The web has exploded with “buzz” about Google Plus and you have probably noticed this in more than one place. It’s in your news reader, on your Twitter timeline, in your Facebook feed, and now it is in your brain. If you have not gotten an invite to the service then you are either anxiously awaiting for access or you are spewing hate about the service because you are left out in the cold. For those of you that did get in then you’ve probably spent a fair amount of time tinkering with all the features Google Plus has to offer. Some of you might have felt that this is too much in terms of Google hoarding your information as well as your attention. It’s time to cut the cord and get away from Google and its services. You’re switching to Bing, you’re going to use Windows Live, you’re sticking with Facebook and Twitter, and you’re going to live your life Google-free. However, the thing that’s stopping you from leaving is not the fact that you’ll be leaving behind Gmail, Google Plus, Docs, Picasa, and more. No, what irks you is not the services themselves you will have to give up, but the actual content you have associated with those services that will be forever stuck with Google. Or will they?
Google’s Data Liberation Front launched Google Takeout yesterday, a service that allows you to download all of your content and information associated with Google services in a tidy open format so you can import them elsewhere to other services. As of launch, Google Takeout can export all your data and information from Buzz, Picasa, Circles, Contacts, Profile, and Google Plus Stream. Each service is exported in an appropriate file format, such as vCard for Contacts, a format that works on virtually any mobile device and address book software on any operating system. You can choose to export select services or all of them at once. The Data Liberation Front is working to add Google Takeout to more Google Services in the future.