Gmail Address Flexibility And Filtering

You hate spam. I hate spam. Lets face it, we sign up for things online and our e-mail address become prone to being spread all over hell’s half acre and our inboxes inevitably gets invaded by irritating e-mail. Heck…sometimes we set up accounts on sites that we want kept out of our inboxes to avoid irritating clutter. Here’s my easy little Gmail solution.

Gmail has a nice little feature that allows you to tack on a phrase to the end of your username without destroying the delivery of e-mail to your inbox. Here’s how it works:

  • Lets say my e-mail address is super.awesome.coder.ninja@gmail.com and I want to sign up at Amazon
  • All I need to do is add a phrase to my e-mail separated by a + when I sign up!
  • Lets say I add the word shop…my e-mail would now look like: super.awesome.coder.ninja+shop@gmail.com
  • Now any time mail is sent to super.awesome.coder.ninja+shop@gmail.com, I receive it at super.awesome.coder.ninja@gmail.com with the ability to create Gmail filters to mark as read; add a label; move to trash; etc…all based on what e-mail address the e-mail was sent to.

Very awesome.

If you’re curious, here’s what I use this feature for:

  • Sending pictures, documents, etc to myself so I don’t have to carry a physical storage device. I just send it to myemail+storage@gmail.com and with filters: mark it as read and archive the e-mail.
  • Sign up for online stores and gaming accounts. I sign up as myemail+shop@gmail.com.
  • Sign up for multiple test accounts on systems I develop to allow me test as multiple users with the same e-mail. I sign up as myemail+[somerandomstring]@gmail.com

All told, this feature has proven great for e-mail organization and the reduction of spam (at least spam that reaches my inbox). Lets just hope spammers are slow to pick up on this…although I’m sure this blog isn’t helping in the prevention of their knowledge of this Gmail feature…ah well. Hope this helps you out :)

Amazon Tags!

About Time! According to CNet, Amazon is heading down the road of tagging. This is great news in my book. I’m a follower of the Web 2.0 movement and have really been turned onto the idea of folksonomy (tagging) by products like Flickr and thus have recently brought MasterWish on board with tagging.

While many people out there have used tagging in Flickr, Gmail, MasterWish and various other web 2.0 apps…there are still many out there that express their opinions on tagging as “Tagging…WTF is that?!”. Having a large web company such as Amazon with its HUGE following jump on the band wagon with tagging will help bring folksonomy to the masses.

While exciting that this is happening, Amazon is slowly rolling tags out to their users as evidenced in this excerpt of the CNet article:

The idea, apparently, is to slowly experiment with tags and to give users some power over how certain Amazon products–books, for example–are categorized.

For now […] only about half of Amazon’s users can even see tags on the site.

Its only a matter of time before folksonomy will cease to be a buzz word and start appearing in the english dictionary. Everybody and their brother will know of tagging and the world will be a happier, easier to search place. I can only hope