Exactly two months ago, Google announced that they were ending Google Reader on July first. Google reader is a service which aggregates content from various websites served by web feeds. For me, it’s my news feed to stay up to date with the people back in Asia and the IT industry. Could they be closing Reader because the free service is still driving more traffic than Google+?
Anyway, since that sudden decision of Google, people seem to be taking stock of the company and started to be reserved about trusting their services, like Jeff Hunsberger:
When Google announced that they were shuttering Reader it made me take stock of how I felt about the company and how I interacted with them. I looked around and saw how heavily invested I had become. Google’s interests and mine were diverging. When they were innovating they always seemed to be pushing the boundaries of what could be done on the web and focused on making it better.
But somewhere during the rise of Facebook, things began to change. Google’s focus was on ad revenue and how to monetize these great base technologies they had helped create and foster. Their focus shifted subtly at first and I was forced to ask the question more and more I am willing to give up access to my personal information for this product? Is it really that good? In most cases, the answer was “yes”.
Long story short, Jeff has been moving away from Google. I read this post a month after he wrote it but I have been trying exactly the same, stopped to use Google services here and there. My thought on the matter is: you get exactly what you pay for. In the end Google is a company that’s in the business to make profit. So then I started to wonder: Oh no! what if Google quits this and that service? So, without further ado I proudly present: A top 15 list of Google services in the priority I need them. Google: Please don’t close anything in my Top 5 anytime soon ok? OK TNX Bye.
My grand ranking of Google services:
I tried Yahoo for a week. Didn’t even try Bing. Seriously. Google is a mindreader knows what I’m trying to find. Nothing to change there. However, for some specific searches I started a move to duckduckgo, wolframalpha and nerdquery.
Absolutely required for my life.
I tried Apple, Bing, Yahoo and Naver maps but they all fail to get me on my way. For now, Google remains.
Keepers weepers! I need to get home some times…
3. Google Analytics:
From a professional standpoint, I can’t practice my job without google analytics and webmaster tools. However, it was fun giving piwik a go on this private blog for a week. It did show a lot more then GA, like IP addresses but I abandoned this trial because I saw that pages loaded 20% slower compared to the GA embed code. Instead of Piwik, I’m thinking of Logstash + Redis + Elasticsearch + Kibana 3 for a future project. For now GA remains.
Keeper! until the world moved on…
In our house, we watch a lot of video from bloomberg, tudou and dailymotion. But for silly cat movies, there is no place like the youtubes. A cool thing of youtube is it’s HTML5 player (no Flash), one annoying thing is that youtube has been repeatedly suggesting/forcing a ‘real username’ down on all it’s users recently. But most content is here…. I guess I won’t be blocking youtube any time soon.
Tough one. I’d say close it and see what the rest will do, talking about that level playing field but I can’t do without cat video’s. Keep it!
5. Scholar & Public data
Google scholar is underappreciated. It’s free and it’s informative. However, my university still grants me access to a range of libraries. So I’m not dependent on Scholar anymore for research. However, I’d still like to make use of it’s vast contents and old library books. Also, Public data shows OECD information work hour information better then OECD could do.
No, please keep Scholar & Public data alive.
- Adwords and Adsense:
Have you tried a CPC campaign on Facebook? For now, Google is the standard. Also for banner income.
A tough one… We have two Android phones in our house and they are old and painfully slow. My current device is an iPhone. Perhaps ubuntu is an option by the time I want to replace that? Seriously, for now I’m burying my head in the sand and want to say get rid of it. But in the sake of a balanced world i’d say:
Ok fine, keep it… there needs to be more than iOS out there… For the sake of choice.
8. Google Docs
I have a dozen of shared documents on Google documents but use the service once a month at most. I noticed more people are using other cloud services and personally I have been using Naver nDrive.
Gone! No tears would be shed here.
9. Google+ and hangouts
I quit google+ on 13 March 2013 and it felt good. I wasn’t waiting for another Social network. However, I’m still active on Twitter and Facebook but less then before.
Google employees swear by Google+ Hangouts, which I closed down. I’m still using Skype since everyone is still there at the moment.
Gone! I wouldn’t even realize if they closed it tomorrow.
On the desktop, I’ve always been a Chrome evangelist, converting many IE, FF and OP users to Google’s browser. So I wondered how it was on the ‘other’ side. At first I gave Maxton browser a try, then Sleipnir. After a week I had enough and moved to Firefox and love it. It syncs, has addons and is fast. However, I am still running Chromium on my laptop with a logged in Google account for work related matters, on the other side, I have been logged out of Google on my Firefox for a few weeks now. More on that later. On my phone I am a Mercury user.
Gone! As I do believe in choice but webkit YAY! And forking webkit wasn’t a nice thing to do Google.
11. Calendar & Contacts:
At the office we use Microsoft exchange, at home I share a calendar with my wife on Google. Last month, I setup an owncloud server and setup ical to make use of those instead. Owncloud supports CalDAV and CardDAV, syncing all my devices to each other.
Hah, don’t need those anymore.
I started using Gmail in 2005. I have moved all my family members there as well. Now, eight years later I have noticed that other mail services have evolved as well. There are many out there like freemail and foreign services. I’m using a Korean one called Naver. The point is, I left my @gmail account completely for a month and seem to have no problems sending private mails using my private @joop.in domain. However, Google spam filtering is better. For the rest, a painless switch.
Gone! I could live without Gmail. So can you. Believe in yourself!
I do a bunch of translation from and to Korean every day. Bing and Naver are far superior to Google translate.
In the trash! I could live without Translate.
I use news to search for real time events. There are other services for this. So, I guess I’d rather had seen news go then my beloved reader.
Yes, I could live without Google News.
Google bought Feedburner in 2007 but sadly, the product has hardly been developed after the transition. I was using feedburner about insights in RSS and for email subscribers, I left feedburner for mailchimp back in 2012 and haven’t looked back since. I have feeling Feedburner might not live for too long without Reader anyway so I’d recommend moving as well!
Yes, I could live without Feedburner, in fact, close it right away and see if I care. Ta ta…
My colleagues seeing me use yahoo jokingly said that Google wouldn’t notice my abandonment of their services. But that wasn’t the point of this odd hobby I picked up in the last two months.
I wanted to know how dependent I was and tinkering away from the big Google seemed like a fun way of demonstrating this. I have friends and collegues who work at/with Google all the time. It was also fun teasing them as well. A month in, I know what I definitely need (Search, Analytics, Maps and Youtube) but wouldn’t be sad to see other things go. In the end, I keep on search and might perhaps go back. Alternatives are always a good thing.
The whole reason why I started to write this silly blogpost was about Google closing down their Reader. Up to today I haven’t decided on the replacement service. Luckily, I still have until July for that choice. For now, all feeds are still maintained by Google.