The Business Case Against Using Gmail

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    http://www.flyteblog.com/flyte/2006/05/the_business_ca.html
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First off, no business or professional should be using Gmail, or Hotmail, or an AOL in their business email address. Your professional or business email address should be from your domain name.

That goes without saying, right?

Using a free (or AOL-based) email account for business purposes makes you look unprofessional. It’s like when you get those business cards with the message on the back, "Get your own free business  cards from…" and then the name of the printer. Smacks of desperation.

However, you could have your you@yourdomain.com email forward to one of these accounts, which at least hides your cheapness (most times.) I would instead recommend having your email forwarded to your POP box at your ISP or choose a hosting company that offers POP boxes.

But I digress.

There’s a very interesting article in Technology Review that Robin forwarded to me that raises privacy and security concerns on Gmail well beyond the backlash against showing ads in emails.

If you’re using Gmail, be sure to read "In Google We Trust."

Rich Brooks
Trying to "Do No Evil"

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  • http://www.shoeinthedoor.com Jacob Smith

    To the two points:

    1 – use POP: I don't think most business people should be using POP since it doesn't allow you to access your mailbox from multiple computers or from the web. Some hosting providers do offer webmail access, but most of these do not have the features of a free online email client.

    I agree with the branding argument, your email should be at your domain, but where it goes after that should be whatever works best for your organization

    2 – GMail Privacy: Google get's picked on here and I can understand why. But all email is insecure. If you use any webmail or IMAP service all your messages are available to third parties, and if you use POP the messages still travel unencrypted across any number of servers that could be keeping a copy.

    Unless your encrypting your emails, privacy is a figment of your imagination.

  • http://www.shoeinthedoor.com Jacob Smith

    To the two points:

    1 – use POP: I don't think most business people should be using POP since it doesn't allow you to access your mailbox from multiple computers or from the web. Some hosting providers do offer webmail access, but most of these do not have the features of a free online email client.

    I agree with the branding argument, your email should be at your domain, but where it goes after that should be whatever works best for your organization

    2 – GMail Privacy: Google get's picked on here and I can understand why. But all email is insecure. If you use any webmail or IMAP service all your messages are available to third parties, and if you use POP the messages still travel unencrypted across any number of servers that could be keeping a copy.

    Unless your encrypting your emails, privacy is a figment of your imagination.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Jacob,

    Thanks for the comments! Well thought out. I think that many hosting companies allow users to access POP boxes via Web mail, but obviously that's up to the hosting company.

    Did you get a chance to read the article? The author does address the privacy issues w/other email options, and talks about specific things that Google does right and where it backfires.

    Check it out, if you haven't already.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Jacob,

    Thanks for the comments! Well thought out. I think that many hosting companies allow users to access POP boxes via Web mail, but obviously that's up to the hosting company.

    Did you get a chance to read the article? The author does address the privacy issues w/other email options, and talks about specific things that Google does right and where it backfires.

    Check it out, if you haven't already.

  • http://holly.wards.net Holly Ward

    Gmail DOES support POP, and I suspect they are at least as reliable as J.Random ISP. This also negates one of the arguments in the article:
    "While Google provides a ton of storage and great availability, there is no obvious way to back up your e-mail once it has been delivered, read, and archived. This means that you have no choice but to trust Google totally for your data integrity."

    The "obvious way" is, of course, to use POP. Or for individual messages you can use forwarding.

    The article also states:
    "But of course, Google does not in fact offer a choice: there is no fee-based, advertising-free version of Gmail. "

    Again, POP satisfies this concern. POP it to your own machine and read it with no ads at all. Oh, wait, they wanted fee-based. Gmail's POP service is free.

    I use several domain names, and email for all of them funnels into Gmail. It's not just that it is unprofessional to give out a webmail address (although I do tend to agree with you there), but by using my own domains, my email is under MY control, and I can redirect it wherever is most convenient for me. Currently, though, that's Gmail. [disclaimer: I have no connection with Gmail other than as a satisfied customer.]

  • http://holly.wards.net Holly Ward

    Gmail DOES support POP, and I suspect they are at least as reliable as J.Random ISP. This also negates one of the arguments in the article:
    "While Google provides a ton of storage and great availability, there is no obvious way to back up your e-mail once it has been delivered, read, and archived. This means that you have no choice but to trust Google totally for your data integrity."

    The "obvious way" is, of course, to use POP. Or for individual messages you can use forwarding.

    The article also states:
    "But of course, Google does not in fact offer a choice: there is no fee-based, advertising-free version of Gmail. "

    Again, POP satisfies this concern. POP it to your own machine and read it with no ads at all. Oh, wait, they wanted fee-based. Gmail's POP service is free.

    I use several domain names, and email for all of them funnels into Gmail. It's not just that it is unprofessional to give out a webmail address (although I do tend to agree with you there), but by using my own domains, my email is under MY control, and I can redirect it wherever is most convenient for me. Currently, though, that's Gmail. [disclaimer: I have no connection with Gmail other than as a satisfied customer.]

  • Marc

    You can verify other e-mail addresses with Gmail and then choose those to appear as the from address in whatever e-mails you send out.

  • Marc

    You can verify other e-mail addresses with Gmail and then choose those to appear as the from address in whatever e-mails you send out.

  • http://www.mailzorg.com/ jopz

    I used GMail to manage my another email like me@mydomain.com with forwarding feature..

    I think GMail is GREAT!

  • http://www.mailzorg.com/ jopz

    I used GMail to manage my another email like me@mydomain.com with forwarding feature..

    I think GMail is GREAT!

  • http://townsquarepost.com noris

    I use Outlook to access my GMail account. I believe GMail was one of the earliest email accounts that provided secure pop/smtp services. Since I don't access on via its webmail side, I am not bothered with the advertisement.

  • http://townsquarepost.com noris

    I use Outlook to access my GMail account. I believe GMail was one of the earliest email accounts that provided secure pop/smtp services. Since I don't access on via its webmail side, I am not bothered with the advertisement.

  • NewJohnny

    First off, webmail is only unprofessional if you think it is. Why would you waste company money on a service that you can get for free? You remind me of one of those jerk-offs who used to say a suit and tie was needed to make it in the business world, otherwise you would look "unprofessional". Who cares how good you are, just look good!

  • NewJohnny

    First off, webmail is only unprofessional if you think it is. Why would you waste company money on a service that you can get for free? You remind me of one of those jerk-offs who used to say a suit and tie was needed to make it in the business world, otherwise you would look "unprofessional". Who cares how good you are, just look good!

  • http://www.thinkdave.com Dave Wilkinson

    I wouldn't trade Gmail for the world. I work on contract using a number of computers, making it impossible to use a desktop mail client.

    At least I know that Gmail will always be there when I'm online, and I can search my mailbox and always find what I want.

    As for privacy issues, I'll take my chances. I know that when my laptop gets stolen the thieves won't get my email info, something that is more important to me than some random hacker stealing my contact list.

    Just my 0.02

  • http://www.thinkdave.com Dave Wilkinson

    I wouldn't trade Gmail for the world. I work on contract using a number of computers, making it impossible to use a desktop mail client.

    At least I know that Gmail will always be there when I'm online, and I can search my mailbox and always find what I want.

    As for privacy issues, I'll take my chances. I know that when my laptop gets stolen the thieves won't get my email info, something that is more important to me than some random hacker stealing my contact list.

    Just my 0.02

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