So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]

So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]

Finance

Google Finance is Google’s excellent and free service which allows you to get a complete picture about investing including quotes, charts, top stories, news items related to certain tickers, stock screeners, portfolio watcher, etc. It is fast, it is simple and very functional. If you were looking for alternatives, there are two excellent options: Yahoo! Finance and Bing Finance.

Yahoo! Finance is awesome because it has been doing all of what Google Finance does, for a very long time, and also provides syndicated content from various other personal finance-related properties. The site is simple, fast and very functional. Bing Finance on the other hand did not have similar functionality until recently. Bing Finance, much like other parts of Bing, has seen functionality ramp up quite well and is now a worthy competitor. Some of the key differentiators in Bing Finance are StockTwits.com streams, Trefis estimates, Seeking Alpha commentary, TheFlyOnTheWall updates and stock comparison.

I was using Yahoo! Finance until very recently, but after the most recent Bing Finance update, I have started using Bing Finance more. Of course there are specific sites you can visit like MarketWatch or TheStreet but those sites do not offer the depth and breadth of features that Yahoo! and Bing offer, and for the most part, the content on those sites does get syndicated into the portallike sites like Bing Finance and Yahoo! Finance.

Bing Finance

Bing Finance

Blogger

Blogger was a pioneer in self-publishing. It has evolved tremendously since the time it was purchased by Google and now it is a full-fledged content management platform with all the modern features one needs in a blogging service. However, Blogger has competition from the low-end (simple content-sharing services) to the high-end (full content management systems) and it does feel like they are somewhat stuck in the middle trying to stay true to their original users but also trying to match the features that some of the younger startups are building into their products.

On the low end (and low is absolutely loosely used here), there are services like Posterous and Tumblr. These services grew out of the need for the casual user to share pictures, videos, etc. on the internet rather than for a serious blogger. Both posterous and tumblr have excellent email-to-post features and media gets rendered inline on the website with beautiful themes and galleries. Both have also ramped up their mobile experiences so it is extremely easy to post and view media from mobile phones. I use posterous to post pictures from my phone and sometimes, links to YouTube or other such services. I also have an account on Tumblr but I am just warming up to it. Steve Rubel recently deleted his old blogs and moved to Tumblr and in a blog post he detailed why he did so.

On the high end, it is clear that WordPress is dominating with recent stats showing they power 14.7% of the top million websites, and 22 out of every 100 active domains in the US. WordPress provides excellent tools for multi-author websites and is usually an early adopter of many new API’s provided by popular services like Twitter. WordPress offers self-hosted, open source software as well as a platform on wordpress.com for casual bloggers. Many popular servicees like TechCrunch, GigaOm, etc. run on WordPress and with the support of a thriving ecosystem, WordPress has established itself as a serious content management system in addition to being an excellent blogging platform.

I moved my two personal blogs from blogger to WordPress a few months ago and I like it a lot so far.

9 thoughts on “So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]”

    1. I have never been tempted to even try Zoho, and I would call myself a “tech enthusiast”. Certainly, the “normal” user will be even less likely to have a go at it. Hence, ignored.

  1. I don’t get how you can want to drop Google and yet you still chug down the Facebook kool-aid.. the latter is by far more insidious.

    WordPress is great when self hosted.. on the .com version, meh. Mostly usable, but crippled without paying money for some of the more useful features. Love it self hosted though. Cheaper too.

  2. For mac Adium is a neat little client to slowly switch from googlechat to something else.

    iPhoto with some cloud service is a competent alternative to picassa.

    A good email switch strategy is to use forwarding and vacation notice to let people know you will be responding with another mail address.

    I’m in the process of migrating to a private mail server. A small price to pay to end targeted adverts based on confidential real world transaction mail.

    Under protest I renamed my SSID to a *_nomap name. It’s ugly, but necessary.

    It’s easy to blur your property in streetview. File a privacy complaint and no burglar will be able to map out the best way to climb the garage and get up on the roof in advance.

  3. I have spent the last few years doing everything in my power to get away from Microsoft and Apple. I have found myself going into the Google realm as they provided nearly all of what I need (and almost completely for free). It is interesting in the article above that the alternatives to Google are mostly Microsoft ware (plus an Apple or two). “Resistance to change” is interesting. I have embraced change in successfully escaping Microsoft and Apple. Even my phone is running Android 4 (ICS) which is a pure vanilla Android unburdened by service provider bloatware. I recommend that people make good use of Google products — and boycott Microsoft and Apple products anywhere possible.

    1. BCW: Well, good for you. I have listed why I tried to distance myself from Google. I have also, in the meantime, removed my dependency on Reader (Newsblur rocks, absolutely).

  4. I find this blog funny. Many welcomed google to get away from the overlord Microsoft, and now we have folks posting up on how to move back to MS from google.

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