A Week Without Google…

…For me at least. This week I’m going to be going without Google in my life. It was a conversation with @monkchips that finally pushed me over the edge.

As he held up his Google branded phone to take a picture that with probably end up on a Google-powered photo site, indexed by Google search-bots, published on Google powered blogs, with Google-powered ads, viewed in Google built web browsers, maybe even on a Google build operating system, I thought of something I hover heard recently:

“Big Brother won’t come in via the front door, he’ll come in via the backdoor, and pretend to be your friend.”

Now for the record, I have nothing against Google – I normally use lots of Google tools (and even paid-for Google products) – But I’ve realised that I don’t have a grip on how pervasive a part of my Internet use Google is.

There’s only one way to really find out, directing my attention at with, by attempting a week without Google. That means:

  1. Not using any Google products – e.g. gmail, google search, etc…
  2. Not providing any data to Google systems – e.g. Google Analytics, Feedburner, etc…

I mean, how hard can that be?


  15 comments for “A Week Without Google…

  1. Euan Semple
    December 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Yes I too think about how much I use Google

  2. Janet E Davis
    December 14, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Thought-provoking! I get irritable with 1 of my best friends because he won’t sign up for a Google account so I can’t share things with him. I would find it very difficult to cope without GMail and Google Maps…never mind The Search…

  3. Phooto
    December 14, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I hope you don’t have an iPhone. Maps and their location based searches are very useful here. Also, think about web sites that use Google as their in-site search tool. It’s going to be tough and I reckon you won’t be able to do it.

  4. Anonymous
    December 14, 2009 at 9:40 am

    How are you going to manage to avoid giving data to Google Analytics?

  5. patrickhadfield
    December 14, 2009 at 11:20 am

    It’ll be interesting to see how you get on! As I Tweeted, I couldn’t do it because my third-party email provider recently migrated to Google mail platform.The Independent has several articles today on Goggle – new Google image recognition software. To find it, I had to use the Indie’s search process – provided by Google…http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-goggleehttp://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/privacy-implica

  6. Benjamin Ellis
    December 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Kristian, a good Q, I have two strategies: 1. Switch off Java script. 2. If the site doesn’t work after that, then I can’t use it :( – Open to other ideas though!

  7. Benjamin Ellis
    December 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

    @phooto – I’m a Nokia user, so I have Nokia maps – will miss the traffic stuff on Google Maps though!

  8. guitartim
    December 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    The quote about Big Brother coming in through the front door reminded me of an article I’d read… some searching later, and I found it – this post (http://www.roughtype.com/archives/2005/10/beyond_google_a.php) from Nick Carr from 2005, which in turn quotes George Dyson… “But the real sign [of a true AI], I suspect, would be a circle of cheerful, contented, intellectually and physically well-nourished people surrounding the AI”.It’s still a good read in 2009.

  9. Benjamin Ellis
    December 14, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    @guitartim – that’s quite a scary read!

  10. guitartim
    December 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    Scary, yes…and very, very, believable…yikes!

  11. Zoli Erdos
    December 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I guess this post does not qualify as the “Launch” – since it’s already on Google :-)

  12. azc
    December 15, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    To avoid giving any into to Google Analytics, try Adblock Plus in Firefox, with a google.com filter.

  13. Dries Grobler
    August 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

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