Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Tech Tuesday Tip


It's probably the first introduction to the Internet anyone over 40 had.

I've noticed 3 common email practices and I'm going to suggest a 4th.

First, is to use a work email. The group of radio stations I work for gave me an email address when I started there 8 years ago. You probably have one too if using email is part of your job. This is fine and dandy unless you are also using the same email address for non-work activities and communication.

You do not own your work email. Your employer does. They have a right to read those emails. The email service is being paid for by your employer. Don't be stupid with your work email.

Next, if you have an internet connection at home, your internet service provider also gave you an email address. In Fort Wayne we have two main providers, Comcast and Frontier. Last year Frontier took over from Verizon and so everyone who had a Verizon email address, had to switch to a Frontier email address. I'm sure this was a hassle, even though they tried to make it as painless as possible.

Then of course there are people who regularly switch between Comcast and Frontier/Verizon which means notifying all your contacts what your new email address is.

There is a third way that a lot of folks have adopted over the years and that is to use a free account from Microsoft, Yahoo, or Google.

Microsoft has had a couple of versions of their free email service, including Hotmail and now windows live. I had a Yahoo email account and a Hotmail account. Google launched Gmail in 2004 by invite only and then open up the the general public in 2007.

I dropped my Hotmail account, and switched from Yahoo to Gmail a few years ago mostly because of the superior spam filtering Gmail had over Yahoo. The layout is different from what I was used to but I got used to it.

Gmail is the free email option I recommend to nearly everyone. Given the financial stability of Yahoo versus Google, I trust Google which has money to burn, while Yahoo continues to have their ups and downs. You can sign up for Gmail here.

Here's 10 more reasons to use Gmail.

Now the 4th option. This is my favorite. Get your own domain name, and create your own email address. My domain is ScLoHo.net. I also own ScLoHo.com and a few others.

I use Google Apps to manage my ScLoHo accounts including email and my websites. There is a free version that I use, so my only cost is the purchase of the domains which I did through GoDaddy.com.

If you are running a business, you need your own domain, you need your own email that is attached to your domain name.

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