FOG – Fear Of Google. One who fears Google, you could say, is a FOGger.
With me, I think it’s a love/hate thing – I love Google for the toys and pretty goodies they have available for my Personalized Homepage (I *refuse* to call it iGoogle, dammit!) and for their very handy Calendar, but at the same time hate them for their many “indiscretions.”
*cough* Can you say profiling? I thought you could … *cough*
Robert Scoble had a really good article posted yesterday about Google — especially covering their recent acquisition of FeedBurner for $100m. I dunno ’bout you lot, but that one really bothers me. I use and depend on FeedBurner for several of my hobby sites, and am not happy about the fact that I may soon need to find a suitable replacement. (if such a thing even exists!)
Geek News Central posted a very heated objection, and while I whole-heartedly agree, what really stuck me was this: “My RSS feed is SACRED and I will NEVER share the SUBSCRIBER data with ANYONE, those that are using FeedBurner will never be able to claim that!”
He’s right, and to be perfectly honest, once Google starts making changes I cannot honestly tell anyone that their subscriptions are safe — whether my site or any other using the FeedBurner service. What’s more, what will happen with the FeedVertising? I imagine that Google will quickly swap that out first and foremost with AdSense ads. I have an AdSense account, but I’ve found that I’ve had much better luck using — well, pretty much anything else!
However, something I thought Mr. Scoble had posted put forth a decent perspective on this whole Google thing: “I saw lots of reactions to Feedburnerâ€™s purchase by Google decrying that Google will know what feeds they are subscribed to. I think Google has to be very transparent, very warm, and very open when it comes to privacy and the data itâ€™s collecting on all of us and to many of us itâ€™s coming across as closed, cold, and opaque. That leads to bad PR. Bad PR — if continued unabated — leads to government action. Just ask my friends at Microsoft.”