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July 25, 2011

So, I was one of the new folks that joined Google+ early on, and got a large portion of my social graph baked in almost immediately.
Knowing mostly techies seems to help in this regard… 🙂

But, recently, I’m starting to feel fairly concerned when it comes to Google, using Plus, and generally interacting with the search giant.

I’m a fairly typical techie Google user, I suspect – just about 7k emails archived away, a set of filters to reduce the noise threshhold of my inbox, the usual.

But what if Google decided that my name isn’t really a name, tomorrow? They’ve been closing accounts recently, now that Plus has arrived, and I’ve a almost a decade of history wrapped up in their services.

Almost a decade. That’s an appreciable portion of my entire life.

Couple this with Google’s notorious lack of customer support, leaving me in the position of, should I truly be banned, having no recourse save shouting blindly into the ether of Hacker News, or Slashdot, or somewhere, hoping to catch the eye of an influential party.

And let’s face it, I’m just not famous enough to warrant that sort of response.

As it’s been almost a decade, chances are looking pretty good that this isn’t going to happen – but this does little to alleviate my concerns.

The further question I had to ask regarding this is, how much really dovetails with Google wanting real names to better associate with marketing data? How useful is all that advertising association really going to be if you’ve got to wade through a thousand Icy Weiners?

Google wants me for my ability to generate better advertising data, better profiling data so that I can be shown just the right ads that will make me LEAP forth, click the link, and buy stuff. That’s pretty much the reason Google+ exists.

So why am I concerned at all?

aurynn@gmail is me. It’s the deep, abiding nexus of everything that I am online, the central and consistent email address that I have and continue to use.
Google makes a huge push into the realm of social networking, and Google’s strength in advertising makes it pretty obvious as to why.
They control who I portray online, and they control the databases that know everything about my browsing and searching, and now about my social graph.

And tomorrow, they could just turn me off. What would I do then?

What could I do?

Facebook has my graph too, but it doesn’t bear the weight of importance that Google currently has in my life. I don’t need my Facebook account, I don’t need to know that tomorrow it’ll be there, that all my history will be there.

With Google? I do. And I think I need to stop that.


From → Uncategorized

  1. Craftyran permalink

    The more I think about this (and the more co-workers add me to Google+ on my pseudonym – a name I’ve kept hidden from everyone but one or two co-workers for years now) the more I think my Plus account needs to go. :\

    It’s a shame, because I like it quite a bit better than Facebook. I like the circles thing that places like LJ have had forever but Facebook can’t seem to wrap its head around. I would be more likely to chat regularly with the ability to limit my discussions to certain groups of my acquaintances. But yeah, if I fuck up on Plus, there goes my email, my contacts, my phone….

  2. It’s a good idea to keep regular backups of all your important data, even if it’s stored “in the cloud” on Google. It’s also a good idea to get your own domain name, so you are never limited to a single provider of anything (except, well, the Internet Registry) 🙂

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