Why We're Self-Hosting

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

A couple of people have asked why we're planning to host and serve the content we're developing instead of using a combination of YouTube and Google Code, or one of the emerging online education services such as LearnHub or Supercool School. Part of the answer is longevity: while standards like SCORM are supposed to make e-learning content portable between different systems, in reality there is still a large degree of vendor lock-in, particularly with hosted services, and we don't want to find that our content has gone off-line because someone hasn't survived a market downturn. Hostable learning management systems like Moodle require more work to set up and administer, but are also more robust (at least for now).

For another part of the answer, have a look at Matt McKeon's visualization of the evolution of privacy on Facebook. How many of the "free" services that you use are making a living by selling information on your browsing patterns to marketing firms? The odds are that you don't know, and even if a service isn't doing it now, there's no guarantee they won't in future.

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