By Harry McCracken | Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm
Over at BetaNews, Joe Wilcox is undertaking an interesting experiment: to the best of his ability, he’s going to stop using Google services and see whether it makes his life better or worse. He says that he was inspired by recent scuttlebutt about Google being a monopoly, but that he’s not anti-Google; he just wants to see what life without it is like.
Me, I don’t have any plans to abstain from Google. I don’t feel like the victim of a Google monopoly–there’s not a Google service I use that doesn’t have multiple worthy rivals, and for the most part, I don’t feel locked into Google services. If I want to go elsewhere I can–and often do.
Still, I was inspired by Joe’s exercise in Going Un-Google to do a personal inventory of the Google stuff I use, and just how much I use it.
The eponymous search engine
Feedburner (I’m not in there every day myself, but it powers the Technologizer RSS feed.)
Google Blog Search
Google Reader (which I used to use more)
Google Talk (other than the Google Voice integration)
Lots of other stuff
…I’m sure I’m forgetting some services I do use and don’t use, but you get the idea. I’m not an outlier; I’m sure some of you lead more Google-centric lives than I do. (Android isn’t my primary phone OS and Chome isn’t my main browser, for instance.)
Again, I’m not alarmed by any of this–even when I use a Google service every day, I usually partake in its competitors pretty often, too. And if I were required by law to stop using Google’s creations, I could be just as happy and productive as I am now. That’s a different situation than with Microsoft in the 1990s, when several of its products seemed headed to 100% market share, and there was plenty of evidence of Microsoft trying to smother the companies and products that stood in its way.
So how Googlecentric are you? And does the share Googleosity of the Web circa 2011 bother you?