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File Libraries and File Sharing

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NOTE: SHOULD THIS BE SEPARATED INTO TWO PAGE? File libraries and File Sharing are two different things.

Brief Description:

No longer do we have any excuse for hording our data on our personal hard drives. There are many ways to share files online to allow ourselves and others access to data and knowledge. The hard drive is now "on the net!" There are also useful practices to help others find and make sense of this content without overwhelming or overloading. This page talks about file libraries as a way of organizing shared files, and file sharing to allow the easy transfer of files.

File Libraries:

File Sharing:


When to use:

  • Personal: To have your own files available when you are traveling: this can be instead of carrying a laptop and/or thumb drive, but I find it more useful as a backup in case my laptop battery is not charged, or I've misplaced a thumb drive, etc.
  • To share large files with others: It is possible to share much larger files than is possible with attachments on most email systems, and downloading can be done at the convenience of the other individual.

How to use:

Tips and Lessons Learnt

  • For low bandwidth we have found Skype to work suprisingly well for file transfer. Clearly this is a point 2 point connection so once it is sent to the fast side of the internet, then someone with broadband can post it on a server.

Examples & Stories

(add yours)

File Sharing Services

  • Mediafire a free online file hosting/sharing service will allow an unlimited number of files of any format to be uploaded (max. 100MB per file). These files can be made public or private, linked to blogs, webpages, etc. I have found it quite useful to share files that are too large to be sent as email attachments.
  • Drop.io
  • YouSendIt http://www.yousendit.com/ provides a free trial version and different file sizes possible
  • http://www.filesanywhere.com - works well with low-bandwidth situations such as those in Africa. It can create multiple folders for different activities, country teams. If offers more functionality, including version control. A small annual fee is required based on the amount of storage space needed.
  • Dropbox is free with a limited amount of space - paid accounts can access larger storage spaces. A feature of Dropbox that could make it a great tool for people who are using poor Internet connections, is that you can set a bandwidth limit. The advantage of this is that you can keep a good chunk of bandwidth free so it doesn't affect your browsing experience and tie up your internet connection 100%.
  • http://www.foldershare.com A free peer-to-peer file sync tool.
  • Torrent client. Example UTorrennt: http://www.utorrent.com/documetation/make-a-torrennt : If your need is to use the low bandwidth in the most efficient way. Torrents are designed to automatically adapt the file transfers to the available bandwidth, and if the connection is lost it will automatically restart the download as soon as possible without any loss of the previously downloaded data. In short, a torrent client is a peer2peer system to share files (of any size). It is easy to use, and allows you to securely share files with your friends/colleagues
  • Dgroups (http://dgroups.org)
  • Skype (http://www.skype.com) and its option of sharing file with contacts while in a chat/call
  • Ubuntu (https://one.ubuntu.com/), a commercial application.
  • SkyDrive (http://skydrive.live.com), an online file hosting/sharing service that allows you to upload and sync files to a cloud storage and then access them via your web browser. You can edit files online and there is also the option to share files and/or folders. The free version offers a maximum of 7 GB storage space. You need to have a Microsoft account (e.g. Hotmail) to log in although publicly shared files do not require users to have a Microsoft account to access.
  • Box (http://www.box.com), an online file hosting/sharing service that allows you to upload and sync files and folders and access them via your web browser or through the desktop application. It is possible to log in using your Google account credentials if you do not want to set up a separate Box account. The free version offers 10 GB of storage space.

Who can tell me more?

(add your name/contact email)

Related Methods / Tools / Practices

Google Documents


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(URLs, photos, podcasts, we should perhaps think of a sub-classification of resources)
Planning, implementing and managing online repositories: Lessons learned from the KnowGenesis Library
by Saurabh Kudesia http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2130/1941



Photo Credit: Photo by elmo on Flickr