Gmail inbox experiment auto sorts 'important' messages
But Viagra is important
Google has battled back against the dreaded "information overload" with an experimental revamp of the Gmail inbox.
Trumpeted Monday on the Google Enterprise blog, Priority Inbox is an alternative view of your Gmail inbox designed to focus your attention on "your most important messages." The beta offers filtering algorithms that "help you see the emails that matter faster" — without the need to set up complex filters of your own.
Using data such as which people you email the most and which messages you actually open and reply to, the filters automatically separate your “important and unread" missives from “everything else." And you have the ability to shuttle messages into a third "starred" category for later reading.
Naturally, you have the ability to train the filters when they don't quite sort things the way you would have. If a message is in the wrong category, you move it, and Google's algorithms take note.
In-house testing on the beta, Google says, showed that people who used it spent an average of six per cent less time sifting through their inboxes. According to the data-obsessed web giant, that translate to a week saved each year.
If you're a Google Apps user and you've enabled beta programs, you should see the new inbox view within the next week. ®
6 per cent saving = a week each year ?
So they reckon that people spend SIXTEEN WEEKS each year sorting their email ?
Spank my ass and call me Susan, no wonder nothing gets done around here.
Google never listens
I second that one...
the conversation feature is a major pain in the neck. This was one of the biggest complaints from users when the chair warmers in charge decided our company would switch to hosted G-Mail.
Google when asked about this feature more or less said ".. conversations make e-mail easier to use, you will get used to it, we will not change it"...
Be prepared for this new feature to make e-mail even easier to use.... <../sarcasm>
Google urging people to be more asleep at the wheel
While it's interesting technology, and arguably useful, it's also seductively dependance-inducing and so something of an obvious lazy maker. And as such, in sue-happy-stan, a lawsuit waiting to happen. Do I have to spell that one out? Think about it.
Personally I'd much prefer if google's webmail would do proper threading. Notwithstanding micros~1's consistent insistence on reinventing the wheel incompatibly with the standard and therefore everyone else's method to link related messages together. So my preferred email client can make and break links to fix what others' intelligence insulting-software and ignorance broke. And I do use that feature a lot.
Similarly, tags and groups seem very convenient, but IME the most effective way to organise emails is to keep no more than, say, ten in your inbox. The rest gets filed in topical subfolders, threaded together. That actually closely matches how archiving using (physical) maps works, instead of colour-tagging lots of loose sheets of paper shuffled in many small piles then leaving them to clutter on your desk.
As such, nice ideas and all that, but they're poor reinventions at best. Admirable advanced trickery to make it work notwithstanding.