Saturday, September 12, 2009

Email for Social Networking

One of the things that worries many people is the "overload" they seem to get on the internet. TOO much mail, far too much mail.

There are two key techniques for dealing with that. One is the secondary email account. The other is to use RSS feed instead of getting mail.

Today I'm talking about that secondary email account. You can almost certainly have a free account, if you accept a little advertising. If you choose to pay as little as US$10.00 a year you can probably get add free mail and some other useful services too.

When I look at the options there seem to be FOUR. Which one you'll choose will depend quite a bit on how you feel about Microsoft, and Google, and Yahoo. I've been very happy with my Google service, but yes it does concern me that Google does "everything" and does it "free" but it's also collecting huge amounts of personal data. One day, that might go bad.

Here are the options:

Windows Live ID
Windows Live ID gets you into Hotmail, Messenger, and Xbox LIVE. I'm a Microsoft avoider, so I don't use it. But if you are using Windows Live for Chat, then this is a natural option for you.

I've been a Gmail User for about 4 years. I didn't like it in the beginning, but it's ability to search and come up with that old lost letter is remarkable.

Yahoo Mail
I once had a Yahoo Mail account. Perfectly functional. Today they are offering email with "apps". Some of you might like this option.

FastMail is a fourth option. In this case there's a very limited free version, and for quite a small number you can get upgraded services. If you are really concerned about the big companies controlling all the data, this is your choice.

How to use your new account.

When you join social networks use the secondary email address.

Almost all the mail coming to you in Social Networks is non-personal, it was written for a group of people to read. So if you do, or do not, read it, isn't mission critical.

Create folders or labels (Google) to separate the mail into groups. You use filters, to separate the mail as it comes in. I'll tell you how to do that if you need help.

Go through your mail in your personal email account. How much of this is non-personal? For most people the great bulk of their mail never need to be read. So open letters like that, find the subscribe and unsubscribe links. Remove your personal email address and re-subscribe with your secondary email address. It might take a few weeks to complete this task, but slowly you'll get your mail under control. That will be especially true if you turn some of your mail off, and get an RSS Feed instead. I'll talk about that next time.

John Stephen Veitch
The Network Ambassador
Open Future Limited - You may comment privately to John S Veitch using this form.

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