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However, I'm in a bit of a quandry. The Google acquaintance who invited me was clearly none-too-pleased when -- after I received the invite -- I asked her if I could blog a review of the service. "We've been asked not to invite prominent bloggers" she said, indicating that she wouldn't have invited me had she known of my blog. "Use your judgement."
So, given that, I've been particularly shy about sharing my newly-informed feelings about the service so far (though many of you will note I was and still am hardly shy about sharing my thoughts about the service concepts, which aren't related to my testing experiences).
With that said, I've been a bit bummed to be really 'beat to the scoop' by quite a few other testers who have blogged about their experiences so far with Gmail. And I would enjoy writing more in-depth stuff here on WW as well.
So, GoogleGuy (or any other Google folks who read this), can you give me the skinny? Was my inviter really accurate in reflecting Google's preference that testers not be 'too public' about their testing-based Gmail thoughts? Are those Gmail testers who've blogged about Gmail just flouting Google's wishes? (I should note, by the way, that I did *NOT* sign an NDA)
On one hand, I could certainly understand Google's feelings on this. They don't want testers writing "Damn, [the foo feature] really doesn't work worth a darn!" and then having the mass media run with this, saying, "Those using Gmail note that it has large problems with [foo]." It *IS* a beta, after all, and sadly 99.99% of the public (and tech-idiot journalists) don't know or care what the heck a beta is.
But on the other hand, well, dang, I just love to blog. And I guess people might enjoy reading some of the detailed observations I'd like to make.
So GoogleFolk, what'll it be? [And as an obvious precaution, I'm only going to trust stickies from people I recognize as Googlers :D]
ThatAdamGuy, now you have intrigued me. By Googlers I assume that you mean people who work at Google.Who are the other Googlers beside GG and AdwordsAdvisor or are they the only 2? Is there a gmail representative?
To be honest, though I've hung out both on WW and in person with my Google friends, I haven't noted much of an intersection. And also, I know just as much as you and others do about Googlers on WW; there's GoogleGuy, AdWordsAdvisor, and AdSenseAdvisor, none of whom I have the pleasure of knowing off of WW. I'm not aware of any other Googlers on WW, but from what the G folks above have noted, many *DO* indeed lurk here ;)
And getting back to Gmail... no, there's not been any announcement on WW that I've seen about an official Google Gmail representative. Since the service is still in pretty limited beta, from what I gather, it makes sense that Google isn't allocating people-resources here yet; they're undoubtedly too busy fielding feedback from testers, frantically tweaking and fixing stuff while on an M&M fix, and so on. :)
What are the basis of these GMail invitations
Like most beta test programs, I understand that you need to be invited by a Google employee, and they prefer to invite people who will try to stress test it, but won't blog about it :) After all - its a beta product.
Pretty much the same as happened in the early days of Orkut.
I think it's gonna be hard to pull people away from what is easy to try somethin' new with e-mail. E-mail addresses are pretty sticky. Heck, it's kept millions from leaving AOL;)
GoogleGuy had repeatedly (and, IMHO, understandably) suggested earlier something to the effect of: "when you try it, you'll feel differently." From what I've been seeing in other communities, this does indeed seem to be the case, and I'm curious if WebmasterWorld is any exception :D
What could one do with 1GB of space? Add movies and music in his mailbox?
But I'm already using 23 megs of space after 10 days, which means that I'll have filled an entire gig in just about a year and two months! What could one do with 1GB of space?! I think you have at least one reasonable answer here ;)
And think about it: you save 10,000 emails in your GMail account and all of a sudden either you forget your password account, either an accident occurs and there is no way GMail can recover your messages.
1GB/account is way too much for Google to backup hourly/daily/weekly.
Believe it or not, I really do believe Google has redundancy and backups done pretty well. They give their own employees Gmail accounts with a terabyte (one million megabytes) of space (no, I'm not joking), and if they can manage that, I'm sure a mere gig is child's play ;)
Okay, now back to my original question. For those who have tried out Gmail, how have your impressions changed?
I personally consider that inviting the friends of Google employees (as you mentioned in your message) is not the general idea of GMail.
I DID NOT say that sovidiu. I said:
Like most beta test programs, I understand that you need to be invited by a Google employee, and they prefer to invite people who will try to stress test it, but won't blog about it
I have been involved in alpha, and beta test programs, mostly in the Personal Computer industry, since the mid/late 1980s. I was amongst the first in the world to see both the Intel 80386sx processor and the 80486 processor; as well as Windows 286, early versions of MSNet (think PC Networks Pre Novell), and MS Xenix (where do you think SCO and Linux came from?).
Yes - in internet terms - I'm an old bloke. :)
If you know me - next time you see me - ask to see my office keyring. :)
To be included on 'anyones' Beta program, you need to be:
- known to those who make the decisions (not necessarily a 'friend of')
- you need to be able to add value to their trial by testing;
- comply with their requirements for useage feedback;
- and you need to be discreet. If you aren't - well - you usually only get one chance to beta test.
Being a 'friend' alone has never, in my experience, been sufficent criteria for inclusion in alpha or beta test programs. Certainly not in my experience.
Now granted, I do quite a bit of blogging on blogger, but I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one they are giving out accounts too.
Sorry though...I tested, and it doesn't offer it to new users. I'm trying not to be a jerk, but I do feel like at least a simple "neener neener" is in order.:) After all the media hype though, I feel like they are watching me;)
The ads are very non-obtrusive, and the search function looks to be the killer app that would be the main reason I would even consider the pain in the butt e-mail switch.
Serves me right for using MT all these years ;)
I've been forwarding all mail I get to my Gmail account (...)
Gmail invites (but does not require) users to include an 'alternate e-mail address' upon signup. If you forget your e-mail address, they can mail a 'get a new password' link to your alternate address.
Just hope you haven't redirect this account to your GMail account though :)