Google is Addictive

About 6 months ago, Lynette called me with a question about Google Reader. She was going on vacation, and needed to export her list of feeds so someone else could import them and  follow some news sources while she was away. Because I wasn’t using Google Reader at the time, I created an account so I could help her.

At the time, I was using a Windows based feed reader, and thought I was happy with it. It took about 5 minutes of using Google Reader to decide that I liked it better. One of the main advantages is having access to my feed reader at home or in the office.

Soon after, I added a couple of other services, notably Webmaster tools and Groups. A little later, I needed a search mechanism for a specific web site, so I created a Custom Search Engine.

Last week, I Kevin did an eXtension Learn session on Google Presentation. At the time, I was interested in seeing Presentation, and also Google Docs, but didn’t think I’d start using them. During the presentation, Kevin gave Beth access to the presentation, and at the toward the end of the presentation, Beth made a change to the background of the presentation they were working on, and it showed up on Kevin’s computer, almost instantly. What an “Ah Ha” moment, seeing this level of collaboration.

I now have added Google docs, and have created a couple of docs using it. I’m impressed with the way it works. More full-featured then I expected from a web based package. It was extremely nice to be able to work on a document at home, after starting it at the office.

My latest addition is GMail. When I started my Google account, I was determined not to create a GMail account. Seeing how well other Google services work, I decided I needed to give this one a try.

What I’m trying to figure now is whether I should be worried that I’ve sold out to Google. Although I haven’t given them any money, I’ve given them a whole lot of data about me. Should I be concerned about this? And what’s next to try?

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2 comments so far

  1. John Dorner on

    Welcome to the other side. 🙂

    Yesterday, someone asked me if they should be worried about security of their data being in Google Mail. Should they use it for ‘confidential’ communications. My answer was “Who do you trust more? Google or the people running your current mail server?” They thought about it for a second and said “Google.”

    Have you tried Calendar? create multiple calendars and share each with whoever you want. Check out http://www.troop701.org/ and see how we’re using it.

    Blogger? Free & VERY easy to use – and allow collaboration on your blog.

    Browser Sync – if you are using Firefox, you’ll love this one! Sync your bookmarks between all your computers! Also – restore the pages you were looking at when you quit Firefox last – on any computer w/ Browser Sync installed.

    Picasa – is a nice and EASY photo editing program that does a real good job of helping you ‘manage’ all the photos on your computer – then of course, you can upload and share them as well. This is one of the only programs that I’ve been able to actually improve a bad photo.

    http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

  2. Brian Webster on

    John,

    Thanks for the comments. Calendar is the next one to try.

    As for the question Should they use it for ‘confidential’ communication, I like your answer. I’d add to it by saying that you should treat an e-mail like you would a postcard, not like a registered letter.

    Brian


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