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My worst nightmare still unrealized -- fortunately.

Every time there's another story about Google shutting down underperforming services and products, my heart sinks. I live in constant fear that Google will one day shut down Google Alerts. 

I need Google Alerts. Google Alerts completes me. 

Google recently announced another set of closures, and Google Alerts has been spared once again. 

Who else uses Google Alerts? And what service do you use that you could not live without? 

http://www.informationweek.com/cloud-computing/software/google-shuts-down-11-services/240144494
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80 comments
 
Losing Google Alerts would be a pain for sure.  I use that service to monitor news items about my organization and Jimmy Page. No, they are not one and the same but I wish they were!
 
I use them not only for work but also for personal news as well. Really hope they don't ever retire them!
 
I use them pretty extensively myself.  Luckily, I have a smartphone now so I can create my own alerts, but Google Alerts has been a lifesaver in the past. 
 
I have a few dozen Google Alerts set up and I really enjoy them.  Some I use for long term tracking, such as news related to companies I do work for and others I setup to use temporarily, like waiting for Jelly Bean to drop for my Android phone.  I hadn't considered that they might retire the service one day.  Please don't Google!

Oh, and please don't clean up the multiple inbox lab in Gmail - really like that one!
 
I use Google Alerts like I don't have any friends and so need to supplement my lack of emails with Google. I have an absurd amount of alerts setup.
 
Alerts and Reader - bread and butter for infoholics..
 
Shutting down Google Alerts would be a loss indeed, same goes for Google Reader, Google Mail and Google+. Besides these services i like +IFTTT very much connecting all my different web apps and, of course, +Evernote .
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I'm also addicted to the two.  Reader is indispensible, and Alerts are great for catching stories about something you are waiting for (such as a release of some new software or gadget).
 
I'm one of those who still benefits from the ability to quickly scan a bunch of blogs on an iGoogle page. Not sure why they couldn't leave it up as you'd think it wasn't much of a resource drag for them.  

But, they own the bat, the ball and the glove and if they want to take them home, the game is over, no matter how much fun you were having.
 
Everyone in our family has customized iGoogle. When they shut it down next year we will need to do something else.
 
น่ารักมากที่บ้านฉันมีแต่นอนแล้วก้อวิ่งไร่ชาวบ้าน
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I was hugely disappointed they recently stopped the free Google Apps signups. I have one account but was looking to set up a new one, unfortunately I just missed out!
 
Who doesn't use Google Alerts?  Need to know if those meddling kids are on to me yet.
Jared
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Google drive I would hate to have to go back to Microsoft word 
 
I use Google Alerts... great service!!!!
 
I want Google alerts set up for TV to send me an alert for the start of a TV show or start my Google TV movie.  Currently it alerts to everything about that show.
 
I'm not a user, but I've really never looked at it.  Now that I've read this I'm going to look into it.  Are there other services that anyone uses that you'd recommend?
 
I am a big fan of iGoogle. Though I force myself to use an alternative now, I miss it. It just was a little more fluent.
 
Alerts are fantastic.  Would be a shame if they shut them down. 
 
Yes. Please don't take Google Alerts away....
 
iGoogle users: try out reader instead?
 
How many people are tempted to create a Google Alert about Google Alerts shutting down?
 
Regarding Photo: This World would be a better place if everyone took care of their own shit.
 
I tried Google Alerts, but generally found the things I'm interested in getting updates on don't work well for a search query.

Google Reader and selected blogs fits better. YMMV
 
I do, but it's becoming weirdly spammy.  Just stopped my Vizio alert the other day as it was usually taking me to a cheap never-heard-of  sales site.  
 
I used Google Wave. That was really useful for online collaboration.
Features in GMail that were shut down, and which I wanted:
mouse gestures, custom date formats.
Rob A
 
im still pissed that my time is ending on Igoogle.  I will miss you calvin & hobbes..but i guess they are becoming a platform comp now and must move with the times
 
+Mike Elgan - I use Google Alerts for a few things, but what if something like them were added to +Google Now? If you think about it, they aren't that different.

As for my "please don't cancel" item: If they cancelled Picasa in favor of +Google+ photos, I would be disappointed, because photos currently has inferior usability in comparison.
 
I could survive without Google Alerts but not without Google Reader which already have been trimmed a few times. My main way of consuming content online is through Google Reader, both the browser version and the app. 
 
Losing Google Reader would be a huge blow.
 
I use alerts, too. I think Google won't shut down Alerts. Because it is a simple service and they don't need anyone to work on Alerts. It just works with web search.
 
Yeah I use Google Alerts too... it's very helpful, so I hope they don't shut it down :(
 
I use Google Alerts.  In a similar subject, I wish the Google News Widget, available exclusively on my Nexus S, where available for my Nexus 7.  
 
+1, Google Alerts are a very valuable tool to track news that are about to come up around the world.
 
I use it and love it.  Right now I'm monitoring news about the [huge] company that I work for because sometimes news about the direction of the company hits the public before it's shared with employees.
 
