Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Google's Hegemony

I realized today that my life is becoming increasingly bound up with all things Google. I use Gmail (and have for some time); this blog is hosted by Google; my personal web page is hosted by Google; and today I activated a Google Calendar account as an experiment in organization. I'm not sure how much I will use it. But it seems like it could be a useful program for me.

Now I like all of these products. Gmail is fantastic: it does a great job filtering spam; I love the interface; the use of labels rather than folders is ingenious; and I love being able run a quick search to locate old e-mails. The personal web page site allowed me to make a professional looking website easily and quickly (while knowing next to nothing about the technology/programming aspect of things). And Blogger is, on the whole, a clean and easy program to use as well. Once they get comment spam under control--and perhaps offer a wider range of templates and design options--it will be even better.

The question I have is whether I should be at all wary of putting all these eggs in the Google basket, particularly given the fact that it is all information that is stored somewhere besides my home computer. Basic privacy concerns are, of course, one issue and there is the question of what might happen in the event of a catastrophic infrastructure meltdown. But are there other problems posed by organizing so much of my life around one entity? Maybe not, given the apparent strength of the company. But something about it makes me a feel a bit uneasy--like I need to diversify as a way of covering my tail.

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