Tuesday, August 28, 2007

World Wide Webmail

It's hard to "be the customer." Toward this end, one of the things I've done is create a variety of email accounts with different web mail providers, to see what it's like (and if it works!) to be invited and spanked by email. In a way, Linkspank is meant to build on email, but exactly by virtue of that its points of entry and departure for most people are their "regular" email inboxes.

Some trivia that I've discovered along the way:
  • There is a great divide in speed between Gmail and the rest (AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, Hotmail). Gmail is fast, and everything else is REALLY SLOW, with the possible exception of Yahoo!
  • AOL still says "You've got mail!" That's kind of cute. Even better, it pings when you have a new message.
  • Gmail's spam filter is amazingly good, Yahoo's is good, and the rest suck. MSN/Hotmail has encouraged us to jump through all these hoops which STILL lands Linkspank mail in the spam folder! They have more false negatives, but also more false positives than Gmail.
Just some observations from one fellow. My observations were biased, not because I favor any service but because I wasn't a "real" user in a lot of ways. But the general case appears to be very strong for Gmail and also for Yahoo!. The fact that Hotmail users outnumber Gmail users is a testament to the power of inertia -- and possibly the random effect of marketing by technology companies.