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Saturday, January 06, 2007

My Email Experiment Begins

Everyone has heard of Gmail by now, right? Well, I'm a devout Yahooligan! and have been for many years. No, I'm not trading; let's just say I'm branching out. Email is very important in my world. I get tons of it everyday, mostly stuff I don't really care too much to read or respond to. No, not spam; I've got that fairly under control. I'm referring to district mail. When you work in one of the largest community college districts in the country, you're bound to get a ton of district mail, and we get plenty. So I'd be crazy to use that email address for anything other than district business. With that thought in mind, I registered my own domain names to use with my students and my friends a few years ago. My registered domain for students is: freshmancomp.com and my personal domain is: alisacooper.com, of course. It was simple and surprising cheap at GoDaddy.com .

I set up my new domains to forward email to my Yahoo! mail account. I have a pro account which means I pay $20 a year and get ad free email, as well as a few other perks. I created a few folders and set up a few filters to have the new domain email filter into their own folders, keeping my Yahoo! mail box clean and organized. Well, over the years I kept inheriting new email addresses that I was forced to use. I had one from grad school at Nova, another from ITT Tech, and yet another from a digital life business I started. My Yahoo! is busy, but it's still organized.

During the semester when my students are active, I get a lot of email. When I heard about Google Apps for your Domain, I thought this would be a good time to split up my email and lighten my load in Yahoo!
Google Apps for Your Domain lets you offer private-labeled email, instant messaging and calendar accounts to all of your users, so they can share ideas and work more effectively. These services are all unified by the start page, a unique, dynamic page where your users can preview their inboxes and calendars, browse content and links that you choose, search the web, and further customize the page to their liking. You can also design and publish web pages for your domain. It's all free* and everything is hosted by Google. No hardware or software required.
It's really cool how you get a start page and calendar as well, but I'm only concerned with email for now. I plan to use it just like I currently use Yahoo! I want to keep my student email separate from the rest of my world, so then when I want to step back from it, I can. Out of sight, out of mind, right? So I'll be back posting about some of the cool things I've discovered with Gmail along the way. Who knows I might just fathom a switch. Although I doubt it. I'm hooked on that RSS Reader built right into my Yahoo! Mail and that personal calendar along the bottom.

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