What’s In A Name?

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 wollyworld81@hotmail.com.

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 rwollner@gmail.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?

Pitching PhilterIt

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.