As we're working on a product that is quasi-competitive with Gmail, Big IMAP, I wanted Gmail largely for the insights into its inner workings. Let's be honest, though, I mostly wanted it for the cache, and the thrill of the chase.
When Al from Blue Hole announced his coming invites on ORblogs, I was one of the first to respond with options guaranteed to tempt his tastebuds: shrimp jambalaya, or an organic French chocolate torte. From reviewing Al's archives, I was pretty sure my picks were on the money.
I was right, and soon I was awarded my Gmail account. It was great. All the options I checked were available so I went with sarahgilbert@, a choice that is NEVER available.
I immediately decided that I was that rarest of rareties: the geekiest Sarah Gilbert out there. So cool! I haven't been the anything-iest Sarah Gilbert, ever. I met my first alterna-Sarah Gilbert pre-kindgergarten and have been running into them ever since. Just Google me, you'll see. (Today must be a bad day...usually I show up at least somewhere on page one. [sigh]) Once, when I lost my frequent flier card, I even discovered that United Airlines had 8,000 Sarah Gilbert's in their database.
The crash was good for me, as I had been wondering how I would resist the urge to make a few hundred quick bucks by selling invitations on eBay when I was offered them. I got invitations at the perfect time - yesterday, people were still making tons of creative offers on Gmail Swap. I picked a few that were especially good.
One guy was offering a link in every outgoing email he sent. This was ideal: I could market one of my products, for free, on Google's dime! That was a no-brainer. I found another offer from a local: photos from the Portland Japanese Gardens. I've been wanting to get some photos of me there, for a while, so I gave one invite to him.
I found a couple of other cool swaps, but both had already found their invite, so I'm holding onto my last one for a good offer. Or maybe I'll just give it to my husband...
My journey with Gmail has been fun. I met some cool local bloggers, made some long distance connections, and made some days. I also rediscovered that yummy torte recipe. Maybe I'll make another one soon for my family. It would be a nice respite from blogging ;)