When my family first signed up for AOL, I remember spending hours trying to figure out the perfect name. I didn’t just want to be RobertWollner@AOL.com. I needed something great, something funny. I needed my middle school friends to think I was cool. So, with much thought and consideration, I announced myself to the world as TazDevilGA@aol.com
When Hotmail came around, I decided that Looney Tunes was just so 6th grade and I needed something more topical and clever. Having just seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, I thought WollyWorld would be perfect – a brilliant play on the Wally World theme park and my last name. I wasn’t the only one who had that clever idea, though. I guess Chevy Chase was still in vogue in the mid-90s and someone else had chosen to misspell the theme park. So I settled on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five years later, when Gmail launched, the timing was perfect. Since I was just out of school, I needed a handle that was far more professional. Luckily, I was early enough to snag email@example.com, much to the chagrin of Richard Wollner.
I imagine I’m not the only one whose email addresses – second identities, really – have taken a similar journey. Those of us in our 20s and 30s likely share similar stories. We started with a fun name in middle school (JK23ACE, SugaBaby, Viper, Harv, PSMEE, McMacBob, etc) on AOL, moved to Yahoo or Hotmail, and then slowly shifted to Gmail and became our first and last name or some derivation of that. As we have evolved and grown, so have our email names and destinations. While our names may remain, our destinations are bound to keep changing.
So what’s your story? How have your email names changed over the years?
We’ve been busy these past few weeks, not only telling the world who we are but also adding a ton of features and enhancements to our site. Here’s what you should know:
First, we have completed our design overhaul to a much more stunning and sleek UI. We’re really pumped with this new look and feel.
We’ve also rounded out the “sending” functions, so that you can reply all, cc, bcc and have your contacts auto-populate with type ahead display. Also, our search now captures all senders, not just brands, and we pull-in attachments, along with the thumbnail display.
We’ve enhanced our drag-and-drop functionality. You can now drag any brand from the mail feed to the dashboard to add the icon. For new icons, you can designate it as either personal or brand, which will show up in the mail feed filter.
Keep the comments and feedback coming by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The other day, I deposited a check at a Wells Fargo ATM, bought an accessory for my computer at the Apple Store, and got some clothes at Bloomingdales. At each place, I was given the option to forgo the annoyance of carrying around little pieces of paper, which I always lose, and get them sent directly to my inbox.
Though I am not an environmentalist, I am happy to save the trees (paper receipts account for 640,000 tons of paper used in the US each year. That’s 9,600,000 trees!). More importantly, I am thrilled to know I don’t have to carry around those little pieces of paper in case I have to return anything or to remember what I bought during the day. I couldn’t believe half of my wife’s wallet was paper receipts that she has to hold onto in case she returns anything.
Now the only issue with email receipts is finding them in my inbox. That’s what makes PhilterIt so valuable. All of these emails are automatically filtered for me into their icons. I found my Apple receipt in ten seconds, my flight confirmation even faster. As more and more companies email receipts, our inboxes are going to get more information. PhilterIt is building an inbox which accounts for the future and will help me keep track of the increasing amount of emails from my favorite stores and brands.
We stood on stage a few days ago and unveiled PhilterIt’s new look and feel to the world. It was awesome. We told a crowd of hundreds of tech enthusiasts why our clean, simple and intuitive interface is a better way to experience email
How did we convince the crowd? What was our hook? Simple – we showed them a visual. Namely, a slide full of bullets. We said, “How is this slide working out for you? Too many bullets. Too many words. Now think about your inbox. All of that content, all of that information…all of those lines of text.” That’s been the story we have been telling for a year, and that’s the story that prompted the most audience votes to go to the statement, not question, “Hell yeah! Finally! That’s brilliant.”
We’re going to continue to work hard to wow our users and bring a brilliant new email experience to them, and we invite the rest of you to join in the fun.…
When I was a kid, we used to go shopping with a Tupperware bin of alphabetically organized coupons. If I wanted to buy Cereal, my brother and I would look through the C folder, and we were allowed to choose any cereal we wanted, as long as we had the coupon. (If we had the coupon, I would always pick S’mores Crunch.
Today, I still rely on my training from childhood to find a deal. However, rather than sift through a Tupperware bin, I scan through my Inbox to find the latest 30% off discount or Free Shipping promotion. But now I’m starting to wonder if the benefits of these promotions – these diamonds in the rough – truly outweigh the costs in terms of time and frustration in dealing with an exploding inbox. I tried to create filters, but I quickly realized that for each filter I set, it seemed like there were three more brands that popped-up and needed to be dealt with. It was like trying to save time by, well, wasting time. That didn’t make sense. I also found that for those brands I did filter, it was out of sight, out of mind. I meant to go back to them. I really did. But once they were gone, they were gone. So I still missed deals that I wanted to find.
And, of course, there were the angry phone calls and texts. “Did you get my email?” “What email?” “I sent it to you this morning!” Oh…right, that one. My personal messages were getting lost in the shuffle, buried and seemingly gone forever. So now I was stuck trying to create filters, incessantly delete, unsubscribe then resubscribe, bug my friends to forward me deals for brands I didn’t want to sign up for anymore (you know, those 3x-a-day email offenders) only to lose THOSE forwards in my inbox. ERGGHHH!!! What a mess.
PhilterIt takes care of all of that for me. I import my existing account (no changing addresses), select the brands I want to follow, and then I’m brought to my inbox. I have all the brands I care about right there in front of me. I can click or unclick the filter on my mail feed, so that only personal messages are highlighted. And I can set up new icons by dragging and dropping – so now my friends and family have their own homes within my inbox.