Thanks to the intercession of a Whatever reader who shall remain nameless so y’all don’t bug her to get you one too, I am now in possession of a GMail account. I didn’t even have to pay whatever the current going price is for a GMail swap (I understand it’s going down fast, since Google has been sort of free with them and, also, it’s just a stinkin’ e-mail account), so this unnamed Whatever patron has my gratitude for being a kind and helpful person. May your karmic wheel get an extra gold inlay.
So far I think GMail is fine although there are a few things I would add to it, like the ability to format things like italics and bold. Its main attraction for me at this point is that it’s an account I can keep spam free. I do imagine that “firstname.lastname@example.org” will remain my primary account forever and ever — after all, it’s the e-mail address that most resembles my name. But it’ll be nice to have an account I can give to close friends so their e-mail messages to me do not have to compete with the 200+ pieces of spam that I get on the “email@example.com” account on a daily basis.
To that end I’m not actually going to list my Gmail account address anywhere on the Web, to make it that much more difficult for the spamsters to infiltrate it. I don’t imagine it will be successful in the long run — spammers, like all ambitious forms of creeping crud, will find a way — but the longer I can stave off the inevitable, the happier I’ll be. You’ll know what my Gmail account is when you get an e-mail from me when I use it.
On an entirely unrelated note, thisis the 500th entry on the Whatever since I switched over to Movable Type in March of 2003. I’m sure you’re all as excited about this as I am.