Too many eggs in one basket? A cautionary Google pondering, after reading of Chris Brogan's experience

How much would you be affected if your Google account were unexpectedly disabled? Because this just happened to someone whose blog I read regularly, I've had a healthy dose of "food for thought" today, about that very question.

While on a trip to Montreal, marketing and communications heavy hitter Chris Brogan woke up to find that for various vaguely defined reasons his Google account had been temporarily disabled. Because of the required methods for reactivating his services, he would have to wait until he returned to the US to reconnect.

He handles the likely "you've got to back up everything" feedback, head-on:

For anyone who wants to write in the comments “you should have a backup for everything, etc,” save the ink. We all know we should have more than one system, but, look again. That means carrying another phone, using a synced calendar platform, and then for the last three, a lot of document sync.

Click here to read the full piece, When Google Owns You - A New Chapter.

Although less reliant on Google than Brogan, it still got me thinking about what over-reliance on one company could do to my own workflow. I made a quick comparison to his:

  • Although I have a Gmail account, it's not my main one, so I'd be okay without it for a while,
  • I use my Google Calendar religiously. Being without that would create some headaches. In fact, this is the service that would most greatly affect me, if Google yanked it away from me,
  • Google Wave doesn't yet serve me that well since the people with whom I most often collaborate are not technology's early adopters, and don't use it. Google Wave dosen't have much use for me as a solo tool,
  • I use Google Reader for my RSS Subscriptions, but it's easy enough for me to recall my primary online reads of interest; I'd be okay there. It's the more obscure ones I read only occasionally that I'd have a challenge locating,
  • My iPhone isn't reliant on Google, so I'd be fine there. Not so much true for his Android phone,
  • My Google Voice phone number is only used as a backup and for some very specific reasons. I'd be okay without it for a while.

What about you? Do you use multiple services by a single provider, Google or otherwise? How would such a development affect you?

I hate this for Chris, but I'm glad he shared. It's always good to assess our processes. What kind of job am I doing at making sure I can always access the data I need? What can I do better??? These are the questions. Now, what will I do with the answers?