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Gmail initiative! A viable business model!

By Dr. Al Olaimi ·
Recently Google announced the Gmail project initiation. And I?ve been reading most of those who got involved in discussing Google entry to such venture. I would summarize all responders? comments into 3 categories:
1. How would Google be able to stop spam
2. how Google would benefit financially (business model)
3. how far Google would go in supporting such large storage.

Some other minor comments included other issues which are not less important in their own merits, yet still fall into one of the three previous categories, i.e. Google messenger (Gim), personalization of accounts, portals and so forth.

In an attempt to give myself a starting point, I thought of it in a macro prospective, thus I would go for answering question #2 first, then justify #3, ending with an attempt to describe an effective method in blocking spam (theoretically).

A. The moment that Google was recognized for its superior search engine, they were able to provide net- demographics, usage behavior, aggressive proactive capture and comparison for all in-listed web pages, changes pre and post changes as per monitored traffic. An extremely important statistical analysis reports for to the content about search patterns to advertisers would easily be available. Such self-positioning by Google would only be described comparably as ?the modern age censes department?, but this time it?s global near real-time coverage!

Once Google develop a scan technique that would scan the contents of emails, Google shall be able to provide even more analytical prospective, but this time supported with factual figures about their findings. Even though anonymity is assured, still scanning email contents is not going to be a crime since what is sought are merely patterns not intimate details ? something in the nature of an added value virus scanning ?.

Henceforth, the ultimate behavioral analysis tool for measuring human-web interactivity and usability is geared up to be delivered to mass marketing and advertisement centric organizations, only after merging both email and user search patterns! But what if we could add to it the preset user-requested news letters and interests? Therefore, the only natural progress is to have personalization touch intact to it e.g. semi-portal coupled with peer to peer messaging. Voila, we got the basic building block for a business model that is indeed promising.

Regardless to the fact that offering 1 GB free sounds appealing, yet it is possible to cause a churn in competitors? serious users who are dependant on long term retention of some ?valuable? emails. I can not see Google spending much on what already was invested hardware wise, as simple calculation to thousands of servers already installed, it is easier to calculate the storage that was already bundled and installed. For our argument purposes, I would consider an average of 60 GB of storage was provided per server ? very classical figure ?, and should be there 10,000 server running, then this would be considered enough for serving 600,000 clients immediately only if they are going to use there allowed quota in full, which is impossible to reach during the first 6 months of full deployment of Gmail! All statistics leads to the sold fact that the average user/customer would use no more than one third of his/her quota (given the fact that larger than 2 MB multi-media attachments? transfer is prohibited to avoid possible copy rights violation). This would translate into an immediate doubling to the size of client base! Shall figures change I would presume it will reflect better forecasting in favor Google.

Not to mention if Gmail offers POP3 and IMAP accessibility that would push more users to ?clean? their accounts and move their ?contents? into their own ?local hard drives?, another increase in storage space that would translate into more quota for other potential subscribers.

However, the investment will be defiantly on the band width usability. Nevertheless, Gmail would be ready to be shipped as a corporate solution with a little bit of value additives to it. Shall we say a MS-Exchange competitor is in the horizon?

B. As for blocking spam, I would believe the only effective way to prevent spam is not to install spam ?reception? blockers software/tools, instead install a spam initiator blocking mechanism. This would require a miniature scanner as an extension to mail servers, only to scan the content of any bulk email at sending time ? only possible through buffering all bulk mail to given enough time for the scanner to work effectively ?, Shall content of the buffered bulk email match with a rate of 90-100% along with a variable recipient?s list, then it is clearly a spam.

The only method to develop such tool would be to have the right proven technology of ?search engine?. Do we need to guess what would be the most superior search engine running so far?

Although the subject is not rounded up entirely, I am pretty much sure that I already flooded the discussion area with enough words, especially after writing this article one shot non-stop!

Shall be any comments, I would appreciate very much if it is shared with me by sending it directly to my email because I am a constant TechRepublic newsletter reader, but not that much of visitor to discussion areas.

Thank you

Dr. Al Olaimi
olaimi@infonovation.com

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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Strong Encryption Solves Many Problems

by jthomson60016 In reply to RE: DO YOU WORK FOR GOOGL ...

Google is being honest about their commercial motives in providing this free email service. One gives up certain privacy in return for the service. However, presuming they intend to offer the mail service as a POP3 type of portal, then PGP or similar Public Key Encryption offers both the free service AND privacy.

If you encrypt your outgoing mail, then privacy is ensured by the use of strong encryption, as well as providing a gurantee of authorship and uncorrupted content. Ditto if your friends use strong encryption for their outgoing email. It is only those messages between contacts who can't or won't use encryption that your privacy is compromised.

In point of fact, good encryption such as PGP isn't even required to protect from snooping such as that done by Gmail. A simple ROT13 should be enough to conceal the content, as Google is unlikely to design their parser with even the simplest decryption tools. Doing so would validate the worst privacy invasion fears of every critic out there, and certainly not be worth the public critism they would receive.

jthomson

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pirivacy

by williamwilson5420 In reply to Gmail initiative! A viabl ...

When you first see that google will scan your e-mail it does make you think about getting one of their e-mail accounts, they are going to scan e-mails but when you look at it, will there be anything in your e-mail that you would want to hide? I feel Gmail will be more suited to home users, so when you look at it you get a good storeage, and if you have nothing to hide Gmail will be for you, the point about advertising, a large slice of the net is advertising, if you run adaware on your system then surf the net for a very short while then run adaware again you will have spy ware in your system, but that does not stop people going online. It does not bother me if they scan my e-mail I got nothing in it I do not want others to see. So I would get one as it suits my needs.

