I was sad to see the news on Twitter today that the Calepin site/service is going away. Calepin was/is a Web site that allowed you to create static files in Markdown on Dropbox and then publish them to a blog. I only posted a handful of writing posts, but I liked the idea of this type of service.
Announcement: Calepin is closing in 90 days. Consider moving to @scriptogram Thanks for the ride. Sorry I couldn't maintain it.— Calepin (@calepinapp) April 17, 2012
What is intriguing, however, is that in the Twitter post, the creator of Calepin pointed people to a very similar service called Scriptogr.am . I decided to perform a quick experiment. I went to Scriptogr.am's site and created my url name and authorized it to sync with Dropbox. It created a folder in Dropbox for the site.
I then went and moved all my files from the Calepin Dropbox folder to the Scriptogr.am Dropbox folder, pressed a sync (publish) button on Scritpogr.am and 'voila' the files were all there. I ended up doing some clean-up, changed the publish date and did a find/replace on Calepin but that was my choice. All I had to do was move the files from one folder to another and I was back in business.
I totally understood in a 'this affects me directly' way and not just a theoretical way, the things that Dave Winer has been saying about avoiding lock-in and the benefits of having your own data. Even if I had done nothing, the files would have still been on my computer when Calepin shut down, but with alternatives sites, I can get right back up too.