As more content is moving into the cloud and people are increasing their dependence on access to the information that is stored within web services, having Redundancy, a backup, an alternate storage, an alternate means of accessing the data, is critical to maintaining continuity and stability. Products that facilitate Redundancy empower their users, and demonstrate trust in, and service of, the consumer over antiquated concepts of protection and restriction, even of the content that that very user has created.
Quick-MI provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s Modular Innovation (MI). Among the various components that define a product’s Interoperability, as well as Quick-MI’s, are Sharability, Flexibility, Portability, Convenience, and Interoperability.
In understanding the characteristic of Interoperability the sub-category, or variable, of Redundancy plays an instrumental role. Redundancy is …
- the ability, provided by the product, whereby external products are leveraged to provide replication of functionality and/or content, and
- one of the many characteristics and features of Modular Innovation increasingly central to today’s successful and emerging products.
Example: Comprehensive Redundancy (value = 1)
Since I started writing about Modular Innovation and the Modular Innovation variable of Redundancy, many products have come and gone. Back then, I was a user of Jaiku, Twitter, and Pownce. Fortunately, for me, I didn’t lock myself into any single one of these products (Jaiku is basically non-existent, and Pownce is gone), I didn’t hazard choosing the wrong product to count on to win the micro-blogging, status-update wars, but found a way to mitigate my risk of functionality and content loss. Instead, I chose to use the Comprehensively Redundant Ping.fm.
Ping.fm, a recent acquisition of Seesmic, is a wonderful example of Modular Innovation, from Connectivity to, more relevant for today’s examination, Redundancy.
At the core of Ping.fm is the functionality to update one’s status by leveraging a multitude of 3rd party applications.
Why choose between Twitter or Facebook or Plurk? Which products will last? Which products will fail, and along with them vanish a user’s status update ability and content? Ping.fm does a great job in removing the peril of ‘forcing a user to choose,’ risking a choice that results in a dead-end product path with the user’s generated content eventually becoming unavailable and lost to posterity.
Typically, an online user of such products as Twitter, LinkedIn, Posterous, and Facebook has to individually log into each of these products , and one-by-one update their status.
However, instead of a user having to spend the time to update numerous products or depend solely on any one product to provide their online community with status updates, Ping.fm empowers the user via Redundancy of both content and functionality.
The Ping.fm user is neither solely dependent upon Ping.fm nor any one of the 3rd party applications. This product provides, across every of the user’s activated 3rd party apps, the …
replication of status information (content)
- mitigating the risk of the loss of user generated content — the user’s status information can always be available for as long as at least one of the many 3rd party products remains in existence, and
replication of the means to update (functionality)
- providing numerous points of access to update one’s status information,
- saving time for anyone who transmits their updates via one of the ping.fm interfaces.
Impressively, Ping.fm exists to facilitate the users’ updating of status information and allows for 100% of the information generated via the product to be stored and replicated across numerous, popular online 3rd party products. This, in turn, produces a level of Redundancy that saves time and provides security for the consumer through its ability to distribute the risk of both functionality, the ability to update one’s content, and the content itself; earning Ping.fm a Quick-MI Redundancy variable value of 1.0, Comprehensive Redundancy.
With strong Redundancy, as demonstrated with this product, should any product be discontinued, should even Ping.fm disappear, the consumer can STILL access their content, the consumer can STILL make their status updates.
Ping.fm very soundly provides for the ability to replicate information submitted to it across many third party products. Ping.fm even provides for a good variety of interfaces to submit new content, beyond their basic website. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
Two-way Redundancy would further solidify the importance and innate value Ping.fm brings, enabling other products that currently only receive updates from Ping.fm to, themselves, become instantly Redundant, stronger Modular Innovations. For example, allow a user to either submit updates directly to Ping.fm or import those updates for replication across the various enabled third-parties, via Twitter or Facebook (and other currently, one-way Redundant apps).
Over the next several weeks I will be providing real-world examples of Redundancy values…
Comprehensive Redundancy (value 1) [Ping.fm]
Partial Redundancy (value 0.5) [Picnik]
Non-existent Redundancy (value 0) [Backupify]
Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Interoperability and Redundancy of Quick-MI, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall Modular Innovation of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.
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The Product Guy
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