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Loren Baker has had his google account suspended.It’s having a huge impact. Is your business safe?
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from Feydakin 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 0

It never ceases to amaze me that people will allow someone else to host and manage their mission critical services.. Especially when they chose free services.. I feel for him, but it’s just another example of how this can go horribly wrong..

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from Jill 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I’d sure like to know what their reasoning is.My sister had her google blogger blog shut down and given to someone else once for no reason at all (they claimed it was spam, but it was a regular ole business blog). She did eventually get it back  after many months of trying, however.Scary that they can (and do) just make weird unilateral decisions like this for what appears to be no reason.

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from tamar 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 2

[continued from #1, since I was too slow to post and Jill got in the way] ;)...except that things shouldn’t go horribly wrong like Loren described.  Why does Google feel it necessary to disable accounts out of the blue for people who don’t violate any Terms of Service?Sure, Loren was an unfortunate victim, but did he do anything WRONG?To me, this just appears that Google has a few staff members who are trigger happy.  Maybe Google should join the layoff bandwagon and remove those people.

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from lorenbaker 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I really just want an explanation, and them to turn it back on.

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from NickWilsdon 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 3

If Google wants us to move towards the utopia of cloud computing then they need to be *very* transparent on this issue. One of people’s primal fears about making the move is lose of control. They are relying on the services of Google. Stories like this do not reassure people and especially businesses to move to this form of infrastructure. I would hope that the people running the Google Apps system are less "trigger happy". As I wrote in Loren’s site, maybe the answer is paying for the premium service. Currently there is a culture of complete disregard towards "free users" - support is non-existant across a range of well known Web 2.0. apps, who feel they have done you a favour by letting you use their system. They see the money coming from the investors rather than the users.One reason I am in favour of payments for "essential" services is the belief that at least this changes the relationship between you and the service provider. You upgrade from "user" to "customer". Payment is a form of contract and that entitles you to support and guarantees. At the minimum this would be access to your data for removal.

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from Feydakin 2252 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@tamar, yes, he did do something wrong.. He relied on a free web service for a mission critical part of his business.. One that has a track record of doing this very thing..

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from leadegroot 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I can’t help but think that if Google really wants us all to come to rely on the cloud computing model, we must have some assurance that they will *never* take our history away.<div><div>I can understand that if someone spams they might not allow that account to send email anymore, but removing access to the archive and address book removes trust from the cloud.</div><div></div><div>I can understand that if someone breaks the adsense TOS they won’t be able to earn from ads anymore, but they shouldn’t lose access to their previous activity.</div><div></div><div></div><div>I can understand that there are times when people are going to lose some of their privs (posting, sending, publishing) on google services - but if they really want to be the home of the ubiquitous cloud, they are going to have to assure us that we can safely have our data up there.</div></div>

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from g1smd 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I am waiting for the screams of anguish when one of the popular free image-hosting sites vanishes, taking with it hundreds of millions of images from tens of millions of users ... many of whom have no backup copies.

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from Halfdeck 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Unbelievable. It seems I can’t trust anyone at Google except some people related to organic search. You got people fresh out of college with no exprience running a business on the web with their fingers on the trigger at Googleplex. Some of these Googlers are incredibly stupid. And sorry, no, I’m not exaggerating. Many of them are incapable of making the right decisions and shouldn’t be making them.

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from JohnMu 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

We recently blogged about the process that users can take to get their accounts back: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-to-do-if-you-cant-access-your.html -- an important part (that makes everything else fall into place quickly) is keeping your verification number.  I’ve been using Gmail since almost the start and have not had any significant issues (except for when I accidentally tagged all my mail as spam and couldn’t find it anymore :P ). Personally, I’m more than happy to delegate my mail to the engineers at Google than to chase after hardware/software issues myself (as we used to do in my old company). 

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from Halfdeck 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Thanks for the link John. I’d still like to know what led to Lauren getting locked out of Gmail. Was it an automatic security measure deal and not a manual account ban? After reading this I just don’t feel safe about using gmail for business reasons, which I’ve been doing for the past 4-5 years.I’m sure the engineers at Google are smart folks, but sadly the people on the red tape side of things at Google represent one aspect of the company I really don’t like.

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from Feydakin 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@halfdeck, I’ve lumped business people that use gmail for business in to the same category at Hotmail users.. So much of what comes out of there is spam, throw away accounts to use for spam, etc, that on several communities we’ve simply not allowed anyone with a GMail account to register.. It’s sad that it’s come to this, but there it is..

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from Halfdeck 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@feydakin Yeah in my vertical, gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc aren’t acceptable email addys either. What I do is redirect email from my domains and filter in gmail.

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from tamar 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"@tamar, yes, he did do something wrong.. He relied on a free web service for a mission critical part of his business.. One that has a track record of doing this very thing.."The issue isn’t if he did anything wrong in your eyes.  Did he do anything wrong in the eyes of Google?  You tell me, Feydakin.

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from JohnMu 2251 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Halfdeck I don’t have access to details like that (and I’m not even sure that the Gmail team would be able to provide it publicly either), but from what I’ve seen at Google, we tend to automate things. At any rate, I’m 100% sure there’s nobody reading your email and manually disabling accounts for the heck of it. There are a lot of accounts out there :-). While I totally agree that having a "free hoster" email address does not give your business credibility in the eyes of many out there, I disagree that it’s bad to use free services like Gmail for business reasons. Services like Hotmail, Yahoo mail and Gmail process more email than any other company out there. If anyone knows how to handle email and keep it running, they definitely do. Sure, things can go wrong (and they will, I don’t think it can be avoided regardless of the provider), but I feel pretty confident depending on the people who keep those services running.  As someone mentioned, Google Apps for your domain does provide phone support for some versions. Also, by using your own domain name you’ll at least be able to re-route your email if anything should go wrong. I’ve moved almost all of my close relatives to Google Apps (from email hosted on my servers and on other ISP servers) and haven’t regretted it one bit. 

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from ilamont 1986 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Unfortunately, the author neglected to elaborate on the most important question readers have about this episode: Why

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