Google, it’s over between us



Google, it’s over between us. We were close a while back, when search wasn’t overrun with sponsored content, when Reader was under active development and you were a good-natured participant in the internet community, but you’ve changed. I feel like you’re stalking me now and taking note of everything that I do, however innocuous, and you’re wielding your influence at the expense of those who trusted you with their data, and with technical standards. And that’s not OK.

So, I’m leaving you.

Which means I’m walking away from Search and Maps, from Translate and YouTube. You’ll still see me on Groups, but only from behind the safety of my email client and not through the nice web interface. As you know, Gmail and Google+ were never my thing but don’t expect to see my family photos on Facebook - I’m not there either… they gave me the creeps before you did. I realise this is going to hurt me too, you really are the best in all of the areas where you still saw me, but I’m happy to take a step back if it means we don’t need to associate.

You’ve still got some great people like Steve Souders and Ilya Grigorik, and you do some brilliant work with your data centres, software and hardware, so I still hold out a glimmer of hope, but the onus is on you to demonstrate that you’re serious about our relationship - perhaps you should chat with your investors about how the nice dividends are coming at the expense of reputation and trust. It doesn’t have to be like this.

And for you, Dear Reader

Here’s my plan on the off-chance that you feel the same way:

  • Search: I’ll use DuckDuckGo, and I expect to get slightly poorer results, and I’m OK with that. I’m using the Safari Keyword Search extension to set the default search engine on my Mac, and I use Atomic Web as my browser on iOS, which allows me to set DuckDuckGo as the default search.
  • Maps: Yep, It’ll be Apple Maps even though it might route me via Timbuktu from time to time. (Alfred v2 has a sparkly new Apple Maps shortcut which helps)
  • Translate: I’ll use Microsoft (Bing) Translator on the few occasions that I need it.
  • YouTube: Stuff often appears on Vimeo too, and if I can’t find it anywhere else something tells me that life will go on if I go without watching it.
  • My mail is hosted on FastMail under my own domain - I’ve never used Gmail because I don’t like vendor lock-in, particularly on email.
  • Say no to Google+ and Facebook. My replacement is point-to-point messaging and a self-hosted blog… but I’m an introvert.

I think the change will work out just fine.

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