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I agree

by Opiate In reply to pirivacy

I agree with William on the Privacy Issue. I think it is stupid that some people are bitching about it. Gmail offers you a buttload of space and FREE and people still complain. If you do not like it then don't use it, simple as that. Either way, they have to pay for their 1GB of space for everyone some how don't they? That is why you need these Ads. Also, William is right on scanning your emails, if you have something to hide you should not be using public mail servers, for all companies periodically scan your emails regardless of what they tell you, hello....its on their property, they can do whatever the **** they want.

Ruben.

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Will they report immoral and/or illegal activities

by bob21 In reply to I agree

If their scanning indicates questionable activities, will they send appropriate ads to the user, or report it to some agency. eg pedophiliacs, terrorists, drug dealing, money laundering, planning a revolution, gun running, white slavery, bank robbing, etc, etc? How will they draw the line? Will governments have the right to access the files and /or run their own scanners on the database?

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GMail is additional value

by johan.a.vranken In reply to Gmail initiative! A viabl ...

I get e-mail in my webmail and ISP mailbox that comes from unknown sources. I don't reply to it, as I know this will only increase the problem. So, knowing what is going on though "intrest driven" advertising is surely not any worse.
And getting such a service and such possibilities as GMail offers - no question I"ll get an account as soon as this is possible.

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Here's an idea...

by mcline In reply to GMail is additional value

This may be a bit offbeat... but, if ya don't like their business practices, don't use them!


Not real hard to figure that one out...

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Is GMail harmful or just plain dodgy?

by dantheaf In reply to GMail is additional value

Is GMail really going to be that harmful or is it just another dodgy way of stupid advertising? The topic of privacy pops up along the way. Is it legal in all countries? No? But if GMail can get past the law, it's still probably a system that's not going to work if home users are the main members. If Gmail scans emails for subjects they can use for ads in email messages then what will the ads be? Personal emails from home users don't usually say "BUY THIS NOW! CLICK HERE!" When was the last time you sent an email like that to a friend. It's more like you would say "Hey, how you going? Happy Easter! Wanna come to the movies tommorow..."(if you are a home user). So if they scan those sort of emails, what will the ads say? What if you are sending credit card details to a family member or friend for something? Ebay uses NineMSN search engine and Google search engine to display ads when you get your search results. If you search for "movies", you will see an ad saying "Movies on Ebay". If you type in "Ebay is stupid and dumb and you can find nothing you like" you will see an ad link saying "Ebay is stupid nd dumb and you can find nothing you like on Ebay." It's pointless. I think GMail may use a similar system, but that's dumb. I hate advertising, and from my view, I think banners and pop-ups aren't very good. Banners get alot of hits, popups don't get too many because people own popup stoppers (including Google's own toolbar) and click on the X cross on the popup anyway because the ads waste your time and you are never interested. Banners are almost as stupid, but people still click on them. If you wanna have free mail, use your ISP mail. Usually there is no limit or a very large amount of storage on how much emails you can store in your ISP mail and you can use the web-based mail or use it in Outlook. It's better than most free emails. Although, you can use Hotmail. It's your key to many of the best sites. Using .Net technology, you can login at many locations using only one username and password account. then there's Yahoo Mail. Well, I don't see much in it. But then there's Netscape mail and all the other free mail providers. But Vodafone and some other mobile phone providers have a good system. Use your phone number as your email address. With vodafone your address would be MYMOBILENUMBER@VODAFONE.NET which is useful. It helps others to get to know your phone number off by heart at the same time of knowing your email address of by heart! You can also check the mail on your WAP enable mobile phone or at Vodafone LIVE!. It's good. So which is the best and will Google be goood? Well, all the web-based free emails are pretty much the same but Google's idea of huge storage is good. Although there is email scanning, who cares unless u hav something to hide.

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GMail..sheeshhhh mail

by libmary In reply to Is GMail harmful or just ...

The business that I work for currently scans all of my outgoing mail. They also can fire me if I send something that reveals company info, to parties that are not authorized to see it. I feel that the "privacy" issue and email is not even relevant or worth the efforts we think are happening to protect it are actually accomplishing anything.. If you are on the internet, exchanging any type of information, with anyone, any business, any discussion group - i.e. this one - you have lost your privacy.

If you want to stop spam, or viruses, you'll have to put on your "tech" thinking caps, come up with some big bucks, and do it fast, cause the "spammers, and virus creators" are already 10 steps ahead of you.

If Google wants to give users a gig of space for email for FREE, try it out, if it doesn't work for your business or personal life, "unsubscribe".

Doing the delete crawl through the sea of spam....

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GMail ads

by patrick642 In reply to Gmail initiative! A viabl ...

If I recall correctly, not only will the email be scanned but ads will be placed INSIDE your email.... (So, if you like ads alongside your email, enjoy.)
But this is what they say on their web page on GMail:
There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail. Gmail does include relevant text ads that are similar to the ads appearing on the right side of Google search results pages. The matching of ads to content is a completely automated process performed by computers using the same technology that powers the Google AdSense program.

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Much to do about nothing . . .

by JJPeck In reply to GMail ads

Everyone knows that email is not private! If you send unencrypted sensitive or private information by email you are dumber than a bag of rocks. I don't see any problem with scanning for keywords and placing text ads to the side of your content. I use yahoo mail now, and I get plenty of ads on my email pages, very few of which are appealing to me. Maybe under Google's system the ads will at least be of possible interest to me. No, I am not kidding. I spend thousands per year on products for home and business through Internet. I usually have to seek out sources which takes time and effort. Google's Gmail ads will surely be no worse than existing web mail ads, and may even prove to be helpful.

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