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Has Google taken over your life? Have you eagerly signed up for every new Google service as they’ve been announced and now have tons of online data just “stuck” on their servers? Would you like to ditch Blogger for WordPress, but think it’s impossible to move all your content? If giving up Google, either entirely or in part, is something you’re ready to do, they’ve now made it a million times easier than it was before by releasing a set of tools to easily export your data.
If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.
We’ve all heard that saying before, but I think it holds true in this case. By giving users the option to take their content and go elsewhere, they aren’t going to make already unhappy users even more unhappy by tying up their content and making it impossible to easily move. Some of these people may leave Google, only to discover that Google really was their one true love, and come crawling back with their content in tow.
Google now has an entire team of engineers dedicated to providing users with the tools they need to free themselves from Google’s services entirely, if they so choose. These engineers call themselves the “Data Liberation Front“, and are charged with the task of helping users retrieve their data from the cloud and take it wherever else they’d like to go with simple to use import/export tools.
Users of Google Docs can now convert, zip and download all of their documents at once. This is of course useful if you decide you no longer want to use Google Docs and want to preserve a copy of all of the files to take with you elsewhere. It’s also a great way to quickly make a local backup of all your online documents in anticipation of the off chance that one day Google might go kaput and lose some of your files. That would suck, wouldn’t it?
You can also free your Gmail just as easily. Considering I am currently using 25% of of my alloted 7384 MB there, I would never ever want to even imagine downloading those emails one by one. I love the service, but if one day they piss me off, I can pack up and leave using their handy dandy exporting tool.
Blogger is also easily escapable now too. Oh how I wish the feature was available years ago. No offense to those of you that use Blogger, but I’ve always thought of Blogger as the AOL of blogging – it’s great for beginners, but if you really experience the full depths of blogging you want something more robust like WordPress or Typepad. Now, when you decide you’ve outgrown Blogger, you can pack up all your content in a nice little zip package and be on your merry way.
The Data Liberation Front’s mission reads:
“Users should be able to control the data they store in any of Google’s products. Our team’s goal is to make it easier to move data in and out.”
I whole-heartedly agree with that, and now with these new tools it is entirely possible.