Re: storage of important files
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:59:46 -0700 (PDT)
On Oct 18, 2019, at 1:55 PM, Henning Mortensen <hmortensen [at]> 
> I am currently ruminating about moving our files to NextCloud/OwnCloud.
> NextCloud runs on a Linux server and requires a fair bit of work to get
> running. This is not for those without technical help.
> I would like to organize a group of computer volunteers to set up services
> like this for communities who don't have the technical expertise, and
> mitigate the risk of loss of your tech guru.

In terms of online stuff I’m one of two people who handle programming and 
accounts. I read several links on NextCloud/OwnCloud and would probably go with 
NextCloud. But still have a basic question — Are these open source programs 
that can be run on  our own hosting account?

Is it similar to using/setting up a Wiki? What is the  advantage of this 
service vs a wiki or even Wordpress. I have just set up a wiki using Wordpress 
to store information about our facilities. Anyone working on facilities can 
enter information, records of service calls, minutes, and etc.

I’m very leery of free services like Google  and Yahoo. Google has repeatedly 
changed the terms of their sites/wiki to the detriment of what has  been a very 
successful record keeping system. All the changes were without notice. With 
great determination after several years of  this, I set up our own wiki on our 
hosting account.

Several years ago Yahoo with no notice (or none that anyone here saw) they 
stripped all the attachments from several  years of messages. Since these were 
posted during the start-up phase we lost valuable historical information and 
documents including drafts. We transferred from Yahoo to as soon as 
problems started at Yahoo and are happy at Last week, Yahoo gave  1 
week’s notice that they were stopping the YahooGroups as we know it. There is a 
bit longer before they delete all archives. (There is something confusing in 
their statement about continuing email and the ability to email groups -- not 
sure what that means.)

Some teams use Google Docs for drafting docs and signups but these are 
temporary documents. I’m totally put off by these  free services. The model  
that uses and Wordpress  plugins use I trust. They have a free 
version but are supported with a premium version with support and more 
features. Working off an income base of advanced services, means the basic 
version is updated as well. Not abandoned.

A few years ago we  signed up with Association Voice, a  standard website for 
condominium communications, and  had hoped  that we would be able  to 
centralize all our communications, calendar, and files. No such luck. They are 
only set up to work with a board so offer only a few email addresses, limited 
kinds of storage, and a very limited calendar. Photos only to the extent that 
they illustrate webpages. (We have an archive  of 1100+.)The people who work on 
that site like it because it is so straightforward, but that also means it is 
limited. Assoc Voice initially offered an integration with the financial 
package our management company uses but  that was found  to be undoable. As a 
result, we have the main service for $50 a month as long as we stay with them. 
Plus any programming we want to do. They have to do all the changes and we 
can’t make some because we use a template that others use — changes would have 
to apply to all those sites.

But as time goes by, we still have different locations for many things. The 
calendar is with CalendarWiz. It has so many features and is so easy to use 
that I doubt if we would ever change. We fairly often reserve 7 rooms/areas in 
the CH, two guest rooms, two outdoor spaces, and several parking places.  Also 
keep track of birthdays and travel. (I highly recommend it.) 

We are adding a calendar on the door to reserve a room that teens want to 
reserve for homework, etc. and they don’t access the online calendar.

Our hosting  account on Bluehost provides email accounts. The Wiki and the 
photo archives are on Bluehost as well. But each one is a separate sign in to a 
Wordpress installation. And now people are using free online services to 
schedule meals and other help for those needing TLC, to find out who can attend 
meetings when, etc. 

I have great hopes for Gather but it would be hard to persuade everyone to 

Every once in awhile someone will ask what do you store in the common house?  
What kind of cabinets, etc, do we need? Well, this long list is what you will 
need for communications.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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