Making the Switch

Making the Switch

Looking at the oldest email I can find, I have been using my Yahoo email address for nearly 9 years. Back then, there was no Gmail as an option. The only other webmail that was comparable was Hotmail. And there was no way I was going to use Hotmail because it was, and still is, owned by Microsoft. For much of that time I have even paid a yearly fee to Yahoo to remove advertisements and add other features.

In the last year I have become increasingly unhappy about Yahoo mail. They have refused to enable IMAP for anything but smart phones. GMail has enabled IMAP for everything for a long time. Yahoo's servers are slow and flaky. Sometimes I cannot access my mail for half an hour (or more) until someone (presumably) does something somewhere to clear it up. I could overlook all of these things, mainly because I knew that switching email providers would be a chore.

However, the last straw was when they added a new feature that allows you to chat with your facebook friends in Yahoo mail. I suppose that this might be useful to some people, but it smacks of "me too" by Yahoo. The faceplace is the new hotness, something Yahoo hasn't been in a decade, and since Yahoo can't innovate their way back into relevance, they've just given up. This is the kind of stuff that insults my sensibilities.

Initially unrelated to all of this, my brother recently purchased a new domain: He purchased it primarily so he could make a 10 digit email address: ? (? = some letter of the alphabet). I thought that was pretty cool, and I wanted in on that action.

What pushed me to make a decision is that in a couple weeks my Yahoo mail membership comes due, and I didn't want to give them any more money.

Therefore, last weekend I decided to sign up for a free Google Apps account using the domain. I swapped the MX DNS records over to Google's servers, and started pulling all my old email from my Yahoo account. The pull of 50,000+ emails took over a week and wasn't straightforward. I had to baby sit it daily on each end. THIS is why I was so hesitant to switch email providers because I knew it would be a hassle, and it was a hassle.

The move wasn't perfect - although I pulled all my sent mail (i.e. email I wrote), I can't get it into the Google sent mail folder. And there's still more work to do. I have my Yahoo address in many, many places on the internet that I am going to have to slowly change. In the meantime, the Yahoo email will forward to Google.

Finally, here's my new email address in a human parse-able but obfuscated format. Update your address books!

(First Letter Of My First Name)

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