Going all in with Google

Google me this – should I entrust my entire digital life to the world’s most advanced search engine and purveyor of incredible free software?

Francis Stevens Communications
Long gone! My Rage Against the Machine CD

That’s a question I’ve been pondering lately.

It’s time to bring my data management completely into the 21st century and, as such, I’m doing some house cleaning.

Luckily, I haven’t had to make any hard decisions about whether to keep or throw away CDs I bought in the 90’s (I lost all of those years ago thanks to a career trajectory that has seen me live in all four hemispheres during the past 15 years) but I’ve still had to make some serious decisions about where I store all the stuff I’ve collected over the years.

My digital footprint is, quite frankly, a mess. Stuff in iTunes. Stuff on my Play Station. Stuff in Dropbox. Stuff on my laptop. Stuff on the last four phones I’ve owned. And worst of all…. paper stuff in folders in my living room cabinet.

It’s time to put it all in one place, in the cloud, but is Google my best bet?

Is Google a Friend or a Foe?

I love the internet! It has allowed me to become a proper world citizen.

Thanks to the internet I’ve been able to work as a marketing and communications consultant and for clients all over the globe. It has allowed me to build a network of friends and colleagues that extends from Auckland to Zimbabwe. It has allowed me to follow US presidential elections in minute detail from my living room in Utrecht. With the internet I can watch NBA basketball matches live from my office in Northland, New Zealand.

Google has been a major supporter of this lifestyle. Gmail has facilitated major life events. YouTube has expanded in my worldview.

Now that I’m looking to put my entire body of work online is Google the right place?

The PROS of Going All In With Google

Google allows me to keep everything in the cloud and accessible from any internet connected browser.

When I think back to the CD collection I failed to build in the 90’s, Google’s cloud is very attractive. I want everything in one place and safe until the day I can hand it over to my kids – should they want my digital travel photos.

Storing all my data on Google would mean I use Google for most of my daily tasks – email, calendar, search, social networking, phone calls, travel planning, watching TV.

All those things are great. They’re free and they’re easy. But on the flipside are there disadvantages in relying too much on Google?

What Are the CONS?
Francis Stevens Communications
When was the last time you saw one of these?

Never put all your eggs in one basket. That saying might be true. There are known instances of people being shut out of their accounts by Google for behavior Google’s taken issue with.

This shouldn’t be a concern for most people, but what if? Imagine losing access to your life’s work at the flick of a switch. That would be hard to handle.

Is it a good idea to let someone or something you don’t know have complete access to every detail of your life?

In the 1990’s when the X-Files was popular and conspiracy theories rampant, the reality we’ve reached today with cloud computing would have been pretty uncomfortable for the majority of David Duchovny fans.

Decisions, decisions. What to do?

All in all, Google has been pretty good to me so far. You could say I’m a fan. So, I guess I’m going all in.

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