As if they read my post on Eric Schmidt and wanted to mess with me, GMail just gave me a pop-up promoting GMail’s new Priority Inbox, wherein Google gets to predict what emails I want to read. That’s right! As we turn more and more of our lives over to the fleet of chugging diesel trucks that form the Internets, Google is here to help with the congestion on I-95!
The interface is simple; emails are assigned priority based on which senders’ emails one reads and replies to. The Priority box shows up at the top of one’s inbox, and one clicks a box for anything that’s in priority that shouldn’t be, or vice-versa. There’s even a snappy video to explain things, complete with cleverly-retro animation and music right out of a Woody Allen movie:
Garett Rogers at ZDNet writes that this — and the Call Anyone allows users to make phone calls to landlines or cell phones from GMail — “have really taken this service to another level.” But after having Eric Schmidt hand me an ice cream cone while telling my Dad surfs sports websites…I confess to feeling a little Winston Smith this afternoon.
The fact is, however, that because I use GMail, Google already decides what I’m going to want to read, because it’s got the best damn spam filter going. I check my spam box once every two or three days; I only occasionally run across anything that shouldn’t be in there, and I get spam in my actual inbox only once in a blue moon.
“This service” doesn’t really need to be “taken to another level” in order for it to become something I can’t live without. Spam long ago rendered all my other email addresses useless. Google has me by the short ones because of the “quality of its product,” to put it one way. Or, to put it another, because any other solution is likely to result in my death by a thousand cuts. The weapons? Rolexes and low-priced Bulgarian Viagra. GMail remains indispensable to me only because its abusers haven’t figured out yet how to make it as useless to me as Yahoo or Hotmail.
Honestly, it’s almost enough to make one only want to contact people through MySpace — don’t you agree?