Remember that classic sound? I think most people of my generation probably do, just like they probably remember getting all those stupid AOL discs in the real mail. Anyway a couple changes occurred this week, both related to electronic mail, and I thought it was good enough reason to create a post about it.
First, the The AP Stylebook, which is a popular guide to much of news media, officially changed the correct spelling of the abbreviated term for electronic mail from e-mail to email. I am for the change, because any chance to eliminate hyphens in commonly typed words is worthwhile. Although I’m so used to typing e-mail, that it will take a little while for me to adjust.
The second change is much more personal, I have a new e-mail email address. An event like this wouldn’t normally be news, but the context in which I got this new address really got me thinking. I logged in to Facebook to check my messages and was asked if I wanted to upgrade to the newest version of Messages. The idea is that they link my username to @facebook.com in order to consolidate any messages from within facebook, but also as a way to organize email from any traditional email address. So if you send me an email to email@example.com from your regular email account, I’ll see it in my “Messages” folder, right alongside the messages I get through the Facebook software itself. It is a creative way to poach users from other email providers, although it will take a lot to get me to leave Gmail. And that is what got me thinking.
How many email addresses do I need? How many do I have? Let’s see. I have a work address that I try to keep only work related stuff in, a Cornell.edu address that I still use, various addresses associated with my own domain names like njbrideau.com that I almost never use, and of course my Gmail address that I use for just about everything, including acting as a landing site for forwarded mail from all the above addresses. Technically I still have the original Yahoo address I signed up for when I was about 14, although I haven’t checked the actual messages for that one, I just use the login name it for fantasy sports purposes.
And now I have a facebook.com address. One of the highlights trying to get me to sign up for the new Messages service, was that “your facebook account will never change” or something along those lines. I signed up because I like to think of myself as an early adopter, (although apparently this has been out since November-ish last year) and I would rather be the one with firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. Sort of like how I campaigned for a Gmail invite back in 2004.
But will I really use it? Probably not. I already have multiple addresses in use, and have them all sending mail to one account anyway, so I think I’ll just stick with that one for now.
What about everyone else?