Thanks to some friendly folk on the inside, I now have a Google Gmail account to explore. In fact, you can send me mail: send it to d1taylor at gmail.com and it should help fill up a bit of my 1GB of space.
So far, it’s yet another generic web-based email system, though in the inimitable Google style it’s a pleasure to see a web-based system that’s not rife with advertising, a problem that I loathe with both MSN’s hotmail and Yahoo mail. And there’s some typical humor too. Click on the “Trash” item, and it says “No conversations in the trash. Who needs to delete when you have 1000MB of storage!?” Click on the “spam” button and it says “Hurray! No spam here!” (though that might well change).
There are some problems for Mac users, though, that are discouraging. Not only does Gmail refuse to work with the latest version of Safari, it also refuses to work with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for Macintosh too. I had to download Firefox to even connect to my new account. Time to get on the ball with that one, Google!
And in terms of the much discussed adverts shown during email messages, they’re considerably more low-key than hotmail or Yahoo mail adverts, and when I view the introductory message the two adverts are for “UMOD: Help: Delete a Group” (directory.umich.edu) and, of all things, “X1 instantly searches files and email For Outlook, Outlook Express…” (www.x1.com). Perhaps of interest to the Adwords/Adsense community, these adverts do not appear to be regular Google text adverts, which suggests that they might be coming out of a separate ad pool, which means that Google is further differentiating ad display venues (Adwords already lets advertisers differentiate between Google search result pages and Adsense 3rd party pages).
I’ll have more thoughts on this as I proceed with my explorations – and as I learn more about the system through receiving some email from readers – but so far I’d say that the hubaloo is overdone (surprise) and that it’s another clean, simple winner for Google.