Here's a lesson from the last bubble: the Halifax-based PhotoPoint online photo service in 2001-2002.
December 17, 2001PhotoPoint goes dark, draws concern - CNet News - December 17, 2001
PhotoPoint's troubles come as once-hot online photo sites face a tough shakeout, marked by takeovers and closures. Eastman Kodak acquired online photo service Ofoto in June. In October, mail-order film processor District Photo bought online photo company Snapfish. And in June, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers-backed Zing.com said it would shutter its consumer operations.
For its part, PhotoPoint has been passed around like a hot potato. Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Pantellic spun the company off about two years ago and scored about $11 million in venture capital financing for the start-up. But VC firm Sherwood Partners shut it down and sold some of the assets back to Pantellic in July. After a five-day outage, the site returned but began charging for its services.
The latest shutdown was greeted with anger and confusion from some customers, who said they fear losing photos stored with the service. EZ Prints' Bardin said his company is accepting new photos from PhotoPoint customers but said there are no plans to transfer files stored on PhotoPoint's computers.
UPDATE: Oops, I meant to save this as draft, not publish it. Anyway the gist as I'm sure you can tell is that online services can go dark, particularly in troubled economic times, so make sure that for anything you value, you have copies - maybe a local copy, or maybe multiple copies in different online services. Given the shaky status of Yahoo, delicious bookmarks and Flickr photos are two services in particular that you may want to make sure you have backed up. END UPDATE
(Incidentally, for once my Google-fu failed me, I had to search Halifax newspaper The Chronicle Herald for the name of the failed service, I searched its archives for "photo sharing".)