Cloud computing is now a popular method of storing data across online networks. It can be used to backup academic projects, images, and various kinds of media. Cloud-based platforms are also often a quick and accessible method for users to share data.
However, with the recent closure of Megaupload and the resulting rush to the hills by other storage services, perhaps going 'back a step' and backing up data on your desktop may not be such a bad idea after all.
A similar tool to Dropbox, SocialFolders -- available for Mac or Windows -- allows users to download copies of data from services such as Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and Google Docs. Apart from providing a way to store your data, it can also be used to synchronize these services -- so a user can upload content, for example, from Facebook to Flickr without much effort.
The team at SocialFolders is currently developing the service to support Twitpic, but something in particular that students may be interested in is the latest component -- Evernote functionality. All a student needs to do is to drag and drop any file in to the folder, which can then be uploaded to your notebooks.
Users can choose which services they want to connect with, and a corresponding folder for each separate service will appear on their desktop -- in the same manner as Dropbox. When a new folder is synchronized or the user uploads a new photo to Facebook, then the data will automatically appear on the linked hard drive.
If a user of SocialFolders wishes to download media from a friend's account, they can select the album they wish to synchronize and upload files directly to their desktop.
In terms of privacy and downloading content from friends, any changes a user makes to websites containing uploaded media are automatically applied to SocialFolder accounts. The social media website's individual privacy settings dictate what can be downloaded in terms of your friends' media, and what they are willing to share.