This week Google announced that on July 1 it is shutting down the most popular RSS stream blog reader in the world, Google Reader. A whole bunch of you probably get to this blog from there.
I’m sure most people who signed up for the service assumed it would be around as long as Google would, close to forever. But the company is chopping anything that’s not a profit center, so your calendar and Gmail could be next if you rely on them daily.
Which brings us to an important question: do you have a backup plan for products or services you use regularly when you travel?
* What’s your second way of getting cash if your debit card is lost, stolen, or eaten by a machine?
* What second or third credit card will you use when your first one is lost, stolen, downgraded (by credit limit) or copied by a cyber thief and disabled?
* How will you keep in touch with the important people in your life if you lose your phone?
* What will you do if Facebook shuts down or starts charging? If there’s a Twitter outage that lasts for days?
* What if Skype goes down or Google shuts down Google Voice?
* What’s your secondary e-mail address when the first one gets shut off or hacked? Do you trust Google enough to rely on gmail?
* Where are you storing all those photos you’re taking in case you lose the laptop, tablet, or phone where they’re stored?
I can’t say I’m 100% prepared for every scenario, especially considering I almost never buy travel insurance. And if Paypal goes under, I’m in big trouble since that’s how most advertisers pay me.
But if you spend 10 bucks on Nomadic Matt’s book you’ll get ideas on what to do on the money side (with specific recommendations).
As for me, stay tuned next week if you read this blog’s RSS stream somewhere because I’m dropping Google’s Feedburner like a hot potato this weekend. It’s been a long time since I trusted that company anyway and based on how they’re treating customers, I don’t have much faith that Feedburner is reliable for the long term.