Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Break a Few Eggs - Stepping Away from Google


What would happen if I stepped back from my reliance on Google? It's a mind-boggling thought. I have purchased Google storage, and made it THE hub of my online world. A quick inventory of the services I've relied on Google for:

  1. Blogger
  2. Gmail
  3. GoogleDocs/Drive
  4. GoogleSites
  5. Google Reader
  6. PicasaWeb
  7. GoogleVideo
  8. GoogleNotebook
  9. GoogleListen
Of those, only four remain. So, I asked myself, what if I decided that Google wasn't going to be THE basket I put all my online eggs in? Have I followed my own advice and gotten my exit strategy ready?

Yes, but I'm not sure. Here we go:

  1. Blogger - I'm using Wordpress.com to backup Around the Corner Blog. It is backed up to http://jmguhlin.wordpress.com
  2. Gmail emails have all been cleaned out. Inbox zero! (I archived data on Evernote.com and dumped the rest of those emails...who needs to keep 8 gigs of emails anyways?)
  3. GoogleDocs/Drive - Only 5 gigs of data here, so not too bad! This has been backed up offline to multiple hard drives.  I currently enjoy 16gigs free on Dropbox (help me get more!).
  4. GoogleSites - I hate to admit it but I really will miss Google Sites. That said, Wikispaces.com has always been there for me as an educator and I heartily recommend them. Since I last checked them out, they've added some new, nice features! (http://mguhlin.wikispaces.com). Transitioning content over there will take a bit.
  5. PicasaWeb - Oh, this one really makes me hopping mad (think comically so, Yosemite Sam). I moved my library of 2000+ photos to PicasaWeb because Google's PicasaWeb was going to be my long-time home. Where did I move them from? Flickr. Where am I moving 9+ gigs back of photos to? Flickr.com. Sheesh.
Let's see how much this is going to cost...
  • Wordpress.com - Free and it's a cinch to import entries from Blogger to Wordpress.
  • Flickr.com - $40 for two year account
  • Email - Keep the Gmail account but keep it empty and just forward stuff to Evernote ($50 annually but I use it for a whole bunch more).
  • Dropbox.com - I currently enjoy 16gigs free (help me get more!). If I want to really kick it up, like up to 100gigs, I would pay $99. Might be cheaper to keep the 16 and just move stuff I need online.
  • Wikispaces.com - Wikispaces is free for educators. Thank you!!!
What's another approach? I wonder if Rackspace.com would have a custom solution? That custom solution would enable me to...
  • Run 4-5 email accounts ($120 is what the price looks like)
  • Have MariaDB (in lieu of MySQL), PHP, Apache
    • Run my own wiki solution
    • Run OwnCloud.org (dropbox alternative, free)
    • Run Wordpress installation (Wordpress.org)
  • Use Gallery2 for image gallery (forsaking Flickr)
Something to think about...









Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


3 comments:

Matthias Heil said...

How does "replacing" gMail by Evernote make sense? No push notifications, no interface to Calendar, using up your monthly Evernote quota rather quickly through attachments (well, I get a load of them and appreciate the mighty storage offered by Google), and... how do you manage contacts in Evernote? :-)

Miguel Guhlin said...

Matthias, thanks for the comment! I probably wasn't clear that I am still keeping Gmail with a single inbox (instead of the 50 or so labels/filters I had), but storing everything worth keeping to Evernote. As a premium user, my quota is a bit higher. I've already been doing this for awhile and no problems.

As to contacts, good point. I didn't even consider that! :-o
Right now, they are still in Gmail. I need to export them as a backup, especially since those sync to my phone.

I have been considering Hushmail or doing my mail through Rackspace.

With appreciation,
Miguel

Damian said...

I've been doing the same self-examination since the Reader fiasco, and I'm pretty sure I could make the leap away from Google if I had to. More and more I try to self-host solutions when I can (and as my limited expertise will allow), so even though I use Google Apps for my domain, the domain name itself is "portable", as our digital identity should be to the extent possible, and I can always go to another email service with minimal interruption.

What I really like about services like Dropbox, Evernote, etc., is the redundancy aspect: I've been a paying Evernote user for years now, but if the company pulled the plug tonight, I'd still have all my data on the desktop app. Same with Dropbox. Same reason I use a desktop email client from time to time.

As for Reader, I've been using Feedly since the shutdown announcement, and I like it well enough, but once the school year ends and I get some time to work it out, I plan to use TinyTinyRSS to host my own RSS reader on my own domain.

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure