Being A Good Citizen on the Internet
I must admit that I am severely impressed. Whenever I think of Backblaze at this point I think of a size-able company, maintaining EXABYTES (that number makes no sense whatsoever) of data from individuals as well as massive corporations. They run two physical locations with lots of staff and develop their own hardware & software to make all of this happen while being entirely independent of the few big “cloud” providers that have cornered the market.
This mentality is something I have always looked up to and am actively pursuing with my work at Guardian, which is now part of DNSFilter. If you want it to be done correctly you either resort to buying the most expensive option, which you probably can’t afford and is not guaranteed to solve your problem, or do it yourself. For a lot of problems those are the two options if you want to avoid mediocre, middle-of-the-road crap. Backblaze has mostly chosen to do the latter, which is something that I can really respect.
Given their responsibilities and reputation I was quite impressed to see a seemingly real human being reach out to me via E-Mail, kindly asking me to update an older link on my tiny website to their B2 product. I was going to write back telling them that I would do that but that they should ensure that they have forwards setup for the old links, but as I tested that I quickly noticed that they were already way ahead of me.
This is how you do PR work correctly for a company of any size! No ego & no weird lawyerly phrasing, just a regular message from somebody reaching out kindly asking to avoid a redirect for anybody clicking the link on my website. Backblaze has once again proven that the organization as a whole has not fallen into the
“big corporation that is required to increase shareholder value by any means”
trap and is aware that they’re just a citizen of the internet like any of us. And they’re making an effort trying to be a good internet citizen, too! I am still dearly missing a few (basic-ish) features which I would expect from their product to further integrate it into Guardian itself, but this interaction has once again proven that Backblaze is a great company to be a customer of and has really re-assured my trust in them with regards to everything that they do. I would love to one day be able to tour one of their facilities, given that I have followed their lead with building backup servers out of cheap components and being successful at it.
None of this was related to their technical strategy, past decisions or current offering, but solely on a normal human interaction.
Funny how effective a little bit of politeness & self-awareness is in this anonymized, digital world…