If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. -- Google CEO Eric Schmidt
Here are two very good articles on escaping the ubiquity of Google online. Of course, it's not entirely possible, but there are a lot of alternatives out there for Google functions.
How I Learned to Live Google Free, by Joshua J. Romero
A Week Without Google, by Chris Reynolds
Some of the replacements that interested me were:
- for RSS, Sage extension for Firefox
- instead of Gmail, Zoho Mail (though Romero notes that, for better security, Lavabit or FastMail might be better, and each has a plan for less than $10 a year)
- for searching, DuckDuckGo seems even better than Google and doesn't save or pass on data about you or your search; Blekko also seems to have some useful functions
- YouTube seems to be the indispensable Google site, though Vimeo is an alternative
- Todoist replaces Google Tasks, and Romero notes it is by far superior
I will update this post with more alternatives to Google in the near future.
Update: Speaking of the near future ...
- Lightning, a Thunderbird plug-in, replaces Google Calendar and Tasks
- Hootsuite replaces Twitter
- Chris Pederick's Web Developer replaces Chrome's WebKit (though Reynolds laments the lack of Inspect Element, some similar add-ons are available for Firefox)
Here are two more guys who took up the week-without-Google challenge:
A Week Without Google! on Tech Guru
One Week Without Google, by Tom Krazit
The Tech Guru's article offers some more alternatives:
- He suggests Yahoo! search for web searching.
- Instead of Gmail, he too recommends Zoho, and as an alternative, in.com.
- He claims Zoho is better than Google Docs, but also suggests Thinkfree, which offers (like Zoho) an online office suite.
- For Google Maps, he suggests Microsoft's Virtual Earth (though this doesn't seem, at first glance, to lead to an easy-to-use map application - maybe this has become Bing Maps?) and Yahoo Maps, and also Ask Maps. For Google Earth, Microsoft has Virtual Earth 3D, though this seems to have been dropped.
- For YouTube, he offers Yahoo Video, Metacafe, Vimeo, Revver, Blip.tv and Veoh.
- Web Developer does seem cool.
- SeaMonkey is an integrated Mozilla app with browser, email, HTML composer, and more.
- Tabberwocky seems like an interesting Firefox tab manager.