Got an email yesterday from Google about a change to Gmail. Everyone probably got the same mail. Certainly the mainstream media made big news of it, in the tech sections. When you are sending an email from a gmail account you will now be offered Google+ account holders as recipients of the mail.
One site, whose name is oft misspelled, even published a post on how to change your settings to stop people from being able to contact you via Google+. This would appear to me to be a blatant sop to search engine rankings – a big part of the email I got was all about explaining exactly this so the repetition of this info seemed particularly unnecessary. Whoever gets news out first attracts the visitors so it’s dog eat dog out there in the www.
Anyway “starting this week, when you’re composing a new email, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients, even if you haven’t exchanged email addresses yet. Your email address isn’t visible to your Google+ connections until you send them an email, and their email addresses are not visible to you until they respond.”
I’ve tried but I can’t seem to get it to work. I guess “this week” must mean “next week” or at least from Monday onwards.
If someone from outside your Google+ Circles emails you then the mail gets filtered into the “Social” tab in your inbox. In my case this means it is unlikely to get read because I never look in that tab. I don’t look in the “promotions” tab either unless I’m expecting a particular mail – eg a password reset.
The tone of the online commentary about this “feature” is in the vein of “Google trying to increase/stimulate Google+ usage” and also all about privacy.
In my mind this is a very useful feature. I want people to be able to get hold of me. The principle is no different to your telephone number. Unless you want to be ex-directory anyone can look up your number. Of course there is the concern about spam but Google has a fantastic antic-spam engine and if it turns out to be “legitimate” spam from a business then this gets filtered into the “promotions” tab as previously mentioned. You can also label a sender as being a spammer which I frequently do if the email addresses me as “Hi”.
So all in all I think this is good. Except as I mentioned it doesn’t seem to work for me! That’s all folks.