Google

Big and annoying

Google grew and profited because it was useful. It made finding stuff on the web easier, it made email easier, and it made a good rss feed reader. Then Google became a threat to privacy, or people like me who should have known finally saw the threat they had always been. So using Google became a tradeoff, but I was usually willing to accept it because Google made things easier.

Now Google is becoming an obstacle to overcome. Google Reader has got to be too much trouble to use, so I’m back to open-all-in-tabs. Gmail keeps moving stuff around (recently the log-out button), and they’re always pestering me about something: give them my phone number; read their privacy policy; sign up for Google+. It was creepy when they started asking me if I wanted to cc random people, but I put up with it. Interposing these nag screens between me and my email is going to be the last straw that sends me back to Thunderbird.

Their search results page is increasingly crufty, and I have to watch that they aren’t “customizing” the results just for me. I use DuckDuckGo whenever I can, then Bing, and then Google search if I must.

If Google respected my privacy I’d put up with some inconvenience. If Google’s products were simple and useful like they used to be I’d give up a little bit of privacy. If they’re not going to give me either one, it’s only inertia that keeps me using them. It’s an opportunity for someone.

UPDATE 14 April 2012: On a lighter note, here’s Google with a 1980s BBS interface.

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5 thoughts on “Google

  1. Pingback: Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google search? at Roger Pearse

  2. Yep. I quit using reader when their share feature got cannibalized to promote Google+ (and I also destroyed my g+ profile); right now I’m shopping around for a paid email provider… thinking maybe the Reagan.com folks, but I don’t know.

  3. I’ve been using duckduckgo for quite a while now and I like it. Try going to your search bar and type
    !convert 7 knots to mph
    The only thing I go to google for now is maps., email, and blogger –and I’ve already got my new email, I just haven’t switched over yet.

    If you aren’t paying for the service then you aren’t the customer, you are the product.

  4. Maybe paid email and/or paid hosting is the way to go. Of course addresses are available through the ISP, but mine isn’t a well-regarded corporation, let’s just say.

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