A recent YouTube video by Peter McKinnon triggered one of my nerves.

In the clip he describes a cool product that allows you to offload camera footage to a portable waterproof hard drive while shooting on the road.
He then continues his review of the product by saying: “If your cards are full and you’re on a glacier you can backup your photos on the device, wipe your cards and continue taking photos.”

The product itself is actually pretty cool. But his usecase is so, sooo wrong.

Why?

Backup: making a copy of a file on another medium so that if one of them breaks or gets lost, you still have access to your data.

Archiving: moving your files to another medium so that you have more storage free on the original drive.

His workflow is the latter. He moves data from one medium to another and wipes the original. He ends up with one copy.

Imagine being on that glacier. You migrate your photos, empty the card, take new photos and when you arrive at your home, that cool little reader is apparently broken… luckily you still have your memories, because those photos? All gone.

Better: Use that cool device, store it in a different backpack than your cards and keep your original photos on your cards too. At least until you get Wi-Fi access and can make another copy of those photos to whichever cloud you prefer.

Archiving is not the same as making a backup.

(Find and replace photos and glacier with presentation and airplane, school project and library, or whatever use case suites your need).