Protecting your information

by Aaron Nepean

If you were to google hoarding, it would return a result like the following:

“Compulsive hoarding is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment.”

Now translate this to your digital space. If you can’t see the picture on your desktop veiled by PDFs, JPEGs, videos, and shortcuts, you’re either too busy to clean house or digitally hoarding. The danger is when this carries over to your entire filing system. Like many, I was guilty of this for years. However, working in video production forced a change.

Most people understand that video files take up a lot of space. Understanding this, you can only guess at the size of a total project. Whether it’s an episode of a show, TV commercial, or short web video, those projects have to remain in their editable state to make future changes. Without knowing the future, it’s always safest to assume changes will come. This results in “excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities.” The goal is to avoid “cause significant distress or impairment”.

You have to stay organized.

Storage space is finite, and eventually, everything will need to be moved. A sure-fire way to frustrate a video editor is by moving files which are linked to existing projects. One solution is to keep every project and its files in its own folder. This results in redundancies like multiple copies of the same video file. But, I’ll never regret buying more storage as much as I would regret losing a file.

This takes me to my last point, redundancy.

I was told a long time ago that files I only have one copy of are files I don’t want. Hard drives won’t last forever, and it only takes one slip of the finger to delete a folder. With the convenience of digital storage, comes the danger having all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

When backing up video production projects or home movies, make sure to keep a copy far enough away to survive a house fire. I assure you, you’ll experience “significant distress or impairment” at the loss of all your files.

At our office, as of October 11th, we have 156,367 files and 15,488 folders on our raid-protected shared network. Almost 12 terabytes of information.

Now, do you think we are hoarders?

Probably, but we hang on and protect our work and our client’s projects.

Work with a company that keeps your files. Minor changes can be done cheaper and quicker.

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