Now I'm a pretty big fan of Google
. It's the search-engine-of-choice for visitors to the GottaGettaCoach!
website (although Yahoo, MSN, and AOL provide their fair share, too, thank you very much). And I'm obviously a fan of Blogger
, Google's web log service and home of GottaGettaBlog!
So when Google announced their new email service, GMail
, I thought that it'd be pretty good. And in a lot of ways, it is:
First, it's free.
Second, it's BIG - you get a full gigabyte of space; far more than with other free email services. Hotmail, as example, gives you 2MB; Yahoomail, 4MB. So no more worrying about your mailbox rejecting emails because you've exceeded storage capacities.
Third, it's a service of Google, which, as I said, has a reputation of being pretty good at what it does.
Yet there's this one part of GMail - something called their "contextual advertising system" - that I don't think I like. According to CNET
, a great source for objective and comparative information on all things computer-based, "The Google contextual advertising system automatically scans for frequently used terms in order to serve up ads ... For instance, if you e-mail a friend to play tennis this weekend, the system would lock onto the keyword and send you a relevant advertisement from a tennis gear supplier."
Google says they won't actually READ your email; just scan it for keywords to determine what ads would be relevant for you to see. Yet, for anyone who uses metaphors or creative language to make a point about something, as many of you know I do, can you imagine the kind of 'relevant' advertisements GMail would want to send?!
I've got to say, though, that it'd sure be a great way to see how what we say can be interpreted in and out of context. And in that context, whether you use the service or not, just knowing about it can serve as a reminder for each of us to check in more regularly on any Unintended Consequences that may be coming from our communications with others. After all, effective communication is really about insuring that the message you intend
to be received, is the same the same as the message that's actually
Thanks for the reminder, GMail.
Labels: Business in General