Ask LH: Can We Petition Google To Save iGoogle From Cancellation?

Ask LH: Can We Petition Google To Save iGoogle From Cancellation?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m an older internet user and very dependent on my iGoogle. Is there any way to petition those idiots to save it rather than cancel it? What? They can’t afford to keep it? Seriously. I’m old. And I don’t have time to learn new stuff. Thanks, First World Problem

Dear FWP,

Bad news coming: a petition won’t make a blind bit of difference (though this issue has, predictably, attracted several). Online petitions rarely do make any difference. They take minimal effort to sign, and few sites go to the effort to even verify the identities of those signing up. They’re meaningless slacktivism most of the time. A physical petition delivered to Parliament on a government might (and I emphasise the word might) have an impact, but a digital petition demanding the reinstatement of a favourite web service or TV show or video game character is not going to make any difference whatsoever.

iGoogle is free for end users, but that doesn’t mean it’s free to maintain. Google is ultimately a business, not a charity or a public service. If its operators determine that there’s more money to be made by pushing people towards using Google+ or Android phones, then that’s what is going to happen. The time spent setting up a petition would, realistically, be better spent testing out alternatives and finding one you can live with.

We’ve identified several possible candidates as iGoogle replacements. Are they identical? No. Will they require some effort to set up? Yes. But that’s the reality of free services: you have essentially no leverage if they get cancelled, since you’ve paid for them in personal data rather than cash. If the company operating that service decides it can make better money elsewhere, that’s the way of the world. And you do have 16 months until iGoogle disappears; it isn’t being shut off until November 1, 2013.

Sorry if that advice sounds harsh, but there’s no value in wasting your energy pursuing this line of thinking.

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • There’s already a petition.

    It’s called user stats. Millions of them collected by Google over the years.

    The user stats say relatively small amounts of people care about it.

    So it goes.

    Simple. That’s why petitions are useless when it comes to an online service, because they already have all the information they need.

    • How many children in somalia are you maintaining Nat?

      Only three? Why aren’t you sponsering five?

      I’d prefer they drop igoogle so they put the talented people who run the service to better use.

      Of course you’d prefer the company who you give no money to (and with your ignorant attitude it wouldn’t surprise me if you run an adblock program as well) to service a few special princesses.

      Really what they should do is use those fifty billion dollars in funds to install more of those thingies in front of hotels and bars so I have somewhere that I can tie my horse to.

  • Wouldn’t recognise iGoogle if it were sitting here on my desk…
    Can’t say I’ll miss it… whatever it was.

    And I use (aka: live by) many Google services… such as Google Apps for all my email and contacts calendars etc, and Chrome for seamless browser sync across all my devices.

    • If you don’t use it, don’t know what it is and won’t miss it, why did you feel the need to share that with the world instead of doing something productive with your time, like, I don’t know, getting a life. I will never get back the 15 seconds I wasted on reading your attention-whoring.

  • I’ll miss iGoogle. It is a great way to set up your homepage with portals to all the stuff you want to check every day.
    I have feeds from my favourite news sites, my favourite blogs, and my favourite web comics all on the one nice clean page, along with email and callendar. It certainly made my life easier once I got iGoogle set up how I like it.
    For years now, whenever I launch a browser, it’s all been right there. Not having that is going to take some getting used to. [/poor me rant]

  • I stopped using iGoogle after the MotorMouth Petrol Price Checker widget stopped working.
    And the funny thing is…. it is still my browser home page, but I rarely see it because I rarely open a fresh browser window.

  • I used to use iGoogle. I thought the concept was great, but it was slow to load and complicated to use. I’m kind of sad that Google is killing off iGoogle, but in a way, not many people used it so it might be better to spend their money on other things.

  • Dear Google,Please reconsider terminating iGoogle.It’s great and has many happy user’s worldwide.Besides,how will I continue living without the hampster[William].

  • I have no idea why people can’t see the value in such a worthwhile platform such as igoogle. I have used it for many years and find it invaluable to see things at a glance. Possibly Google can’t be bothered providing a free service anymore. Fine. But what Google doesn’t realise is that people like me will stop relaxing by browsing online and will go back to reading good old fashioned books and newspapers.

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