GMailI have been a beta user of Gmail now for a few weeks. It's... interesting. A lot of good ideas. But I've not made up my mind about it yet.
I don't use it for my personal email, but I do forward all my junk mail to it. This includes things like newsletters, online registrations and mailing lists.
Anyway, what's different in Gmail, when compared to other online email services:
- 1 GIGABYTE DISK SPACE, BABY: Yeah, that's the big selling point. 1 Gig of email space. That's equivalent to something like 15 years worth of my junk mail.
- "Conversations": GMail automagically groups all mail in a thread into a "conversation". This is an enforced feature, but I think a good one. All replies to a particular email immediately get placed into one logical place. It is possible that mail gets wrongly attached to a conversation, but that only happens when people misuse the 'reply' feature and don't change the subject header.
- Labels: Email no longer gets put into folders. Instead, you now attach labels on messages. The big advantage is that messages can now have more than one label. Ever had the problem of not knowing which of two folders to file messages? Not any more.
- Targeted advertising: This is what some people are worried about. GMail will provide users targetted advertising based on the contents of the email a user gets. So, for example, if you have an email mentioning that you have a leaky faucet, GMail will provide you a list of plumbers in your area (or perhaps just a list of faucet salesmen). In order to do this, a program somewhere needs to read your email and this is what people are upset about. Strange though, that people are fine when Yahoo!Mail reads through your email to determine which is spam, even though in both cases your email is being analyzed by a program. Perhaps it's because the intent for one is to help you and the other is to bombard you with unwanted advertising.
So, what do I think? As I said, I use GMail at the moment for my junk mail so I don't really care if they are reading what I get. I am not actually very worried about GMail reading my email - any email provider can read your email if they want to, if it's not encrypted. If you really want secure email, use PGP.
I am seriously considering using GMail as an online mirror of my day-to-day email, but I'm waiting until I'm really satisfied with it.
If anybody wants a subscription to GMail (it's only at Beta stage at the moment and not quite open to public access), send me an email at email@example.com explaining why you need 1 Gig of email space. I will send an invitation to join GMail to the first good reason I get. Don't forget - GMail allows you to receive attachments up to 10 MB in size, so feel free to be creative.
Comments: Post a Comment