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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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Tomorrow I plan to attend the Digital Researcher seminar day at the British Library.

It promises to be an excellent day providing insights on how researchers can best employ microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking/citations and many of the other nifty collaborative elements of the web that simply weren't there in the '90s.

I post this, today because, obviously, in a practice-driven seminar, there is expected to be a great deal of hands-on work. For instance, the event has its own Twitter hashtag (#DR10) and all participants have been encouraged to register Twitter accounts.

There is, however, a problem with entrusting all our data to the cloud. Twitter is down. My account originally had a frozen timeline. It is now entirely inaccessible. Obligatory screenshot provided.

When running events that depend on technology completely outside of our control, we become hostage to Silicon Valley. The centralization of services brings convenience at the expense of disempowerment. We only tend to notice this when service fail, but it is, in fact, an omni-present danger; vendor (including service provider) lock-in.

That said, let's hope the fail whale has disappeared by tomorrow.