Google clouds of witness

I expect all you tech-savvy readers out there are going to be convulsed with laughter at my technologically backward ways, but (a) I’ve been poking along in Word just fine with my writing and (b) only now have I heard of Google Docs and Google clouds as a way to write and store works in progress. I swear to Jehosephat that I can’t make heads or tails of all this conflabbed tech stuff you young people today are so taken with.

Apparently it’s a big deal that big-time writer Susan Orlean is using Google Docs to write her manuscripts instead of Microsoft Word. Anybody else out there have an opinion on this? Should I stop using Word and go sailing into the Google clouds of sunset?

Like most writers, my daily waking nightmare is that the day my hard drive fries will be the day after I got lazy and put off backing up my work. Apparently this happened to Orlean but she stayed cool and calm because Google Docs had saved her words automatically. I like that part. The part I don’t like is the idea of storing my personal papers off-site in somebody else’s digital vault. Even if they have a Do Not Be Evil policy in place now, that doesn’t mean they can’t be sold to a company with a less elevated attitude, or undergo a policy change.

So what’s the deal, tech team? Is this something to worry about? Should I opt for Google cloudbusting?

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One thought on “Google clouds of witness

  1. Joseph Zitt says:

    I’m a *big* fan of Dropbox (http://www.getdropbox.com/). You keep your files on your home machine, but a mirror is silently made in the cloud.

    But wait, there’s more: You can also have the Dropbox directory shared and mirrored between machines. I have most of my active working files in Dropbox, so it doesn’t matter whether I’m at home on my Windows desktop or on the road with my little Asus Eee running Linux. The files are linked between them. Anything I change on one is changed on the other. And it keeps older copies, and is smart about what to do when things get out of sync.

    And you don’t have to change your tools. If you’re happy with MS Word, you can continue to use it. More of my tools are open source, free, cross platform programs. But if you have something specific to one machine or one operating system, it’s no problem for Dropbox.

    And you aren’t hosed if your Internet connection goes down. The files are still wherever you are, and will sync again when the connection returns.

    So a big thumbs-up to Dropbox.

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