Nuts & Bolts: In a Democratic Marketing campaign: Preserve your individual knowledge with out being a silo
Sorry, it will never be all cloud based. Local copies help
It's easy to believe that anything you want to do in a campaign can be done through the cloud by setting up Box, Google Drive, or OneDrive and granting access. Some campaigns are based on Microsoft Sharepoint or other integrated sharing services. These tools can be awesome, but if you want to keep an eye on the data and allow you to look back on it, you should keep a copy of it in a localized format. The reasons for this strategy are simple: once a campaign ends, paying for an ongoing cloud service that contains data can cross the ethical boundaries in a state, while local storage is a one-time expense.
If you've recorded town halls, debates, video tests, alternate audio streams, and live chats, you could end up with hundreds of gigabytes of data. For future campaigns, it can be helpful to make sure you have a record of other campaign statements and a video to back up, or even to give you an idea of what that candidate is thinking.
After a while, the data will add up quickly. Before I wrote this diary, I went through my Qnap and found that since 2004 I have a little over 7 terabytes of data associated with campaign work. Much of it is video, but some of it is works of art and documents. However, all of this data can be useful for looking back when considering what may or may not happen in a congressional district, state house district, or state senate district. I can see messages that got resonance and times when the audience didn't respond as expected.
This does not mean that we are eliminating the use of the cloud
In the long term, local storage will gain in importance. And this local storage offers quick access. For security reasons, I often use tools like Backblaze or Microsoft Azure to store large amounts of compressed non-video data. I want to make sure that the preservable data like spreadsheets, documents, audio and graphics can be saved.
When it comes to videos, however, there is often another way to deal with it without it costing you a dime: create a YouTube channel. Upload videos to YouTube and make them non-searchable and private if your video is from those in your campaign. That way, only someone signed in to your account can see them. Most storage companies like Google charge upload and download fees which can be tough to hit while uploading or downloading videos. Post the same video on YouTube and there is no charge. No cost to see later. No upload costs.
A YouTube video that says "Private".
Now you don't lose track of your video, it can be active forever and you don't pay to keep it there – or with your cloud service provider.
How much space do you need?
Note that what you save and what roles you have in campaigns determine how or whether you save campaign data. You can also find yourself as a Packrat. Granted, I can be one! I rarely go back to documents created in 2006. Still, it is sometimes useful to have access to it, especially when trying to clarify how something was handled in the past or if there has ever been a problem.
I know others who store data that dates back to the early 1980s. I know because over the years I've helped them scan and digitize some of the video, audio, and paper documents that they still had on hand. (Don't let me start with converting Betacam to digital video.) It's up to you to determine how much data you need to store and have available. Depending on what you do, this is controlled by the amount of data you come in contact with or have the responsibility to protect in a campaign.