Life #in a cloud of elegant spaghetti

I am slowly but surely moving my life to the cloud. In recent months I’ve begun truly exploring Google, Facebook, and WordPress. I see massive potential for this approach- after all I have 2 smartphones, 4 computers I use on a regular basis, and too much data to keep track of. As part of this effort, I have begun weaving a truly magical web of carefully managed and configured trust relationships with an eye to interoperability and usefulness. I’ll try to list some of the strands of my growing spiderweb here to give people an idea of what is possible.

The three clouds seen most on my e-horizon are Google, Facebook, and this WordPress install. Attempting to list the connections in any sane manner will be difficult to say the least. I’ll try, but I make no promises.

I will start with Google, who is my Information Overlord. Google controls my mail for multiple domains via GMail.  Google Calendar rules my schedule, and I have calendars for my son (shared with my ex-wife) and a financial calendar for due dates of bills, paydays, etc. My work schedule pushes to my Google calendar as well, ensuring I always know what I am supposed to be doing.  Google Docs is something I am starting to use more, and is one of my next projects to integrate into my life. Wave was fun, but ended up as a toy and I have not even logged into it for quite a while. The most recent addition to my Google arsenal is Google Reader, which I am using to replace both Outlook subscriptions at work and NetNewsWire on my Mac at home. Google Reader is integrated into my sidebar on this site now. I round it all out with Google Analytics for site stats.

My personal Blackberry (an 8830 if anyone cares) has Google Sync installed, which keeps my address book and calendar synced to Google Mail. I have the Facebook app also, which syncs my friends to my phone. This cross-pollinates with Google Sync, so they end up in my Contacts as well. As a nifty side effect, it means I get peoples Facebook pics as their portrait when they call or email me. That phone has breathed its last, so I think I will be upgrading to a Droid soon for even better Google integration. I am increasingly using Google Voice to aggregate the aforementioned smartphones and the desk phone(m-f 8-5 anyway), which is becoming handy in light of my busted Blackberry. I managed to forward calls and voicemails to Google, leaving only texts to contend with.

Twitter is wired in to my blog, so when I hit Publish here in a minute it auto-tweets this post as a link. In an interesting turnaround, it also republishes in my sidebar with my recent tweets, as well as posting a weekly archive of them to this site. I have also integrated Twitter into my XBox Live account, so it tweets when I get an achievement. Twitter can also update my LinkedIn profile, but only when I include the #in hashtag(hence the funny subject on this post). A misstep in letting Twitter publish to things occurred when I tried to auto-post tweets to my Facebook. That functionality worked great, until I bought a new game and had a zombie-slaying weekend that unfortunately tweeted all my achievements to my Facebook rapidfire. My friends were not amused.

All told, I have managed to cross-integrate things nicely to the point where much of the data I care about is in the cloud. I still keep local backups, and there’s a ton of stuff I don’t have up on the net yet(notably pictures), but for the most part my life is now device-independent and I can access things from anywhere. All of this will lead up nicely to the iPad I plan to buy when the 3G version comes out so I can truly be completely data-mobile. Cool world we live in, no?

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