34 – What is “The Cloud?”

Posted October 5, 2020 | Laura Christianson
The Professional Writer
The Professional Writer
34 - What is “The Cloud?”


I read a blog post that referred to “the cloud” as “a ‘computer in the sky,’ which is easily accessed at any time.”

The person who wrote this article has a dry sense of humor, so I suspect he was being slightly sarcastic with his definition.

However, this blogger is a prominent influencer in the publishing world, and some writers who read his post likely assumed that “the cloud” is, literally, a computer in the sky.

I can imagine them gazing heavenward, looking for a computer-shaped cloud where they envision all their computer’s files are being stored.

What is "The Cloud"? | The Professional Writer Podcast with Laura Christianson | Episode 34

What is “The Cloud?”

“The cloud” is a marketing term – it’s a metaphor for “the internet.”

When people say that your data is “in the cloud,” it has nothing to do with those fluffy white things in the sky.

The reason we refer to it as “the cloud” is because the data isn’t stored on your personal computer. The cloud is comprised of a vast network of servers around the world that store and manage data, run applications, or deliver content or a service, such as webmail, productivity software, streaming videos, or social media content.

You access these files and data online from any Internet-capable device, so the info is available to you anytime, from anywhere.

Local vs. Cloud Storage

When you store data on or run programs from your device’s hard drive, that’s called local storage. Everything you need is physically close to you, which means accessing your data is fast and easy, for that one computer, or others on the local network.

When accessing data and programs over the Internet, it is called “cloud computing.”

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