Hi all,

starting now and until next Tuesday we will attempt to make it through a whole week without using any Google service. Not Google Search, not Gmail, not Google Talk, not Google Video, not Google Docs, not Google Maps, not Google Earth, not Google News, not Google Groups, not Youtube, not Google Video, not Blogger, not Picasa, not Google Calendar, not Google Checkout, not iGoogle, not Google Translate, not Google Chrome, if you have an Android phone, you are not allowed to use Google services with it, talk and text only… you get the point.

It’s not going to be easy and hence we will not attempt to create an unfeasible challenge. We will keep a promise to each other to follow some rules:

1. Whenever we are passively exposed to Google content (an embedded Google video, map, and so on…) we post that link to delicious.com using the tags ‘nmrs10’ and ‘weekwithoutgoogle’ (+whatever else you want to include)

2. Whenever we break and use a Google service, we report about it on the blog in the form of a comment to this post.

We will also try to support each other in the process by taking a series of technical steps:

1. If you use Gmail, please make sure to set a forward on your email to another email service (either on or offline). Please do that as the first thing you do after you read this post.

2. If you use google.com as a homepage make sure to redirect your search to another search engine such as Yahoo or Bing. You are required to do that asap.

3. Every time you are about to use Google, and find a way around it, try to propose the alternative to the class either by using delicious (tags ‘nmrs10′ and ‘weekwithoutgoogle’) and/or by posting the link to the alternative in a comment.

4. Please share your tactics on the blog. Let’s work together to try to make it.

5. Previous classes found the use of this Firefox plugin useful, so if you find you just can’t trust yourself use it to block any Google domain. In the options add the following urls:

*.google.*
*.youtube.*
*.googlegroups.*
*.blogspot.*
*.blogger.*
*.gmail.*
*.picasa.*

If you know of other Google-owned web sites and services (there are plenty not indicated in the list above) please mention them on this blog. This is trust based only, but the student who will manage to take this challenge on and make it through the week will win the NMRS medal of honor.

Good luck, we are going to need it!

ps For those of you who have to write their travelogue drafts for this coming week, you are allowed to take an exception only in regard to Google Video and YouTube.