April 20, 2007

Google Docs and Spreadsheets

Google spyware? Fine by me… by ZDNet's Christopher Dawson -- A reader of one of my last posts, "Google Presentations…one more step in the right direction", did not share my enthusiasm for Google Apps: "More Google spyware One more way for Google to build their database about you. Or, you could just use Google for search, and keep their database at that!" I have to say, however, [...]

I haven't taken the leap to Google Apps on my own domain, but I avidly use the components, Gmail, Docs and Spreadsheets, and Calendar. I find them all to be compelling tools for what I do. I agree with the post above. I have long ago relinquished the idea of anonymity while using the Web or its services. A person should have no illusions that how s/he uses the Internet is strictly private. I won't let privacy paranoia interfere with efficiency and ease of use.

I find the convenience and usefulness of the tools (did I mention free?) overwhelmingly more beneficial than the fact that information about my search and use patterns lives on Google servers subject to review, analysis and even subpoena. However, I do not entrust my most sensitive documents to unencrypted external servers. I want them available on my PC or in a safe deposit box in hard copy, or both.

Although I'm looking forward to the release of Windows Home Server later this year, I remain a fan of storing and sharing docs online. I also believe that Web 2.0 apps are still in their infancy and will grow exponentially, particularly as mobile broadband expands.

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