You can do everything "in the cloud" these days, from blogging to posting photos to running servers. Most impressively, you can now also lose control of your files and personal information with unprecedented ease, or simply lose it, period. This is exactly the worst possible feature for the personal publishing use-cases of cloud computing. Possibly the most distressing aspect of cloud-based publishing is that it firmly designates the intangible network as the primary resting place of one's data. (I will note here that this aspect is itself what I am using to define "cloud computing" for the purposes of this blog post.) If the first place you put your creations is some hosted service on the great wide interwebs, you're playing with fire.
As it stands, the cloud is not safe for primary storage. I lost some data in the Magnolia bookmarking service fiasco myself, with my most recent backup several weeks before the crash. I only backed up my bookmarks when I remembered to, not having the time to work up an automated downloading script. Now I save all my bookmarks locally, and my twice-weekly backup takes care of everything. My online photo gallery is not in any similar danger, because I wrote it myself with such a failure mode in mind. The photos and tags and descriptions live on my laptop and propagate from there out to my public website. Images and tags that I don't want to be public never even leave my machine.
I want all of our current hosted-publishing systems move to the desktop. Clearly, a competitive answer to the cloud/hosted systems of today must compete on both convenience and easy security. Using an application must be as easy as surfing the web, and publishing photos, text, and video must only take a few clicks of the mouse.
What I envision is a desktop platform that allows users to download from the web and run (in a sandbox) any compatible software in a single click, where each application is given fine-grained permission to talk with other applications, read and write user data, and publish to the web, and a peer-to-peer communication system for non-public publishing (e.g. LiveJournal-like friend-locked blogging.) Since most users will not have always-on desktops, communications and storage would be optionally mediated by paid and freemium hosted services serving only as relays for encrypted user data.
With this imagined software, a user would be able to get started with photo publishing by finding a good-looking gallery application's website, clicking a special URL, and approving installation. Perhaps the user would then approve the application's request for 1) read-only access to a specified photo directory and 2) publishing permissions (to the public web, approved peers' inboxes, and relay servers). The application might provide a tagging and organization interface itself, or possibly just scrape data out of KPhotoAlbum, FSpot, and Picasa's databases. The user would connect certain tags to defined groups in their master contact list, allowing e.g. grandparents to be shown different sets of photos than coworkers.
Now imagine that at platform installation time, users are provided with a brand-new set of encryption keys and instructed how to hold key-signing parties, assisted by the platform's authentication module. Privacy-sensitive content (photos, blog entries, video, source code) would be created on the desktop, encrypted to group and personal public keys, distributed on personal and paid servers or via P2P, and downloaded to peer machines. At no point would the prime copy of a user's creations be offsite -- and at no time would personal information be out of the control of the user or those they trust with it.
This project is totally feasible in technical and social terms. It could revolutionize user privacy and even be the required bootstrap for layman's practical encrypted communication. It just needs the right group of people to start the work. Comment if you think you could be one of those people.