a Hotmail account in order to use MSN Messenger.

January 2002: I purchased imran@ali.name as my primary email address, after ICANN’s launch of .name

July 2003: In eight years, I’ve listened to 81874 songs at Last.fm.

September 2003: I’ve transacted 128 times on eBay since joining.

July 2004: In seven years, I’ve accumulated bookmarked 3452 links at Delicious.

February 2004: I joined Flickr after a demo from Stuart Butterfield in the corridors of ETech04.

December 2006: I joined Facebook on 26th – also Twitter as its 35853th user, after being told by @foe I was behind the curve 🙂

July 2007: Dopplr tells me I’ve spent 377 days and 250’000 miles travelling between 51 cities since July 1994.

January 2010: Since joining as the 33574th user of Foursquare I’ve checked into various places a total of 616 times.

Are life services better conceived of as those who’s longevity you can depend on, decade-after-decade?

As enterprises place source code into escrow, should citizens demand that personal data be similarly protected throughout the lifetime of individuals, not organisations? Should we be masters of our own domain? What would a language of design patterns for longevity look like? Could we finally accept DRM as an anti-pattern?

If we are to submit to the Cloud (database as a service), we need to ensure our electronic engrams have an afterlife. Visit sites like venyu.com/colocation/ to know more about the cloud and dedicated servers.


  1. That’s a lovely thought. I also wonder if one day “legacy code” will come to mean something different: unique and valuable family scripts developed by our ancestors.


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