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I Used to be a Google Fan Boy

Drawn by the catch phrase “Don't Be Evil”, their seemingly quality services, the way they tried new things and brought out new services - I thought I could get onboard with this! But the catch phrase has changed, the new things begot a slew of product retirements that directly impacted my day-to-day, and privacy / tracking concerns grew.

It was around the year 2000 during my university days, that I made a conscious decision while standing outside the Computer Lab Assistant’s office:

If I’m going to throw my weight behind one of these massive multi-national companies for services, it’s going to be Google.

At the time, I didn’t appreciate Apple, I thought Microsoft was in dire need of repositioning/rebirth... And that didn’t leave many options.

For a while, things were great. Over the course of the next decade, I got behind Gmail, Google Search, iGoogle, Google Talk, Google Buzz, Google Page Creator, Google Drive, Google+, and eventually Google Analytics. I would frequently chat with other Talk users I knew, write Facebook posts that were links to my Google+ posts, tinker around in Page Creator and had iGoogle set up just the way I wanted it.

If you weren’t counting, I listed nine Google products there. Do you know how many of those have been retired? Five. Five out of nine.

The first retired service caught me by surprise. The next couple got a few grumbles. But when Google+ went, I didn’t just loose another service - I lost a community too. People who thought just like I did. People who thought nothing like I did. Many great conversations were had there. Then it was gone. That was like a slap in the face.

And that was it - any closeness I felt with the Google brand was gone.

As if that wasn’t enough, in 2019 I discovered that there’s some sort of ongoing anti-competitive thing between Google and (at least) Mozilla. As Firefox has always been my browser of choice, this revelation was yet another slap in the face. Clearly Google’s vision for Chrome isn’t to just take over all my computers available memory.

While I dislike ending on a sad note, I’ve come to realise that I’m not a valued user of their services, I’m part of their farm. They milk information from me, and then use that information to bake a service they can sell to advertising companies.

So I’m no longer a Google fan boy, they - like Facebook - have been relegated to the ranks of companies to trust at arms-length.