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26 June
The unreliable email

My very first email account was a Compuserve one and it went under the catchy name of 101324.2011@compuserve.com, because in those days you got allocated an email address (and very grateful we all were, too, though I don’t remember ever receiving or sending many emails from it). My second email address was johnpullin@yahoo.com and I got that because (in those days) I was pretty quick off the mark when these things were made available and although there are quite a few folk around the globe with my name I was the one that got the simple format one. And so I’ve stuck with that one. It’s the email address I use for work and for domestic things and mostly it’s been fine.

Until recently. Now it’s not so good and seems to be getting worse.

Yahoo the company, if you’ve been at all following the financial press, has appeared to be on a downward spiral for a while, squeezed between the giants of search engines, operating systems and content providers. The decline is evident in different ways, and not universally. The Yahoo search engine still seems to work fine and you don’t get the feeling with it that someone is watching you, which I often think when I use other ones. The Yahoo news service has always been a bit strange and is now often gratingly right-wing and obsessed with video and celebrity and the Republicans: I wouldn’t ever have relied on it anyway. Often advertising seems to obscure whatever it is you’re looking for. And the email service?

Well yes, it’s still there, and, in terms of the layout and the ease of doing things inside the mailbox, it’s to my eyes better than the gmail and hotmail addresses I’ve also acquired (but barely used). But it’s getting irritating habits. Chat, which is a service I don’t want (does anyone?), pops up constantly although it shouldn’t as I’ve told it never ever to contact me. A lot of the tools you use in composing emails, such as fonts and typesizes, don’t seem to work any more, so the emails you send often look like a dog’s breakfast.

But the worst sin of all is unreliability. When you send an email, you expect it to arrive, but increasingly I’m told that emails from yahoo addresses automatically go to junkmail boxes, not in-boxes. Several mails I’ve sent recently simply haven’t been picked up because of this, and I know that “I never saw that email” is one of the commonest excuses, but that’s not the case with this. It’s very difficult to work with a system that does that to you: reliability of sending and receipt is the sine qua non of an email service. Yahoo used to have it. Now I’m not so sure.

So reluctantly, because it’s served me well and because it’s a nicely neat email address, I’m looking to move myself to somewhere more reliable over the summer. It’ll still be my address and for a while it’ll continue to be my main one. It’s a wrench, because over the years it’s been used for usernames and identifiers all across my web crawlings. Disentangling won’t happen overnight. But it’s time to move on.

22 June
52 days ago...

… was the last posting on this blog. So does that turn it into an ex-blog? A dead blog? Or just a blog in abeyance? I’m not sure, but the reason for the long silence is simply that there have been too many other things to do.

However, next week is a new week…

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