05 July, 2013

Bye bye Parishightech, hello Digitalfrog

I have now switched to a new blog site, Digital Frog. I have been unhappy about the way the blogger platform has developed since it was taken over by Google a few years ago. This is not to say that Google is in any way "nasty", it just stems from what Google does for its living: it links all the different things we do together into a virtual matrix -a bit like the film of the same name. Charles Arthur explained it very clearly recently in this article in The Guardian. My various blogs became linked with my gmail address. Not only the ones written under a pseudonym, but also ones that I had set up for other people! Then my blog photo turned up on my gmail account, all got linked to Google+ and even the Android apps I have installed on my assorted half dozen phones and tablets - and I like to have several different identities for Android to get round geographical restrictions. Even being as careful as possible when signing in to the various sites and avoiding obvious pitfalls, the link is eventually made. I daresay the only way of being absolutely certain is to have a different computer for each function - rather OTT.

Another problem is that Google doesn't really handle multi-lingual usage very well, which is a problem for someone who regularly uses more than one language.

The last straw came when Google 'lost' my domain name. The last time it came up for renewal was after my bank card had been updated. So, the renewal did not go through. anyone would expect a professional service to inform the customer that there was a problem with the payment. In the case of Google, it simply cancelled the site! Driving home the adage that it is not the bloggers and emailers that are the customers, they are the product! The real customers are the advertisers. Attempts to contact Google's customer relations department in an attempt to recover the domain name provide further confirmation for this viewpoint. In the meantime, the domain name turned up on a site selling domain names by auction, for a very much higher price than I had paid originally. Perhaps that was the real reason the domain got 'lost'.