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Monday, February 26, 2007

Outlook and GMail (or other web based email services)

I've been using web based email for a few years and the ability to see get to your email from anywhere is great. However, there are always some things that I felt where missing. Web 2.0, AJAX enabled web email sites such as gmail, live.com, beta yahoo mail are trying to mimic the functionality of Outlook email client. Well... why use something that mimics Outlook, if you can use the original Outlook without loosing the benefits of WebMail.

GMail allows to connect Outlook via POP. Yahoo Mails provides the same functionality for its paid service, and at only $19.99 a year, it might be worth it for many people. AOL provides IMap functionality free of charge. There are plusses and minuses to both IMap and POP. POP requires Outlook to download a copy of the message to be able to read it. IMap stores messages on the server and reads each message when it needs to.

Full instructions on connecting gmail.com to your outlook are available here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=13278&topic=1556

I opted to keeping my emails on the server to make sure that I have full access to my emails from the web interface

Here are a few benefits your get with sending email from your outlook

  • Offline email access
  • Ability to set tracking options for emails (return and delivery receipts)
  • Full contacts information (GMail contacts are still very rudumentary)
  • Consolidation of multiple email providers in one email client


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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Linkedin

I've just signed on to linkedin. I heard about the site a while back, but it is blocked from my office so I only got a chance to take a loot at it now.

The concept and implementation of the site is amazing. Linkedin is a professional social networking site. Don't get it confused with myspace.com. Linked in is designed to get you connected with the right people, and to enhance your business and professional contacts. What you use those contacts is entirely up to you: finding old friend or colleagues, business ventures, employment, etc...

This is how it works. You create your profile on the site, the usual, name, location, email. Then professional: career history, education. Then, most importantly, you search for people who are already linked in to allow you to add them to your network. To make it easier, the site will import your contact list from AOL, gmail, yahoo and outlook. Once a person approves you as their valid contact, you get access to their list of contacts, their contacts' contacts. It only goes three levels deep, but that is more then enough to exponentially increase the size of your network. As an example, I have only 6 approved contacts so far, yet, my connections network is more then 16000 people.

The site then allows you to do all kinds of searches and establish contacts directly or indirectly with people in your network. Your direct contacts will be able to facilitate the introduction. Keeping the network to only 3 levels makes sure that people actually "know" people in their network, and the introductions are made on a relatively personal basis.

Overall. The site is great. I am extremely impressed with the idea and the implementation. Highly recommend to visit and to sign up.

http://www.linkedin.com


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