Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Trouble with Cloudworks

Cloudworks Now before anyone gets upset, let me say that I think Cloudworks is quite good. Which is not to say that Cloudworks doesn't pose a problem for me.

We (we being the ALT-C 2010 Web Participation Coordinators - WPCs) have been discussing what tools we would like to support/promote/ignore at ALT-C 2010 - this is an ongoing process with all decisions pending). Cloudworks is on the list, along with lots of other tools/sites. And that's the problem. I don't have a Cloudworks-shaped hole in my life. Not on an average day, and certainly not at a busy conference. I will make room for a Twitter-shaped hole, and if the discussion is of relevance, possibly knock out a Friendfeed-shaped nook for my science buddies. And if enough people nag me, I might even squeeze in the odd visit to Crowdvine. But how could I possibly find space for Cloudworks?

It's not the same for everyone. Other people will go Cloudworks first, Facebook second. LiveJournal might even rear it's ugly head. Plus about a million different blog platforms and commenting systems. My point is that discussion is salami-sliced across all these networks. If ALT-C was a 24/7/365 entity, we could even make a play or promote one over the others. But when people roll up in Nottingham on 7th September, they bring their networks with them. And If we want to talk to them, we need to be there too, not expect them to give up their habit and come to us.

I've just discovered that there doesn't seem to be any licence information on Cloudworks. Presumably I clicked through a licence that I didn't read when I signed up, but I can't find it again now. So who owns the content on Cloudworks and what rights do they have to it?