Quit Gmail? Easier said than done.

Image: Patrick T. Lafferty

Quit Gmail? Easier said than done.

As I was writing yesterday’s post about Google’s nonchalance in handing any user over to the authorities, it struck me that I should walk the… err, type the type. Even as the keys were clacking, Google was providing more reason to ditch them (and all cloud computing). I spent the hour after posting that piece moving all my email away from Gmail and on to other non-webmail venues. I’m not going to get into the technical how-to of why I am able to do this so easily and without inconveniencing anyone that communicates with me via email, but rest assured, my mail is no longer residing on Google’s servers.

The result so far: I hate it.

I’m getting more spam on my desktop and my smartphone. Checking my email is much less convenient. Thunderbird is far from eloquent and the filtering/tagging isn’t nearly as powerful as Gmail. While Digsby will check my new setup for me, it isn’t nearly as useful as it is with Gmail (No “mark as read”? Come on! How is the guy in the $3,000 suit supposed to check his email without “mark as read”?). If I’m in a browser and want to email someone a link to the page I’m on, I can’t just click a handy javascript link and be done with it; instead I have to seek out an entirely different program, one that doesn’t work as well, and…you get the point. It sucks.

I’m still using Google Reader and Google Calender, not to mention Google search (though I do block their tracking of my search habits). Google, if you are reading this, why won’t you just protect your users and make our lives easier? All you have to do is destroy all user-specific data within 24 hours of use. It seems this should be at the very heart of the concept of “Don’t be evil”.

So, what is a strident netizen to do? How can I justify using Gmail? Seriously, I want someone to tell me how, because I really want to go back.