Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

I Was Wrong about Google Docs

By Dennis D. McDonald

I posted Painful Lessons Learned from Using Google Docs last week when I discovered a spreadsheet, a spreadsheet form questionnaire, and a series of documents missing. That post was a followup to a very positive earlier post, Lessons Learned from Using Google Docs.

I was wrong. I found the items I thought were lost and I’ve restored a link to the questionnaire on the top of the left column banner of this blog. (If you have a minute to spare, I’d appreciate your answering the 5 questions; click on the link under PLEASE TAKE MY ONE-MINUTE SURVEY to see the questions.)

What happened? It turns out that I have two Google accounts, one I use primarily for Google Analytics, the other for Google Docs. I don’t use Gmail. I didn’t realize that (a) I was using the Google Analytics account to access Google Docs when I started working on the documents and the survey questions and that (b) documents created on one account can’t be seen on another.

Live and learn. I apologize for the confusion.

How did I discover this? I had started researching my population of accounts and passwords since I had recently discovered that my Yahoo! email account may have been hacked and email addresses in that account’s address book were/are being spammed by someone using my email address as the source. (Yahoo! is looking into this as we speak).

What lessons were learned? Obviously, I need to do a better job of tracking and managing passwords. Thank goodness I wasn’t using the Google Docs service for a proposal or client deliverable at the time.

Another lesson learned is that using Google Docs as a free service has some disadvantages in user support. I couldn’t find an appropriate communication channel to discuss the issue. Also, posting questions on Google Groups’ Google Docs group can lead to delays in getting any response.

This seems to be the “price” of “free,” I guess. But I have resolved to be more careful in the future.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald

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