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    « Head and Neck Preservation | Main | How Wicked Is This Page? »

    June 26, 2004

    Comments

    nascentday

    I have to disagree, guys. I've had a gmail account for a short while now, and I have found it to be a step above all other web-based e-mail. The gigabyte of storage you get is secondary to all the other features that make Gmail unique.

    1. The email service is uncluttered and simple to use. Whereas Lycos and Yahoo offer complicated contact sheets and email composition formats, Gmail is straightforward and easy to use, making it twice as fast to load and less likely to loose email drafts.

    2. The search option is second to none. This is what Gmail is really about. The system of filing is not in folders as with other programs and services, but rather, through a simple labeling of e-mails, allowing a single message or 'conversation' to be under multiple categories. It looks like a folder, but acts differently and more quickly. For instance, I could find the same e-mail from a co-worker in "Work" and "Friends" if I wanted.
    And the search is what it's all about. Remember that e-mail you got a year and a half ago with your great Aunt Mathilde's address? Can't remember the subject line, though, right? No problem--just search for "Mathilde." The result will list not only all the emails including that term, but also the subject line with the first few words/sentences of the e-mail. It makes finding what you want very easy.

    3. You can create filters. Yes, other programs allow this too, but often times you must pay for the option. In Gmail it's free. Add filter after filter to label all pieces of mail from family as "Family," or flag/'star' any piece of mail relating to the term "Job." There are plenty of options to make filing, archiving and viewing your e-mail easier.

    4. The Conversation View. THis is, by far, the best feature in GMail. A message from your mother is sent with the subject line, "Miss You." You reply. She replies. You reply again. All these messages use the same subject line (some with "Re: Miss You,") and they are all viewed as a conversation, under one e-mail in your inbox. The benefit of this is that you can quickly and easily review a conversation that has lasted hours, weeks or even years without having to look through sent and received mail. It's so simple and clear to use that I've actually found myself using it like an instant message. The conversation view also hides headers and quoted text in e-mails (unless you want to view it), making the conversation even more accessible. I once had a conversation thread of 81 e-mails sent between me and a friend, all viewed under one piece of mail in my inbox, and all seen on one manageable page in the conversation view.

    5. Attachements. I can't tell you how often I've had to send multiple messages for multiple files to people. Or the number of times my other e-mail servers have claimed a file was too big or have bounced files sent to me because of size. Gmail has no limit to the number of attachments you can add to a message. If your bandwith can hold it, then to can Gmail.

    6. Reliability. When's the last time you've gone to www.google.com and the site's been down? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? While I've often found my other e-mail websites down for hours, or even days, Google has always been reliable for all their other services. I, personally, trust that Gmail will continue this with their e-mail.

    So that's my argument for Gmail. It's still in beta testing, so there is much to be done. Yet it's current state is still far above any other web-based e-mail available.

    Retro Girl

    I got one just to see what all the rukus was about. So far I haven't even used it. Trust me you're not missing anything.

    cow

    Eh, I've had an account for a while, and I don't see it as all that great--but then again, I hate webmail, and will continue using PINE as long as I can get away with it.

    I have a stack of unused invites, if you'd like one just to see what it's like / what it's all about.

    katy

    you mean you havent jumped at the opportunity to create a file of personal information in the hands of the friendly folks at google? whyever not?

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