As readers of my blog know, I love Dropbox. It is growing in popularity, as it makes many, if not most, lists of  "must have" apps for iPad.

I do mourn the loss of It was a fine place to set up a one-time document repository for group to post and exchange documents. Some months after everyone quit using the drop, it quietly self-destructed. At first I thought that Facebook had bought to add that feature to Facebook, but it appears maybe not.

Our friends at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program did not just mourn the loss of They did some research and gave us a nice resource in Drop(site) Like It's Hot: Alternatives to Then yesterday  posted 3 New & Superb Ways To Share Files Online. That post pointed out that the introduction of HTML5 not only makes it easier to build web-based online document repositories, but also to do other "amazing" things with web pages.

Noted blogger Carolyn Elefantmentioned to me that the demise of made her a bit uneasy about putting anything in the free cloud. I understand that. But we all like free. Maybe the key to using free cloud services is to pick those which have a premium or paid component. Hopefully while you use the free service,  others will be paying to support it and when you need more space or new features, it will be much easier to upgrade to the premium service than to move your files elsewhere. Of course you could always maintain duplicate sets of files on two services, but unless you set them up to synchronize automatically, that would defeat the "quick and easy" nature of these cloud services.

Ultimately the goal of a free cloud-based service of this type is almost certainly to make money. So they intend to be acquired, or convert to paid subscriptions only, or hope the service is so good that the free(up)loaders upgrade to receive more. But with more people relying on smart phones, iPads and other mobile devices in addition to their computers, we tightwads will hope that all of the free data clouds do not fade away.