August 4 2007

Random ramblings on Gmail and LiveJournal

GmailCould someone explain to me why the almighty Gmail does not have the ability to create folders?  Am I missing something?  Is there some trick I don’t know?  I am fully aware you can star mails, and you can search all of them, but I still would really like to sort them in to folders based on sender.

As  I am using the account more and more for my editors to contact me, I’d like to be able to sort them out… WHY CAN’T I?!?  And is it ever going to come out of “Beta”?

And while I’m in a slamming on web companies mood, shall we discuss LiveJournal and its parents company, Six Apart?  You would think after all the ill will they built with their userbase in May (which I discussed here and here), and they are now deleting more profiles for artwork.  Yes… DRAWN images.  You can read more about the latest deletions here.

LiveJournalWhile I hold no defense of child pornography, the images removed were drawn images which, under national law, are NOT illegal. They fall under “art” and therefore are only to be judged obscene by “community standards”, but in a situation such as this, what is the “community” to set the standards? Not to mention the deletions involved friends locked posts.

While that sort of artwork is not my cup of tea, I do not condone censorship of one’s artistic impression UNLESS it harms another.  (i.e. photos of naked children having sex is not art, it’s filth as it harms those in the photos)  Someone drawing something harms no one, and you have the power not to view it.  SA/LJ is acting a morality police now, and that’s just not right.

So, after several years on LJ, I’m shutting down that account and will only be posting here from now on.  While I may not personally like that type of artwork, I can not agree with people being censored in private postings, or really any postings.  I did find a pretty nifty program called LJ Archive (thanks Bren!) that let me archive all my postings and comments, I highly recommend it for anyone using LJ, or leaving it.

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  • Roy

    Sean, you’re so Web 1.0…

    First, if you look at your contact list, all the mail is automatically searched by contact so it’s like a folder. If a contact has more than one email address you can add them to the contact’s address list and they will all appear underneath. This is better than folders cause let’s say you have a bunch of friends on a CC list. This method allows that particular mail to appear under every contact so you don’t have to decide which folder to put it in. Also, in gmail it’s not a mail that gets saved but a mail thread so folders don’t really work.

    Also Gmail has labels or tags. You can created a whole pile of labels and then create filters so that mails automatically get labeled as they come in. The advantage of labels vs folders is that you can assign multiple labels to a contact of mail. So let’s say you have a female coworker who is also a friend, you can create 3 labels “work” “female” friends” and sort mails that way. It’s way easier.

    I keep all my mail in Mac mail and Gmail but when I want to find something the gmail interface is the best. Just searching keywords is the easiest way to find anything.

    I used Gmail for 10 minutes and I knew this was the best mailer. I couldn’t use any other mail application.

  • I’m old, Roy… I like my folders!

    “you’re so Web 1.0…” is this the new form of “square”?

  • Have you tried labels, Sean? Really, if you squint a little, they are indistinguishable from folders. Just pretend…

    Actually, at my school, we’ll be switching to Google Apps for Education, which is like the Premiere version except free. MUCH better than the antiquated iMail server we use presently, and very customizable. The students rarely use our in-house email system, and I can’t blame them… but once we switch to GMail, they should have no reason to avoid it, and every reason to switch over.

  • Luis – Nope, I had not played with labels, and… now I have. We shall ignore that I asked this question *cough*

    Seriously, thank you! This is exactly why I finally asked this question. The search function is nice, but I wanted a quicker way to access what I was looking for, and that was exactly it.

  • Roy

    FWIW, I’m older than you are. I watched Star Wars by myself in 1977.

  • My Sciencetext GMail account seems to have died, I'm not even receiving any spam, but there are no alerts to say it's been barred or anything, I'm just not seeing new mail. Anyone else had similar this last 10 days or so?