Today, as Google unleashed Google Drive unto the world,1 I’m wrapping up my Goodbye Google series.
To recap, here’s what I’ve covered over the past several weeks:
- I waded gently into the waters by taking some baby steps away from some of Google’s smaller services.
- I attempted to leave Gmail in the dust.
- I tried to find out if I could live without Google Reader.
- I saw how far I could get away from Google Apps.
- I did the math to get Google+…gone.
But before I go into my summary of how things went, let’s talk about the areas I didn’t get into…
I hate analytics, especially the Google kind. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in them, and Google makes it impossible to do anything but (if you want to be able to eventually understand them).
I know that Stephen Hackeet uses Gaug.es and I’ve heard good things about Mint as well. But Google is still the king. I will likely augment my stats with an alternate service (probably Gaug.es). But for now, Google Analytics it is.
Why? Conveninece. It’s as simple – and possibly as stupid – as that.
I don’t have Google Ads on my sites, and I don’t intend to anytime soon. I think they muddy the user experience if not placed in a way that doesn’t – and that’s very hard to do and still make money with them.
I’d much rather use a network like CarbonAds. So I do.
I know I touched on this when I talked about Google Apps, but I think this area is worthy of more than just a passing glance. In fact, I think it’s worth noting that Google Calendar is one of the anchors that keeps one foot of my Internet life in Google.
My wife and I use Google Calendar more and more every day. If she had a Mac at work, maybe we’d get into iCloud, or she could simply use iCal and let me subscribe to her calendar. But the way things stand, Google Calendar works the best for us. And it’s not just for my family’s cohesiveness that I’m sticking with GCal. Almost every single calendar request I get is from Google Calendar directly. I don’t get an .ics file, I get a Google Calendar invite. To try to shoehorn that invite into another solution would actually take more time than save me time. There are just some things where convenience wins out, and Google Calendar is a classic example of that.
As mentioned above, I wasn’t able to say goodbye to Google – at least not completely. I’m still a big Google Calendar user, use Google for my work at Lifehack, and haven’t up and left Google Reader for any of the alternatives that are out there. I’d love to jump ship from Reader, but it comes back to that convenience factor. I simply don’t want to spend time moving away from it right now. Maybe Fever will be in my future, maybe not.
Going through this process has allowed me not only to remove as much of the stuff that I wanted to move out of Google, but also provided me the ability to discover what other stuff that I could – and subsequently also wanted to – move out of Google. It got me out of Google+. It moved me into a more private (and yet nearly as robust) search engine. It made me really think about what services I wanted to use, how I wanted to use them and where I wanted to use them.
And not just in the case of Google, either.
It’s made me rethink Facebook. It’s made me rethink social networking as a whole. It’s made me think about the cost of convenience versus the price of privacy.
Ultimately, it’s made me more aware.
(Photo credit: Robert Scoble via Shutterstock)
1 And, like John Gruber, I won’t be pulling up to Google Drive.
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