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Journal bethanie's Journal: What's up with Gmail? 29

So what's the big deal about Gmail? Is there something that really sets it above and apart from other free email services (like Yahoo)? Or is it just the latest must-have geek status symbol? I thought it was pretty cool that Yahoo just booted up their free memory to 100MB from 10MB (in response to Gmail, according to the NYTimes) -- I don't really use the Yahoo so much -- just for public stuff like Slashdot, and it's nice to have a Yahoo ID for signing up on some Groups that I'm on.

Anyway, I'd love to hear y'all's ideas. Once again (like when you converted me to tabbed browsing -- thanks!!), you get to educate & inspire me. And if I'm interested, there's no *telling* what I might offer to get an invite!! ;-)
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What's up with Gmail?

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  • The thing that I like is that, in typical Google fashion, the web interface is unobtrusive. That and people can send you lab reports, pictures, etc. (Not so much a concern now, but I had a lab partner who insisted on using his hotmail account, which would regularly run out of space. Blasted ingrates.)

    • That and people can send you lab reports, pictures, etc.

      Why must there be so many people who want to send you all kind of strange attachments by e-mail? It wasn't meant for that, ya know?

      People should just put the files on some kind of other storage that does NOT use the storage space of the reciever. Not everyone wants to download 30 Megs on their dial-up (Okay. I don't have dial-up, but still. I could use one if I'm traveling).

      • It wasn't meant for that, ya know?

        And my flathead screwdriver wasn't made to pry the lid off of a paint can, but it works damn fine. What's your point? Face it: email, just like any other tool is evolving to meet changing needs.

        Scenario: I have a 2 meg file that I need to get to somebody 15 miles away in the next 5 minutes. How do you suggest I do this? Assume road construction, as is generally prudent.
        • I used UUCP back in the day, and ftp is pretty easy to use now.
        • Or hell, I want to send a two page document to the guy in the next cube, but I don't want to get off my ass and walk to the printer to pick up a copy, not to mention the fact that he might notice a spelling error that needs correcting.

          Email and attachments are great. Yes, dialup sucks, but you live with it. I don't mind waiting 30 minutes -- seeing pix of my folks every once in a while is still a treat!

          • I've received emails from the person sitting next to me. One friend in particular liked to tap my shoulder when he sent the email just for the irony.

            And if it's a bandwidth issue, all electronic communication is going to be slow. It's still more convenient than the USPS. 30 minutes vs. 2 days? I'll take it.
        • I obviously didn't make myself clear. The problem with e-mail and attachments is that the receiver stands for the storage space. It works fine as long as the receiver has the capacity to receive the all the attachments. But as you said yourself, people regularly run out of space.

          This is the exact problem with attachments. People tend to send larger attachments than the user can afford, resulting in that other messages can't make it trough.

          It doesn't need to be a 1 GB movie you're sending. It just takes a

    • The thing that I like is that, in typical Google fashion, the web interface is unobtrusive.

      There's that. And it's REALLY fast. As in "really". The other webmails that I've used have had a significant amount of lag.

  • First, most people are attracted to the 1GB of space (notice, yahoo upgraded to a tenth of what gmail gives you), but once you use it, you realize how it redefines webemail.

    You no longer have folders. You have labels. You label your emails (for example, I have 'family', 'slashdot people', 'about java', 'about gaming', etc...). You can give an email multiple labels, too. There is also the ability to 'star' an email if its important.

    But the nicest feature I've seen is how replies get threaded. Instea
    • most people are attracted to the 1GB of space

      As you may have seen from my orkut post about it, I really wasn't attracted to gmail, mainly because the lack of names I want (6char min, which cuts out my first *three* choices).

      But then there was this girl whom I don't know arbitrarily offering gmail invites to people, and I was like, "Hey, I like girls. I'll take one. (an invite, that is)"

      Not quite in those words, but that's the general idea.
  • But also the 1GB limit. I suspect that this will prove not nearly so close to infinite as most people seem to think, but it will do for now. The really interesting thing is that the large amount of storage, coupled with the tools that they are offering, seems to offer the opportunity to make a gmail account one's personal information space. If it makes it possible for me to retain and find all of those odds and ends of information in a useful manner, it would be worth it.

    For instance, I think that it
  • Listen, I run my own email, and I offer the service to anyone I know personally.

    I don't trust any commercial vendor. At least I know I own my domain.

    If you don't own your own domain, maybe this is the solution.
    • I haven't noticed the ads at all. And they are all TEXT ads, so its not like those annoying flash ads or flashy gif ads. Honestly, if I have to have ads, I'd prefer them to actually be targetted at me, which is sorta what gmail does... but as I said before, they are only noticable when you look for them.
    • Well, we have our own domain, and for the last month we've *finally* gotten fed up with the spam and started to do something about it. I can't discuss all the different filters Hubby has put in place, because I don't know what they all are (he's told me, but I haven't paid very much attention). It *does* involve me having to "bounce" all of my spam to another address, and to go through the SpamBayes "training" process. It's kind of a PITA.

      I have to admit that I'm *extremely* impressed with Yahoo's filteri
      • Suggest Mozilla's client to your husband please.

        He probably knows already, but I find it to be inobtrusive and very convenient.
        • Suggest Mozilla's client to your husband please.

          I second that. I just set my wife up with the standalone Thunderbird [] client for her email accounts and its very nice. When I last tried Mozilla's integrated client the Spam-filtering was no-where near as easy to use as it is now. Plus I have her main account with which uses its own filters so we're hoping she stays pretty Spam free. If it goes well, then maybe we'll even let our daughter get her own email account once she knows how to read,
      • Yahoo, block spam?!? No kidding. That is because so much of the spam comes from them! Of course they can identify spam!


        I use eudoramail, but it has lots of adds and I am getting annoyed at it because of that. It is basically the same as (same app serves up both sites and eudoramail is run by lycos).

  • i like my spamcop email address. it's not even free, but it gives me the satisfaction of doing something about spam.
  • what is " tabbed browsing " ?
  • Tried it briefly - it seems nice. But I only use webmail to access my email account at my own domain, and I use Apple to download all my mails, so for me it's not that exciting. Add the ability to act as a client to another ISP's email and I might use it, if only because it has such a clean and usable interface.
  • And I still do, but after I asked recently [] I got some answers I'd not thought of (somehow).

    So from my perspective of not wanting webmail, it's still utterly worthless. But from other people's perspective, I can at least understand the appeal now.

    Oh, and on the spam front, I get maybe 4 or so a week in my paid-for account, which is quite good IMO. OTOH, legitimate emails still seem to occasionally vanish. Plus, the option to tweak our own filter settings that's been waved in front of us for at least a year

  • *Bah* I'm SUPER UBER!!! I have the one and only series of emails!!! I rulz all those gmail/yahoo/hotmail/whatever losers...but Gmail is now a status symbol....go figure...

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death. -- James F. Byrnes