Friday, April 3, 2009

Switching Google Accounts: Introduction


Over the years, my primary identity online has been “John Silicon,” a moniker I picked up as a tween that hasn’t left my side since. An almost uncountable number of people know me as Silicon — even a few people I first met offline still call me by my nom de plume. If you do a Google Search, you will find various Johns in Silicon Valley (none of whom are me), lyrics to a song that I maintain is a threat on my life, and a chronicle of my life on the internet.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to move away from this pseudonym, more and more often typing “Alex Lyman” into the name field many a random website. But, even still, my email address has been John Silicon at whatever ISP I was using at the time. Most recently, for the last 4 years or so, I’ve been on GMail.

Now, as “John Silicon” has started to receive hundreds of spam messages a day (who knew a semi-fictional person could get a credit card?), I’ve decided to change my email address. This is not my first email switchover, and will probably not be my last, so I’ve decided to write a series of posts on the topic, as a guide to others who might find themselves in a similar mindset.

I have tied many of the other Google services I use to my John Silicon account: Reader, Code, Calendar, Docs, Talk, Groups, Analytics, Blogger, Orkut, Picasa, and many more of the others. Switching these over to a new account are, at the best of times, easy five-minute projects, and at the worst of times can be hellish, time-consuming nightmares that will take upwards of 10 whole minutes. If I have the time, I plan on signing up for some of the services I’ve never even had occasion to use (like Health), just to round out this series.

Creating A New Account

I will be switching from my GMail account to another GMail account, so I will just sign up for a new GMail account, which creates a new Google Account automatically. If you have an email account with another provider that you would like to switch to, you can sign up for a Google Account without a GMail address. Either way, Google has worked very hard to make it as simple to do as possible.