This Week in Elder News: 2 February 2008
His Illegal Self by Peter Carey

Google Owns the Internet

Not to beat a dead horse, but…

Following up on Crabby Old Lady’s post last week about Google’s impugning of her integrity, Crabby never realized how much of the internet Google owns until she tried to divest herself of all things Google.

There were a lot of suggestions in the comments on that post about how to reinstate the Google Ads along with alternatives to Google’s abundance of internet tools. Let Crabby address a few of them.

Since Crabby has always used Typepad as her blog platform, she doesn’t need to move her blog anywhere to get rid of Blogger, owned by Google - and thank the gods because no way does Crabby want to attempt exporting four-plus years of Time Goes By.

As to giving Google more time to answer Crabby Old Lady’s appeal, it has been a week as of today with no response and she has no interest in continuing a relationship with the company in any manner. A couple of technology blogs who picked up Crabby’s story (here’s one) linked to long, involved posts about how to get Google to reinstate an Adsense account. All require groveling, begging and sniveling which is not in Crabby’s nature, especially when the company demanding that she debase herself is the one in the wrong. Crabby Old Lady is done with ads from any corporate internet source.

Crabby has been experimenting with other search engines – she has lazily used Google since it launched – and just about any of the others suit her purposes. She hasn’t settled on one yet.

Flocklogo For a long time, Crabby primarily used the Firefox browser with the Google toolbar. She has removed the toolbar, but Firefox has so many Google add-ons that she has now made Flock her main browser. Flock involves a lot of social media tools that Crabby is not interested in, but they are easy to remove and - Surprise! - Flock loads pages faster than Firefox and is more intuitive.

Beginning about a year ago, Crabby tried iGoogle, a calendar/news/information home page, but she prefers her calendar to be associated with her email program and has hardly visited the page since she reinstated Outlook on her machine. There appears to be no way to cancel the iGoogle account nor her Google email address. Once you’ve got a Google account, you are in their clutches for life. But Crabby doesn’t have to use those tools and she doesn’t anymore.

The biggest problem – and it is huge for Crabby - is Google Alerts. Crabby has about two dozen that keep her up to date with all things related to aging from thousands of sources and there appears to be no alternative. Yahoo’s alerts consist of about 20 pre-selected topics, none of which suit Crabby’s purposes, with no capability of either creating one’s own keywords or having the results emailed as with Google Alerts.

Crabby Old Lady is astonished that not one other internet search engine has developed such a tool. No wonder Google owns the internet world with competitors as lazy as this. Not that Microsoft is any better, but perhaps if the Yahoo purchase goes through, they’ll develop a real Alert system. However, as the Washington Post reports this morning, Google is already whining to the world's trade regulators that the Microsoft/Yahoo sale would "stifle competition." Crabby begs to differ and you can guess what she would say if she were one of those regulators.

It is bad enough that Crabby rented Google some of her blog real estate in exchange for some money and Google reneged on the contract. What is worse to Crabby is the attack on her honesty and she will not forgive that anytime soon. One way or another, Crabby will find a way to replace the Google Alerts – it just might take a little longer than deleting a browser toolbar.

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Lia explains the hilarious results of Underestimating a Friend's Mischievous Nature.]

Comments

try one of the continuous search engines. allth.at, searchbots.net, or swamii.com. See if any of those will do what you want.

I've never used Google Alerts so I don't know what I'm missing. Guess it must be a little like owning a car, once you get used to it, it is hard to go back to food, pedal, or public transport.

I've used Flock for a few months now and I'm very pleased. What I really like is the combination of Magnolia and Flock. Maybe you can give it a try. It also can be combined with delicious, but I don't like the knobs and horns in delicious as much.

ronni, first--many thanks for your suggestion that i blog via TypePad. it's very responsive and i appreciate that real people anwswer queries!

second, what you've posted today helps me to think further about how to circumvent the Google trap. some time ago i posted about how they were infringing on the interactivity among bloggers.

good luck with your search for better answers; i'll be watching. it's all moving so fast in the 21st.

yours, naomi

I just tried Yahoo Alerts this week and was not really very happy with the results. They have also really cut back on staff and some of the Yahoo features have been eliminated in the past several months.
I think there is some way you could use search bots but that is beyond my technical knowledge.
Google set out to dominate the information market in the same way Microsoft dominates the PC market and seems to have succeeded.

The UT here reports that Google and Yahoo might combine. How truly awful that will be. I'm so sorry about all this.

Nothing replaces Google for you, Crabby? Maybe that's why they're so successful - coming up with such brilliant ideas and implementing them.

I was wrong about Yahoo Alerts. My only suggestion is one you've already thought of, I'm sure. Dont' know about Flock - but Firefox has those wonderful tabs where you can make a folder and open all links at once. I have Yahoo news searches saved for terms like "Baby Boomers" and whatnot - about six of these searches - in a bookmark folder. Each day I hit 'open all' and it's almost like having them delivered to your email account. But not quite. Not quite because they're not in your email. But there they are - so it works for me.

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