Gmail Online!

Because I’m such an active blogger (aren’t we all?) Google has invited me to be “one of the first” to use their Gmail service. Are other bloggers getting this gmail invite too, or am I special? I haven’t seen posts on my favorite sites that usually keep up to date on this sort of thing. Bloggers please comment.

Here is a screen shot of my first gmail email:

Just for fun I clicked on the Google ads on the right hand side of the page. Either they are fake ads or somebody doesn’t have their act together because I got 404’d on all of them.

Here is a little explaination of how gmail works:

A more flexible filing system


The old way

You create an elaborate filing system of folders and subfolders, then decide where to file a single message.

The Gmail way

Instead of folders, Gmail uses labels to give you the functionality of folders, but with more flexibility. In Gmail, a single conversation can have several labels, so you’re not forced to choose one particular folder for each message you receive. That way, if a conversation covers more than one topic, you can retrieve it with any of the labels that you’ve applied to it. And, of course, you can always search for it.

You can also “star messages” as a way of categorizing them, probably like putting them on a to do list, that way you can quickly retrieve all starred messaged. “Stars let you give messages a special status to make them easier to find. To star a message, click on the light blue star beside any message or conversation.” It seems like a good idea because so often I’ll open an email and think I need to deal on that, but not right now and then I just end up forgetting about it.

Other new features include keyboard shortcuts, Personal level indicators (>to my address >> to only me), and Snippets (same style as Google search).

I have a feeling I’m really going to like Gmail. You can now reach me at jeffmilner(at) Let the spam begin.


GMail is Just Around the Corner

Google recently announced they will soon open up a free email service offering users 1 gigabyte of free storage space. They intend to make money off of the service by placing context sensitive ads beside your incoming mail. Some people have privacy concerns but to me if you are worried about privacy then you probably shouldn’t be using Hotmail or Yahoo mail because as far as I’m concerned they all have privacy issues. The other thing people have been talking about is just how Google is going to possibly be able to open up and maintain the huge amount of storage space that would be required for millions of users all with 1 gigabyte of storage space. It seems impossible. Anyway here is a news article from ITworld about Google’s new mail service.

As for whether Google will be able to deal with the huge demand, whether its search technology and DAS approach to storage will revolutionize Web email or leave a huge black spot on Google’s untarnished image, well, only time will tell. But one of the reasons that Google is so popular is that it has a tendency to achieve the unachievable.

Check out GMail now, but beware Google’s intense terms of service agreement.

If they allege a “technical issue”, including spam filtering, then they can access, read, preserve, and disclose anything in your mailbox. Since they probably do spam filtering for everybody (both for incoming and outgoing mail), then they have the right to read and disclose the contents of your email at any time.

Many spam-filtering services send copies of alleged spams to some central location. If they get N copies of similar messages, they declare it spam and publish the offending messages on the web. Google’s right to send your spam to such services gives them the right to send ANY of your email to ANYONE — for publication.