Users need to be less trusting of specific products, services, and companies having too much power over their technical lives, jobs, and workflows. In this business, expect turbulence. And this is going to be increasingly problematic as (no turbulence pun intended) we move so much more to “the cloud”, which usually means services controlled by others, designed to use limited or no local storage of your data. Always have one foot out the door. Be ready to go. This isn’t cynical or pessimistic: it’s realistic, pragmatic, and responsible.
Last year, I made an exodus from Google because their products started to suffer in favor of their policy and business goals. As Marco argues, there’s nothing wrong with that—it’s business—but since I wasn’t happy, it was up to me to do something about it. I moved to Fastmail which was seamless because my email address was already my own domain.
I’ve been making steps towards ownership of my online identity—the things I say, make, and do. As much as I can, I maintain the systems of the things that matter to me, like this website and nickwynja.com.
It has taken a lot of work to set this all up. I’m not a systems administrator. I didn’t know how to run my own custom blogging engine. But I’ve learned how to because it is that important for me. It’s been worth it since I now have confidence in and control over the tools, systems, and software that powers my digital life.