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You’ve Got Mail

Posted by AlienCG on July 14, 2009

During my early days on this thing called the Internet, it was practically required to have an ISP issued e-mail address.  Free e-mail accounts were considered taboo to many sites and meant the user was up to no good, looking to get something free and minimizing spam.  I belonged to a forum that had a special user class for free e-mail users that required double the time to complete the probationary period compared to an ISP e-mail user.  There was an issue, though, in the days of dial-up, people didn’t stick with an ISP.  I had a couple ISPs early on in my Internet life, and when I switched, I had to inform everybody that my e-mail was changed.  It sucked, but that was the way things were.  That is, until Google came along.

I was introduced to GMail long ago during its initial beta period back in early 2004 when I checked my unused Blogger account and found the Golden Ticket (OK, it was an invitation on the sidebar of the menu).  I thought of it as a novelty, another free e-mail account to use as a spam dump ( Ialready had a Yahoo account for that)…but I noticed something.  My inbox didn’t contain spam.  Google had done what many others couldn’t, created an effective filter for spam.  I still used my ISP address as my primary address until Adelphia Cable was bought out by Time Warner.  Then my e-mail address changed and I thought about using my web site e-mail (aliencg.com).  It turned out, many domain names are caught by spam filters, too, so I tried using my GMail account.  It wasn’t caught by spam filters, it filtered out all spam e-mail and I could do something that was difficult with ISP e-mail.

The greatest advantage of using a free e-mail account is the fact that it can be checked anywhere.  Just find a computer, log into Gmail, check mail and log out.  It was a lot more convenient than going to my ISP web site, looking for the log in section, remembering my password (which I never needed to know) and then finding the e-mail link.  Of course, I was the type to keep my e-mail program opened and it would automatically download my mail and delete it from the server.  That made it difficult to check e-mail away from home.  Also, ISP’s generally require that the user institute his/her own spam filter which can be a pain to do.  Most users won’t bother and now they are forced to sift through many messages to find the good stuff.

I noticed something else not too long ago.  During my job search I rejoined Monster.com to aid in finding employment.  I noticed that there was a link on the registration page to get a GMail account.  That’s what initially got me thinking about this topic for a possible discussion.  Many years ago, a free e-mail account was a sign of deviance and malice, today it’s the norm.  I currently hold four GMail accounts, my main one is AlienCG.  I also still have my Yahoo account, which has come a long way in recent years becoming just as good as Google at filtering out spam.  If you don’t have a free e-mail and are relying on your ISP e-mail, give it another shot.  It keeps you free of spam, it warns you about possible malicious links and it’s easy to check anywhere.


7 Responses to “You’ve Got Mail”

  1. I have one google and one yahoo email account and cannot find fault with either. I love my yahoo because I can keep unlimited files with an unlimited memory space. I am one of those people who must organize everything to death. So that is very valuable to me.

    My google is more of a utility account. I am sure that I do not use it to anywhere near its full potential. But that is because I had the yahoo account first and have more invested in it.

  2. Tara said

    Gmail has proven to be a darn good email service. My brothers sent me tons of photos around Christmas and that thing held up well. If they had done that with Adelphia, it would’ve spat the large file sizes back at them.

  3. churlita said

    That’s pretty interesting. I don’t have a gmail account. I mostly use my work address and the one hosted by my internet provider. At some point, that may change and I’ll switch to gmail. Thanks for the info.

  4. dmarks said

    There’s a nasty change to GMail now. To sign up for a new account, you have to give them your cell phone number and receive a text message.

    This requires those using Gmail to have a cell phone (not everyone does it) to have a text plan (not everyone with a cell phone has text: I don’t), and to pay for a text message.

    Before that, my only complaint about Gmail was the scrambled inbox. With Yahoo, I can look at my inbox and tell what is going on. With Gmail it is all scrambled, and I have to “Search” to find any email.

    Gmail has great spam filtering. I will say that.

  5. laura b. said

    I think I came to the internet late enough that although I was provided with a ISP email, it became sort of a lost cause fairly quickly. My first really useful email was Hotmail…that is gone now. I moved onto Yahoo…which I still have but rarely use. Now I’m all about Gmail and have three separate accounts for various purposes there.

  6. Seb said

    It’s amazing how far we’ve come. I take all these things for granted. I tend to use gmail for my blog stuff, yahoo account for art newsletters and facebook, and my aol for correspondence. Weird how we get used to certain email accounts for certain things!

  7. Manuel said

    I use hotmail, and yes, it sure is nice to be able to check it anywhere. Couldn’t do that with my last email address and it was a pain.

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