Google, Adéu: Bye Bye Google Docs

In Google, Adéu. I shared the deterioration of my trust in Google to do the right thing when times get tough, and my goal to shed myself from Google services as much as possible.

Now, I pop Gmail into Mail so there is nothing left for Google to parse, unless it goes through my trash. It is no longer convenient for me to check email on my iPhone, but that’s okay: I’d rather not pay AT&T any more than I already am. There’s another benefit, I can start to practice being present instead of being constantly distracted.

I no longer use Google Reader; I use Mail instead. Change is difficult and at first it was difficult getting used to the different RSS UI in Mail. I have gotten used to Google Reader’s efficient keyboard navigation using the j, k, and m keys. Mail requires you to take your fingers off the asdf jkl; row and use the arrow keys. The m key in Reader, letting you mark the post as read or unread, is Shift-Command-U in Mail. I’ve gotten used to it, but Mail is less efficient than Reader. But that’s OK; learning and getting used to a new UI is only a minor inconvenience.

I used to use FeedBurner for DisplayBlog RSS feeds. No more. I also added an RSS link in the footer pointing to:

feed://www.displayblog.com/feed/

The next step was to get away from Google Analytics and Google Docs. While looking for alternatives to Analytics, I realized my hosting provider already tracks traffic. Ridding DisplayBlog of Google Analytics was as simple as deleting a few lines of javascript code.

Now I am happy to report that I’m free from Google Docs. I realized I simply didn’t need it. I don’t work on documents together anymore. I also rarely have to share a document to a bunch of folks. So I checked off all my documents on Google Docs, downloaded them, and deleted them off Docs.

There is just one niggle though. I still use Google to search online. When I first embarked on this journey on August 8, I thought Bing would be good enough, but it isn’t. Google lets me easily limit the timeframe and that’s a feature I can’t find elsewhere. It’s not on Bing, and hidden in Yahoo. Options → Advanced Search → Updated. And even then I only have three choices: within the past 3 months, 6 months, or a year. How about the past hour, 24 hours, 3 days, a week, a month, or a custom range? I think I’ll be stuck using Google to search, but at least I have AdBlock.

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