cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

The story of my full circle with Gmail - June 11, 2004

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.

So Gmail does have its advantages. Happy with my find, I carefully baked a delectable chocolate torte and was soon lauded for my "cloud-like" creation.

I got busy with taking advantage of Gmail's popularity on eBay, selling several Big IMAP accounts for big bucks and making lots of new acquaintances. Then came the crash.

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 ;)