My Sites: Now 100% Google-free (FeedBurner excepted)

I’ve been meaning to minimize Google’s ability to track me and my visitors for quite a while now, but this post about Google+ which I stumbled across recently came as an appropriately timed reminder.

I’d like to announce that every site I remember running (it’s conceivable I forgot ones on free hosting similar to GitHub Pages) is now free of Google Libraries API and Google Analytics (I use a private Piwik install for stats now and I can assure you I’ve dialed data retention way down). I’ve never had a need to use reCAPTCHA even back when they weren’t owned by Google.

I still need to find alternatives to FeedBurner, FriendFeed (owned by Facebook), and Google Docs and find time to replace GMail and Google Talk with stuff I host myself, but it’s a good start.

(You never really realize how much Google knows about you until you start migrating yourself off them)

In the interest of full disclosure, here’s an up-to-date list of all 3rd-party dependencies in my sites which could theoretically be reworked for abuse:

blog.ssokolow.com
  • ProjectWonderful Ad
  • FriendFeed sidebar widget
  • Flattr buttons (Live counts require external requests)
  • FeedBurner feed analytics
Vanished FanFic Archive
  • Fic downloads are currently served separately from Dropbox.com
  • FeedBurner feed analytics
GitHub Pages: QuickTile
  • Flattr button
  • GitForked Button
GitHub Pages: The Procrastinator’s Timeclock
  • Flattr Button
  • GitForked Button
Gender-Bending Index
  • FeedBurner feed analytics
Fanfiction Story Ideas
  • FeedBurner feed analytics

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4 Responses to My Sites: Now 100% Google-free (FeedBurner excepted)

  1. Kevin Beynon says:

    Hi Stephan,

    I’m on the same path as you, regarding moving everything away from Google.

    As part of that process, I’ve been using the open-source RoundCube client (http://roundcube.net) as my GMail alternative. It’s been up and running for a while now and I’m very happy with it.

    I installed the latest Beta (0.8) and am using the new ‘Larry’ skin. There are quite a few 3rd party plug-ins available and I expect it’s straightforward to create your own.

    Good luck with the ‘cleansing’ process. ;)

    Kevin

    • Thanks. It looks interesting and making sure it meets my needs will probably be a lot simpler than either squashing down Thunderbird’s memory usage or writing my own IMAP WebUI.

      By the way, if you need a replacement for Google Reader, Tiny Tiny RSS looks promising and it also runs on the standard LAMP stack.

      That just leaves either a web based NNTP client for talking to GMane or a plugin for RoundCube to make it at least an order of magnitude better at dealing with mailing lists than any other e-mail client I’ve ever seen.

  2. ohnonot says:

    Hello!
    can you recommend a long-lived e-mail provider for those considering to make their lives as google-free as possible?
    i got used to having all the features that gmail has, esp. imap and pop, of course. the only thing that doesn’t seem all that important to me is storage space; after years i use 700MB of my 10GB.
    it would have to be long-lived, offering imap (or at least pop) for use with a mail client, and compatible with everyday electronic communication; that includes google (i had a sad incident with vmail.me, which proved impossible to use because gmail blocks it).
    i opened an account with inbox.com but i’m not sure about them.

    • Sorry. My needs sound similar to yours, but I never bothered to search for a long-lived provider.

      My e-mail has been forwarded through ssokolow.com since before GMail existed, so I’m just going to set up a mail system on one of my VPSes and take over handling my own e-mail.

      It’ll also give me the chance, if I can ever find the time, to implement a nifty automatic blacklist/whitelist scheme I’ve dreamed up which involves rewriting outbound message headers so that every e-mail anybody ever sees from me is keyed to only accept replies from the intended recipient… with an “I’m a human who made a mistake. Let my message through.” link in the “bounce” message.

      (I’ve also been treating my e-mail aliases like revokable API keys for ages. Hence why I’ve never needed GMail’s spam filters.)

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