Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, May 28, 2010

dragged back into the maw of the Beast

I think I'm re-Googled. My escape attempt has, I fear, failed.
Mail is the main issue. Fastmail is a fine email service, but I need more email organizational-fu than I can get via their web interface. That means using Apple Mail, tricked out with some plugins . . . but Mail is, frankly, a mess of an application. It has never worked well for me: it's often unresponsive, and will sometimes spin its wheels for an hour without managing to open a folder, eating crazy amounts of CPU as it does so. Also, I don't use Microsoft products, and the Mozilla-based alternatives (Thunderbird, Postbox, etc.) aren't sufficiently integrated into the OS to make them attractive alternatives.
Meanwhile, Gmail is super-fast and has a suite of organizational tools that I have used for years and have fine-tuned to my needs: labels, filters, and Superstars allow me to classify every email I get in useful ways.
So I think I'm going back. Which probably means going back to Google Reader as well, since it's so much faster than Fever and handles all my feeds flawlessly. (Fever tends to lose some.)
You gotta handle it to those Google people. They make some first-rate products. And they have responded much more appropriately than Facebook to privacy concerns. I think I can control my privacy settings in my Google services sufficiently well to salve my conscience . . . I think . . . I hope . . .

12 comments:

  • If you've never used it, Google Dashboard lets you look at exactly what information Google has stored on you and delete as you choose. You can also refuse to create a Google Profile, effectively keeping you off the social part of the site.

  • Yes, I've done both of these. Or rather, I had a profile and then deleted it. I appreciate the changes that Google has made recently to their privacy options.

  • Tony Comstock said...

    Fool me once...

  • No matter how many times, Tony, it's "shame on Google." It's always "shame on Google."

  • Alan, I swear I don't know who you are anymore. I need to consider new e-role models.

  • Alan, I am curious about one statement: "aren't sufficiently integrated into the OS to make them attractive alternatives." So does Gmail's organizational functionality make up for it's lack of OS integration? Or have you found ways to integrate it more - with iPhoto, iCal, Address Book, etc. - or use Google's alternatives?

  • Michael Straight said...

    So did Google have to pay Mark Zuckerberg to adopt a implement a bunch of over-the-top abuses of their users' privacy so that Google looks benign in comparison? Or did he do it for free?

  • I feel the same way about myself, Paul.

    Scott: yes to both your questions. I use Gmail through Mailplane, which connects it more fully to the OS.

    And Michael, that's precisely the question I've been asking. I think he probably did it for free, because Zuckerberg is such a notoriously nice guy.

  • You guys are making me feel simultaneously pathetic and hopeful. Should I try once more to drag myself out of the mire??

  • Have you tried gmx.com?

  • Apple's Mobile Me Mail beta is a pretty sweet advance....

  • Okay, in my shame I'm trying again. Gmail and Reader banished. Ora pro nobis.

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