Saturday, March 03, 2007

I am moving away from aunt Google

Back in the USSR?

I am preparing to move away from aunt Google. Right now I am a Google whore. I have as we speak:
  • Google-Analytics-Webanalytics-Account (Which I don't use much anyway)
  • Google-Calendar-Calendar-Account (Which I don't use much either)
  • Blogger-Blog-Account
  • GMail-Email-Account
  • Google-Reader-Feedreader-Account
  • Google-Search-Account (What for? I didn't order the last one)
This all is managed by a monster cookie. Just one. And whatever I do online, google knows. They know what adverts I have seen. They know which adverts I have clicked. They know what I have searched for. They say that they don't read my email (and I believe them) still it makes me nervous to have my mail in their hands. I know that they are not evil - at the moment.

This will end. This must end. I must move away from google. This is not good for the industry that it is dominated by one company. This is not good for my privacy that all my data is in their hands.

I will miss the nice UI of GMail. I will miss the fast and neat Google Reader. But all good things must end. I just hate the fact that Google knows far too much about me. I hate that fact that greats me as logged in when I want to search, just because I'm reading my email in another browser-tab. And I hate that google knows what I'm searching for and keeps a record of it. Forever.

I will continue to use for search, but I will make damn sure to kill that damn cookie of hell. Maybe they still know who I am, but they have to guess.

I will kill the google-analytics account. Gone and I wont miss it. We know far too much already anyway. I don't need to optimize my web presence like a commercial whore to lure in more customer I can rip off. I don't need to track my visitors like a sick control freak.

Next: Mail and Blog are easy too. I will go self-hosted on a rented server/webspace/something.

Now, the calendar and feed-reader are a bit tougher. I would love to host those on my server too, but are there any decent open-source solutions? I guess I could live without an calendar, dead trees should be fine for me for that task. But the feed-reader?

Houston, we have a problem. The first feed-reader I used was desktop based. I don't even remember its name. It was nice and fast, but lacked one integral feature: if I read a post at work, my copy at home didn't knew. And if I wanted to check my feeds while on holiday in Gitmo: "Sir, could you show me your OPML-file please?"

Next up was Newsgator for me, which was fine for a while. Alas, it was slow as hell and I was always struggling with its UI (at least it seemed like that). So next I gave Google-Reader a try, and even the original UI version was better than Newsgator. Now, they have improved big time since then at the Google Labs and I was hoping that Newsgator had improved since then too. I opened the site, my browser still had the login info for newsgator (which was like 2 years ago that I last logged in, something like a quarter century in Internet years), I logged in, found all my old subscriptions there - and a UI that was still slow and clumsy.

I'm willing to give bloglines a try, but it felt like a website directly from Venus for me the last time I tried it, around the same time I gave up Newsgator. I'm not holding my breath that bloglines has improved.

Anyway, does anybody know a decent self-hosted open-source web-based feed-reader? Damn, this information age is not easy.

[Update] Maybe I should give ROJO a try?

Then again, maybe not.


Anonymous said...

Might I suggest as a possible aggregator? I LOVE IT. In fact that's how I keep track of T-Mix...

Send your pals the new URLS so we can stalk your new place. 8-)

p.s. I was just looking at your archives a day or two ago and I was so impressed by your dedication. You rock, keep it up.

Tony said...

No worry, I won't go without posting a forwarding address. :-)

And hehe, I think I post too much...

Stef said...

Google Desktop Search was the last straw for me - I downloaded it - Looked at what was doing - Uninstalled it - in less time than it took for a cup of coffee to go cold

I still use some of Google's tools but in such a way that (hopefully) screws up any potential data mining

And after looking over the Vista user agreement, Linux is starting to look pretty damn attractive...