doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Use it or lose it

That’s the advice in so many camps.

But what happens when you use it and you end up losing it anyway.  That was the feeling this week around here with the demise of Google Inbox, Google+, and

We knew it was coming.  Google had been good about giving us lots of notice in advance.  Yet, there still was the hope that a rethink might take place and a reprieve given.  Unfortunately, no.



This was promoted as a new way to think about email and a Google alternative to Gmail.  I tried it and actually didn’t like it right away.  I stuck with it because it was promoted as a better way to do email.  For me, it eventually did.  I have two Google mail accounts and use Gmail for one and Inbox for the other so that I could easily tell one from the other.

Personally, I subscribe to a number of mailing lists, news services, and other mailings.  I really liked how Inbox would bundle them together for me.  The tabs in Gmail serve in a similar way but for some reason, Inbox just seemed more intuitive.


I remember this as being promoted as the big Facebook killer.  You know, this is what the future of social media should be.  For me, I have (had) accounts on both.  Facebook is more of an informal area and a place to have a little fun.  There is a fun side to things but also a darker side with some of the people that are on there.

Google+ turned out to be more of a professional area for me.  I followed groups that mostly stayed on topic and shared solutions for me.  It was a place to get leads on new software or watch faces or privacy software or …  I really worked at making it do that for me.  Moderators really did moderate.

Now, it’s gone.  I’m hoping to follow those groups to where they go.  Where to?  Probably Facebook.

There’s a whole culture devoted to shrinking URLs.  Ironically, it’s the great big long URLs that Google generates to get to documents that made it a necessity to have!  By shrinking it to a few characters that were easy to recite and share, life became so much easier.

I didn’t put all my eggs into that basket though.  Typically, I used to shorten Google things and Bitly for everything else.  Why?  I started with Bitly first and then Google’s offering came along.  I wanted to keep a foot in both camps so ended up going this way.

Late to the party?

As I type this post, it seems to me that all three of these latest things to be closed by Google came after there was something else in place.  Decisions like these are typically made on business cases so maybe they just didn’t catch up enough to gain the appropriate market share.  Maybe we’ll find out; maybe we won’t.

It just appears now that they’re gone.

For a complete list of Google things that went away, checked out KilledbyGoogle.


One response to “Use it or lose it”

  1. Reading your post, I realize that I only ever used Google+ and with limited usage. I wonder if others used these products a lot, and how they worked for them. I’m someone who still has and uses an AOL account, and never actually used my Gmail account, so maybe when it comes to technology, I’m late to the party. 🙂



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