How to Quit Google

If you care about privacy, a wonderful how-to guide for de-Googling your life. Or even if you just feel uncomfortable with putting all your eggs in one multicolored, vulnerable-to-the-“Patriot”-act basket.

The article even has a handy chart of replacement options for various services you might be using.

I would change one thing, though. For an RSS reader I highly recommend rss2email ( running on a server somewhere you have an account and feeding a separate email address. Reading feeds via email has proven to be vastly faster and more efficient than a web browser or a local RSS reader… especially using a text-mode email client.

My old hundreds-of-feeds Google Reader no longer sees any use.

“Before I began this experiment, I already knew that Google was a pervasive part of my life. But seeing how my Google account connected across platforms and services has made me reconsider the implications. Is it wise to place ever more trust and faith in a single Internet company? That question becomes even more important as Google expands its reach—through the Chrome browser, Chrome OS, Android tablets and phones, and its recently announced Google Wallet.[…]

In general, quitting Google was easier than I thought. One of the biggest lessons for me was that Google’s not the best at everything. I’m thrilled to be rid of Google Tasks. I realize now that I was always dealing with its deficiencies; it’s not even supported on Android, and it had a tendency to undo my recent changes. I now use a site called Todoist, which I find vastly superior. I had never bothered to research alternatives before, and I ended up falling for the inferior product out of what I thought was convenience.
It’s easy to get seduced by the lure of a single sign-on. But managing multiple user accounts actually isn’t as much of an annoyance as we think it is. For me, it quickly became clear that my single Google account had mixed and muddled my personal and professional services and data. There are many online services that make sense to link together—but there are plenty of others that don’t. Calendar and e-mail might be a good fit, but do you need to use the same company to manage your social contacts, RSS feeds, and to-do lists? What about your phone and computer operating system? Even in the midst of the experiment, it was hard to remember to sign-out of the Google account; I was signed in by default, just as I’m also often signed in to Twitter and Facebook without realizing it.”


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