When do people worry about backing up their data? When it's lost, of course. The same thing is true - perhaps to a greater degree - when it comes to trying to just move their data that is stored within a software product or application.
If you teach using any course management system (Blackboard, Moodle et al), your institution and you should both be backing up the course data. Problem number two comes when you try to move it - try taking your old WebCT course over to Moodle etc.
But what about your private email or your blog or your photo site?
There are some commercial services that can backup your online and "cloud" data. One such service (which I currently use) is backupify.com which is offering a free account until January 31. And there are online services to back up the data you have on your own machine (as opposed to putting it on another hard drive, flashdrive or CDs) such as carbonite.com.
But what happens when you want to just MOVE your data to another service? Let's say you have been using Hotmail for 3 years and want to move to Gmail. Can you easily move your folders and contacts over? Nope. How about moving your blog from one free service to another blog host? Liberating your data can be very difficult or just impossible in some cases.
So, it's good to see an effort like the Data Liberation Front. It is an engineering team at Google whose goal is to make it possible/easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products.
Doesn't it seem logical that you should be able to export any data that you create in (or import into) a product? That's what this team is working on so that Google users can control the data they store in any of Google's products.
For example, it has provided a way to get all your Gmail out to take to a different provider, if that's what you want to do. (This is not a backup service. This is moving data.)
Cloud computing is great and many people and institutions are moving towards the cloud. But one of the drawbacks and benefits of any hosted service is that your data is stored within their service.
Using the Blogger import and export facilities is pretty easy. And if you have been putting your home videos into YouTube and want to move them out, that can be done too.