Modern web tools provide some amazing solutions. Stories like this remind me why the first step in solving most problems is to try to build it myself.
For anyone wondering how Goodreads could have simply lost all my data, I’m wondering too! It bespeaks contempt for users. And terrible system design, services should not be able to lose data irrecoverably. The specific bug is related to my removing Twitter API access to Goodreads last week (they stopped supporting Twitter login months before). Somehow that triggered their system to delete everything. Goodreads promises me it was a true delete, the data is wiped from their database. I don’t believe this: sites generally flag data as deleted, they don’t actually remove it. Goodreads also ignored my request to restore my data from backup. Either they don’t have backups or they can’t be bothered.
One of the things I find fascinating (and refreshing) about the community of Obsidian users is how driven they are to build bespoke self-hosted tools. Even if Obisidian disappears or the plugins stop working, the data still exists on your own disk in files you control. Maybe I’m just old, but I’m tired of having to start from scratch because web services go away or pivot to something unrecognizable.