See the post in its original context here.
The future of Delicious, the social bookmarking site, is uncertain at the moment. There are conflicting reports as to whether it's being "sunsetted" by its owner Yahoo, sold off, released as open source etc. Whatever its future, there are implications for people using a range of web 2.0 tools to collate a "distributed" eportfolio.
A distributed ePortfolio would use a selection of tools hosted across a number of services. It might include Wordpress for reflective blogging, LinkedIn for a CV, Flickr for a photojournal, Slideshare, Issuu or Scribd for key pieces of written work etc.
It's not a perfect solution by any means with many pros and cons but the fate of Delicious points to a major risk.
If an ePortfolio is hosted by an institution on something like Mahara or PebblePad this will be backed up by personnel and infrastructure to ensure a certain level of stability and access.
If you are using extra-institutional services you are at the whim of market forces and fashion amongst other things.
I was a big fan of a service called Fliggo, which allowed you to create your own personal YouTube-like site, controlling access, publication etc - great for eportfolios. Unfortunately the company behind it decided in early 2010 that they couldn't monetise it sufficiently so channelled their efforts into a Twitter video sharing service. First I found I couldn't upload any new content to Fliggo, then I eventually lost access to all the videos I'd uploaded.
The other problem is that through embedding and RSS feeds, the tools in a distributed eportfolio may be closely interlinked. If one service goes down it may require updating dozens or hundreds of links or autoposting features on other sites.
At the very least it's an annoyance when web 2.0 tools change or disappear. At worst, when they host assessment-critical materials, it can be a disaster.
So, if you considering building a distributed ePortfolio using publicly available web 2.0 tools:
I'm not saying that using these sorts of tools for an eportfolio is a bad idea, just that there are certain risks to go with the benefits.
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