I’ve used Google drive as my main storage for the past….
Um…
10ish years?
Drive only came out 8 years ago, but before that I’d moved to Google’s Docs and Sheets and Slides and such the second they were available. “Cloud native” is how I got through college–with first a series of flaky Windows netbooks and then Chromebooks. I’ve been paying for 100gb storage for I can’t remember how long, with warnings about how full it was. And as we speak I’m taking that data out to move it into a Nextcloud instance.
Yes, it’s along the lines of harm reduction–there’s a lot of me still within the Google ecosystem–but if I, someone with very little patience for flash drives and remembering where things are, can do it then maybe more people can try.

Potential takeaways

  • FOSS can be shiny too: If any of you have relatives or friends that you wish used less surveillant-friendly software, show them how slick / user-friendly the alternatives can be these days! For me, having personal data sovereignty is something I care about… but it’s one of many things I care about. For me to take the plunge, I needed to not feel like I was sacrificing access. A native Android app was big here: remembering in advance to bring things along with me isn’t my forte.
  • Details matter: You might be surprised to know how many of your boomer relatives miss Google Reader just as much as you; Nextcloud’s RSS reader was the thing that got me regularly using the instance to test it out.
  • One step at a time: After this, there’s more I want to clear out of Google’s view of me–photos, location history–that I’ve been sure I wanted to keep, but didn’t know how . If this all goes well, I may start by blobbing the data to sit in Nextcloud instead and then see what self-hosted tools I can use to use it.

I’ll come back and update this once my setup is more battle-tested.