De-googling Part 2

In Part 1 of my de-Googling experiment, I described how I'd moved from gMail to Office 365 and was looking at alternatives to Google for stuff other than email and "Office" type applications.

What with the recent panic regarding the changes to their privacy policy (and, it must be said, they're being quite open about it - I think the main issue is that it's made people realise exactly how much info the Big G holds on us), I've decided to extend the de-Googling to see how I get on.

Good timing, as Firefox 10 came out this past week, so I've been giving that a try, in preference to Chrome. So far, it's going fine. It doesn't seem any better or any worse than Chrome, so I'm happy to stick with it.

I've also started using DuckDuckGo (surely one of the easiest domain names to type wrong and then definitely get something you weren't intending to - or perhaps you were), following this post from MacSparky. It takes some getting used to. Not because there's anything wrong with it. Quite the contrary, in fact. It's just that it isn't that same old Google Search I've been using for the past countless number of years.

In my earlier post, I mentioned that the trickiest part of de-Googling for me was probably going to be finding a replacement for Google Reader. Well, I've found a solution to that, too. I've stopped reading RSS feeds. A bit of a drastic step (for me), and I was getting withdrawal symptoms at first, but I have either/both my iPhone and iPad with me at all times, and Zite and Flipboard are doing just fine as replacements.

So, what's left of Google that I'm still using? Docs, mostly, and I've got a fair bit of shared stuff in there, so that's the next thing I'll be looking at replacing. And Picasa, which I'll probably shift to Flickr. There's also Google Analytics, but that's not so much of an issue, as I'm a fan of GetClicky and Piwik.

Why am I doing this? Well, for the same reason a lot of people are unhappy with Google at the moment - the realisation of just how much data they have on me and the use of that data to target ads to me that I don't want. I'm more than happy to pay the 4 quid a month to Microsoft for Office 365 to not have any ads coming my way. Apart from that, I very much prefer the Office UI. Despite efforts to "tidy up" gMail, I actually find it hard to see the content of the email these days what with all the crap that surrounds it.

So, it's going well. I'm not missing Google in the slightest, much to my surprise. I'm not so naive as to think that I'm not being tracked, recorded, measured, targeted etc on virtually every site I visit, but it's nice to at least feel like I have some measure of control.