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Wanted: Manual Conversation Linking Tool for Gmail

By hagrin - Posted on 27 September 2006

Just a really quick post with an issue that keeps popping up randomly as I adopt Gmail as my primary email reader.

Recently, as I have emailed more and more using Gmail (as opposed to my traditional POP email clients), I have found Gmail to meet almost all of my needs - except one. Occassionally, I will have exchanged several emails with a person regarding a subject and then an email will be sent to me (from that person I was speaking to) that doesn't get grouped into the original conversation. Please see the picture below for an example of what I mean.

Gmail Conversation Broken

As you can see, the email was sent by the original sender, had the same label applied to it (through a rule) and had the same subject. In addition, in the second email (the email that wasn't grouped into the original conversation) actually contained all of the text from the previous messages. Therefore, one would think that Gmail would have associated John's reply to me in the original grouping - unfortunately, it did not.

Gmail provides its users with a whole variety of "manual correction" tools such as "Report as Spam", "Not Spam", "Move to Inbox", etc. However, there is no such manual correction for linking up conversations outside of creating a custom label for that conversation - something that you couldn't effectively manage on a large scale. It would be great to have a tool that not only allowed us to "fill in the gaps" where Gmail misses obvious groupings, but also to combine seperate emails in a more granular fashion than applying labels.

Gmail GreaseMonkey Scripts

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

Persistent has released two new GreaseMonkey scripts - Gmail Macros and Gmail Label Colors. These two scripts greatly increase the functionality of Gmail by altering the CSS used for the page.

I'll be using both of these scripts with my FireFox 1.5 install. Hopefully, Google will take notice of these scripts and add this functionality into Gmail by default to alleviate the need for these extensions.

Switch to GMail

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

Google, making a clear move to help users switch to their service, has released a tool to help users export their address book and import it into Gmail from such services such as Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. Functionality like this is extremely important to getting non-technical people to migrate their email accounts to Gmail. Nice move Gmail!

Gmail for Your Cellphone

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

Google has announced that Gmail can now be accessed by your cellphone or mobile device. This is a very key service and one that could open up doors to many other opportunities for Google. Although the desktop war is in full swing between Google and Microsoft, Google doesn't have that "super giant" like Microsoft (and their 40 billion dollars in cash reserve) to contend with in mobile Internet delivery. I would look out for more mobile related releases from Google in the near future.

New Gmail Feature - Gmail Clips

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

Gmail has introduced some new functionality into their web based email client - Gmail Clips. Clips allows you to be emailed stories from your favorite blog or website in a similar manner to how RSS feeds work. In fact, you might call this the "beginners" interface into the world of RSS feeds.

Personally, I won't ever take advantage of this feature since my RSS reader is extremely more functional than either Gmail Clips or Google Reader. However, for those less computer savvy, email is an Internet basic and getting their favorite site's stories emailed to them could prove useful to some.

Microsoft "SNARFs" Gmail

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

BetaNews is reporting that Microsoft will be releasing a new feature to their e-mail called SNARF (anyone? Thundercats?). As described by Microsoft, SNARF is:

The SNARF interface will allow a user to order their unread mail in the way that makes the most sense to them. "People use a variety of strategies to handle triage; there is no single 'best' ordering of email messages to produce an optimal outcome," Microsoft says.

A user can select a certain quality to order their mail using a series of panes. For example, messages could be separated by the date they were sent, or if they were sent directly to the user or as part of a mailing list.

GMail to Introduce Virus Scanning

By hagrin - Posted on 05 August 2006

ZDNet's Google Blog reports that GMail will be introducing virus scanning very soon. Currently, GMail only blocks .exe files from being read. This feature will put GMail on par with Yahoo! and Hotmail security wise and still have the labeling functionality which sets it apart. GMail, with its additional storage space, is quickly becoming the best free web based email system around.