It gives the entire Google brand the feeling of instability when they do this.  I can not at all feel comfortable that Google will not simply delete my stuff one day... simply because they feel that not enough people are using 'XYZ' to make it worth their while to keep it running.  But ... this is a company that is making a Godzillion dollars.  It would be in their interest to stop playing Lucy-with-the-Football on functionality.   Sure I get that they have costs to consider.  But if that is the case then they should make sure that 1) there is a way to cleanly and efficiently export your stuff in a usable format, 2) give a huge amount of lead-time warning while providing the export-your-stuff feature.  Then at least I would not feel like "OMG... should I put my stuff on Google, or not?  Hmmm... maybe not, really... not sure... think I'll just have to play it safe because they've already kinda messed me up a few times now already"...
 
I rely on Google Alerts for some weekly content curation I do for one of my sites. It's one of several sources I turn to for the most important stories on the topics I cover - related to a variety topics related to innovation and creativity.
 
But they do provide export features. And they do give months (sometimes a year) of notice when services close.
 
+Eoghann Irving  ... oh.  duh.  my bad, then.  I was under the impression that this was less than effective.  But if they do that and it works, then I'll just go over here with my tail between my legs.  :p
Phil H
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I appreciate that you fear for the service you use, but I'd rather Google try and keep the yard in order than allow it to grow untended. Then it might end up looking like Yahoo...
 
I use Alerts (sent to my reader instead of mail) and can't survive a day both at  home and work... And yes, every time Google announces clean up, I am afraid that reader will close
 
jajajjajaja esta mascota si que sabe lo que hace, practicamente no necesita un amo, ya es todo un independiente, solo le falta hablar.
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I have an alert set up for my name, and another set up for " +Internet Evolution ." The second one is noisy, lots of people talking about the evolution of the Internet rather than the website. 

+Mike Elgan , what Google Alerts do you have set up?
 
I do use Google Alerts, it is extremely helpful. The other ones are Listen (which is discontinued now) and of course Reader.
 
Google Alerts is easier than typing your name into Google Search every day.
 
I use google alerts, one of the basics and very useful services, hopefully Google is aware of this. 
 
Can't do without google bookmarks.
 
I can't believe google calendar sync was discontinued. I use this heavily, being that I have google set up on my iPhone with exchange.  This makes me a sad panda.
 
+Craig Laughlin where can I find more details on google sync being discontinued? There is lots of conflicting info out there.
 
+Mikhail Garber They are discontinuing sync over the Exchange/ActiveSync protocol, except for paying Apps for Domains users. That's basically all there is to know.
 
i love Google, and I understand cutting the fat. Sadly, Googles UIs (for more advanced features found in things like google apps) are horrible at explaining how it works. 

From reading this article, I now will not be able to create an event directly on a calendar on my nexus 7, and even if I can, it wont sync and appear on my web browser?

zee fuck would be the point of using the calendar anymore if thats the case? 
 
+Nick Rat Without reading the article (no time, no time...), there is theoretically no reason for that. CalDAV and CardDAV (whose wide acceptance Google cites as the reason for cutting Exchange support) permit editing of remote calendars and contacts.

I have no idea what Android and Nexus 7  support, though.
 
+Mitch Wagner I have about 400 set up. Every time I hear a phrase, or hear about an early product or want to follow or track anything, I set up an Alert. I probably set up 10 new alerts per week, and I probably delete 7 per week. 
 
Google Voice. I hope they never shut this one down 
 
Google Alert is the only way I can think of to keep track of whereabouts or discussions around a few politicians or authors who are rarely in the news and never in headlines: fairly local, sometimes retired or even dead. It's low intensity, but very useful to me.
 
Pretty sure google Alerts are safe from purging.  In terms of upkeep and operational costs, Alerts is next-to-nil. Even if a few engineers at Google find it useful, it'll stay alive and public because there's almost no operational cost for such a simple service.

And I'm quite sure engineers at Google will be using it for a long time coming.
 
+Jake Stine Don't be so sure. They shut down Google Code Search, and I'm sure more than a few engineers at Google used that one.
 
They can't consolidate too much; if they do, they'll start to lose business...

A Google+ world would be a shoddy, sad replacement for Google, at best.
 
+Ivan Vučica Google Code Search also requires significantly more upkeep and development time to make it useful.  Indexing source code is nothing at all like indexing general content.  Google Alerts just piggy-backs on the indexes for the standard search engine (which isn't going anywhere anytime soon, I think).  Google Code Search uses a completely different indexing engine, and it also supported the notoriously-expensive-to-process regular expressions search.  My guess is that any google code search would cost several magnitudes more processing power than an equivalent general keyword search.
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+Mike Elgan Clearly I need to set up more alerts. :) 

I haven't set up more alerts to date because I've found the ones I did set up inundated me with too much crap. This would not be the first time that setting up a LITTLE more of something proved to be counterproductive, but a LOT more turned out great. 
 
I couldn't live without Google Reader. 
 
I'm actually worried about Reader.  Currents just isn't as easy to use or for scanning a lot of news at once.
 
Google Alerts uses the "new" Google+ style user interface, the one that was rolled out starting when Larry Page took over as CEO again. So that makes me think Alerts will survive. There are other products that are still on the old interface, and I take that as a warning sign that they'll be shuttered. For example iGoogle (which we already know is being closed anyway).
 
I use google alerts - really useful - plain vanilla service that works. Have yet to see the new format +James Pearn 
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