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    July 28th, 2012

    ♫The conductor sings his song again,
    The passengers will please refrain
    This train’s got the disappearing railroad blues…♫

    Lyrics and Music by Steve Goodman, recorded by Arlo Guthrie.

    What’s happening to iGoogle?

    According to Google, “iGoogle will be retired in 16 months, on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012.”

    With respect, this decision appears to be either badly explained or inexplicable.  I imagine that there are thousands, if not millions, who use their iGoogle home page as a quick way to organize all the RSS feeds that they find interesting.  A personal dashboard that allows you to overview your e-world quickly and easily.

    Why you ask?  According to Google: “We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for something like iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding down iGoogle on November 1, 2013, giving you a full 16 months to adjust or easily export your iGoogle data.”

    OK  - so Google – you are winding down iGoogle  - but *where* are these alternatives that you mention?  Easily adjust or export your data?  To do that we need an alternative.

    This indicates the problem with depending on cloud-based computing.  Once you get accustomed and dependent on a cloud-based platform, there is nothing stopping the developer from killing it and leaving you in the lurch.

    Will your data disappear?  No, not according to Google: “All of your personal data stored in other Google products will continue to be available via those products, including GmailGoogle CalendarGoogle FinanceGoogle Docs (now Google Drive),Google Bookmarks, and Google Tasks. Other gadgets, like the to-do list, allow you to export your data – look for the “Download all” option under the drop-down menu tied to the title of your list. Most iGoogle gadgets are created and maintained by third-party developers. If you’d like to export your data, you should contact the gadget creator directly.”

    What about those alternatives?  Google says in response to the question:Are there any other alternatives? On your mobile device, Google Play offers applications ranging from games to news readers tohome screen widgets.”

    Well, I use iGoogle on my laptop.  A mobile device app doesn’t help me here!  I assume that I am not alone and quite frankly, I am feeling a bit abandoned here.

    It seems to me that this is just a smoke screen to push you further into the Google world.  Google says: “If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, the Chrome Web Store provides a similar range of options like productivity tools and applications to check the weather. In addition, just like iGoogle, you canpersonalize Chrome with a theme.”

    Uh uh.  Nope. Not me.  The last thing I am going to do is reward this behaviour by going deeper into the Google black-hole.  I will be looking for alternatives – that is assured.  I love the way iGoogle gives me a personalized desktop.  Now I will be looking for anything but a Google alternative.  I got the disappearing iGoogle blues.

    This entry was posted on Saturday, July 28th, 2012 at 9:26 am and is filed under Adding Value, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    9 Responses to “iGoogle *Disappearing* Soon!! :-(”
    1. Tony Says:

      Good article, good points.

      I rely on and like igoogle for organizing my entry to the web. I use a variety of browsers and intend to continue doing; I have no plans to use chrome exclusively.

      I find google’s justification for abandoning igoogle weak and, like you, would appreciate more concrete information on alternatives. I also, believe, as you mention, this is an attempt to move users of igoogle closer to a commercial (google play) entry point.

      In an effort to avoid unnecessary dependency on commercial (or free) clouds, I am exploring creating my own igoogle-like facility.

    2. Catherine Reach Says:

      I too was disappointed to hear the news. I think that Google assumes that people mostly use iGoogle as a gadget portal, in which case yes, their explanation makes sense. However, I use it as a quick and dirty feed reader that gives me a nice layout that I can glance at to see my feeds on one page, with no maintenance or clicking around. For the equivalent there are things like Yahoo! homepage (which I’m likely not going to use) or Netvibes (which I might use and there is an export from iGoogle) or Protopage or just give up and use Google Reader. See also: http://alternativeto.net/software/igoogle/

    3. Ellen Freedman Says:

      Thanks for this sad news, Dave. Like you, Tony and Catherine, I have been very happy organizing all my RSS feeds using iGoogle. It’s taken me a long time to get it all arranged just how I want. I used to use a separate FeedReader, in fact, I tried a few. The problem was that they were not organized like I wanted, and I had to remember to “go there” to catch up. Before that I had all the feeds coming right to my inbox. What an overload!!! I’m not sure what I’ll do. Chrome will NOT be it, as it is not compatible with some of my programs, like Quickbooks.

    4. Jeremy Maddock Says:

      Doesn’t really make sense to shut it down entirely. I can understand Google not wanting to invest any more resources in a product they view as redundant, but they should at least leave the current version available, or better yet release it in an open source form and let dedicated users keep it going for themselves.

    5. Craig Sharp Says:

      The way things are going with google generally, we may soon be writing an obituary for it generally. With the recent huge changes google has introduced with the penguin update, notwithstanding the gight against spam is good, the legal serps are now appalling, they have regressed to q0 years ago.

    6. 10 artikelen over : Google's igoogle gaat echt verdwijnen - Media en Technologie in het Onderwijs | Peter Lakeman - Media en Technologie in het Onderwijs | Peter Lakeman Says:

      [...] iGoogle *Disappearing* Soon!! – David Bilinsky – Thoughtful Legal … According to Google, “iGoogle will be retired in 16 months, on November 1, 2013. The mobile version will be retired on July 31, 2012.” With respect, this decision appears to be either badly explained or inexplicable. I imagine … http://thoughtfullaw.com/category/technology/ [...]

    7. Ramsey Says:

      Amen to what you all said! This is a sad, sad move by Google. They have this unique, ahead of its time brilliant idea that is STILL used daily by millions, including little old me, and they imply that it’s redundant? They have no substitute for it currently and Chrome will never replace it! I don’t understand the logic behind of all of it, surely is a corporate excuse, but I suspect it has to do with….. I don’t know, let’s say money? If that’s the bloody case put a couple ads on it! I wouldn’t mind and I’m sure most won’t either, if it means keeping this service alive with all parties benefiting!

    8. D. M. Says:

      Sadly, although I don’t particularly like My Yahoo, it represents the only meaningful alternative to iGoogle for me. I guess Google is willing to see me move my web access to their competition. Seems short-sighted to me.

    9. William Morgan Says:

      I am also changed my iGoogle to Startme a few days ago and it works pretty well I can put all the same features on the home page that I had on iGoogle. The best benefits of Startme is it is simple and easy to understand.

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