Last week a good friend and colleague Pete Rorabaugh wrote to me asking for advice on how someone might start to extract themselves from the belly of the beast and get off Google services. I have a lot of ideas around this, particular as I have been experimenting more and more with open source collaborative software that frankly holds up to snuff in comparison to the big dogs. But of course ingrained in a project like this are also a lot of social implications and not just technical concerns. It seemed perfect fodder for an episode of Reclaim Today and lucky for me Pete was game to record it.
The conversation is wide ranging starting with Pete's catalyst for finally making the move after a reading of Edward Snowden's memoir Permanent Record. But it was interesting to hear this has been a years long trajectory for Pete with him already using ProtonMail (which was going to be a recommendation from me) and Signal heavily. Perhaps we sounded like old men talking about how "the times have changed" but it has been wild to see how the conversation has changed as surveillance culture has moved from science fiction to the stuff that people line up on Black Friday to buy and put in their homes. My true regret is somehow having the work of Chris Gilliard not get mentioned as he was at the forefront of my mind when we talk about Ring devices and his keynote at our Domains conference last year still echos in my mind.
In any case I think this is a good one to watch and I plan a follow up discussion later this year to see how things are going as I plan to do some further experimentation with Nextcloud as well and who knows, I may even end up quitting Google myself. I also humbly think I'm starting to dial in these episode with our studio, Streamyard, and setting up shots and content in advance which is fun. One thing that I think drove the ability for us to create so many DTLT Today episodes was that we had the green screen and cuddle couch ready to go and we could just turn the camera on and start talking. That's proving true here as well so I'm excited to keep at it!