Google: “We are the Borg. You will be assimilated.”

Once upon a time there was a bright young search engine – minimalist and quick compared to the bloated home pages up until that time. People loved the speedy loading and breadth of search results and people flocked to use it. Of course, having a catchy name helped.

Then, just like other search engines had done, it decided to offer more services like email, then they made it possible to put pictures on the home page, then other features were added, and it all snowballed! Online word processing and spreadsheets (and more) were developed, and since Microsoft had assumed the “too big to fail” mantle and had become impersonal, unresponsive and expensive, many were willing to live with fewer software features and flexibility than the Office Suite offered because it was a sight better than M’s unchanging dinosaurs, Wordpad or Notepad.

But wait, there’s more! They got YouTube, too, then started a really easy to use free blogging platform, and, and, and…but now they had to figure out how to juggle all of that. So, without asking their users whether they wanted such a thing, they came up with this really “cool” idea (they thought), which was to tie everything together and change the way things looked and were managed.

Now, if you happen to already have Gmail and YouTube and Blogger, it might seem OK, but then the problems began. You see, if you DIDN’T have Gmail but had a YouTube account, you must now get a Gmail account! (If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will, guaranteed.) Sure, you could use YouTube barebones, but then you can’t make playlists, comment, “like,” “favorite” or do much else; you’re SOL, and you’d better get Gmail.

Like that? (Don’t be evil, Google)

If you already have Gmail, having more than one account (for family members or for managing mail types) can create problems. To sign into your YouTube account (singular, most individuals prefer to have just one), make sure you are logged into the Gmail associated with that account or Google will make a new YouTube account, meaning it is tough to keep it all in one place, and you CAN’T delete that new YouTube account without deleting the whole associated email account. Oh, and what about trying to listen to music on YouTube that is associated with one Gmail while working on a different Gmail account?

Like that? (Don’t be evil, Google.)

The same thing goes for Blogger – you MUST have a Gmail. If you have Gmail accounts NOT associated with that Blogger account, don’t expect to work between the two independently, you must log out of your other Gmail first, or it will try to create yet another blog for you! I suspect they are working on that, but these are all symptoms of a larger problem.

Gmail itself has some cool features, but if you save certain documents with certain Gmails, trying to keep them separate could be a challenge because they are trying to put them all together for you and sometimes you just can’t seem to stay logged out of one account or logged into another. Oh, and don’t forget that are forced to use the new “look” in your email, that they in their wisdom have decided that you really want and need. I don’t like it, but I am stuck with it.

Like that? (Don’t be evil, Google!)

They also are impossible to get hold of and are NOT at all responsive to user complaints. Sound like someone we all complained about before that begins with M…?

(Don’t be evil, Google!)

Then, there is the new Google privacy policy – just read it. Slowly. Suspiciously.

There is more; I am only scratching the surface.  Good news, though. There are still alternatives out there, but that is another post… Keep watching.

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