Last year, I learned from my global colleague that Gmail has been publicized as an alternative, free 1GB webmail. But it was under development and registration was by invitation only. I googled Gmail and the sites I visited pointed to the basic fear of infringement on privacy, as Gmail watches the words you type on your composer or the words in the messages you receive and suggests sites related to these words. For example, when Gmail learns that you typed the word sex, it will suggest sites pertaining to sex. I was affected by this fear, so I did not pursue learning more about Gmail.
Late this year, my interest in Gmail was roused by the excitement over PLUG mailing list, which seemed to be spammed by requests for invitation to Gmail account as well as responses to the requests.
Due to my insistence over PLUG mailing list, I received an invitation from Roger Filomeno to register a free gmail account. Which I did on the dot. Now I’m enjoying the fast, intuitive and cool webmail service in the world. It’s kinda revolutionary. A thread is considered a conversation. There’s only one record (one-line) for a thread, instead of displaying all messages belonging to that thread that clutters your inbox. You can apply multiple labels to a conversation, eliminating the need for folders. You can archive messages (remove from your inbox) but they are just out there ready to be searched and retrieved.
About the fear of infringement on privacy, I don’t care now. I believe that one must be ready to open him/herself to the prying eyes of the Internet, even those of the CIA. My principle here is that very private matters must not be written through the Internet, despite the security measure you’re taking to hide these from public view.
Wow, I now seem to be a rabid follower of the Gmail religion. (OK, in principle, anything alternative to Microsoft…)