incredible journey

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Our incredible journey or an incredible journey is a phrase that often signals that your articles, status updates, photos, checkins, bookmarks, messages, reviews, and other content, identity, and even relationships must be deleted from the internet because the silo you were trusting to host them is shutting down or being purchased by a larger company that will likely do the same thing at some later date.

It's based on the selfish phrase that frequently appears in the final, tender, and often bittersweet blog post of many online social media and technology start ups rosily announcing they are shutting down, being bought out, or disappearing from the internet.

OurIncredibleJourney.tumblr.com is a website that has cataloged many of these posts over the years. Here are some brief thoughts from their about page:

Cataloging the thrilling opportunities start-ups are offered when their incredible journey continues by being bought by an exciting company. However, as a user of the start-up’s service, your own incredible journey must end, because all of your photos and writing and checkins and messages and relationships must now be deleted.

In part this site is simply a snarky and angry response to companies and people who might profit from an acquisition while showing little regard for the efforts of the thousands of people who spent time on their service.

But this site also asks broader questions: Is this the best way to structure and grow businesses? Is this the best long-term model for keeping people interested in making and doing amazing things on the internet? Why does almost no website or online service (my own included) have a plan for what happens to their users’ content over the long term?

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