google

SORDID CONFESSIONS

HOTMAIL SUCKS SO I HAD TO CHANGE TO GMAIL, WHICH ALSO SUCKS

A few years ago, I wrote a piece for CRANK entitled EMAIL IS JUST EMAIL OK. I explained why I still had a Hotmail email address, against all the advice of my hipster friends, administration gurus, and IT professionals. It wasn’t so much that I vehemently argued for how great Hotmail was (let’s be frank, it really isn’t), but that I just couldn’t be arsed getting a Gmail account and I didn’t want to have Google RUN MY LIFE.

Last week, however, it was time to make a change.

It had been nine days since Hotmail’s POP3 servers had forwarded a single email to my iPhone. NINE. DAYS. A quick google (LOL) of the problem came up trumps, in part because Hotmail had just redesigned its Outlook platform and everything was different. I mean, why would you bother redesigning your whole platform WHEN YOU HAVE ABOUT 100 USERS LEFT IN THE WORLD? (Other than spammers). In fact it occurred to me that perhaps Hotmail did it intentionally to try and increase their advertising revenue. Because now, instead of being able to read your emails through Mac mail, you have to download their crappy app or, worse still, log on through your browser and then deal with headlines on msn.com such as 'Kaley Cuoco reveals her new look' and 'Is this the end of the McNugget?'

I can tell you now, ladies and gentlemen, it is NOT the end of the McNugget, but it is the end of Hotmail for me. What a stupid, glitchy, inoperable piece of s--t, and yes, I know I’m years behind the eight ball, but at least I saw the light eventually.

The fact I have now defected to Gmail, however, does not mean I think Gmail is great. Do you know how much tax Google paid in Australia in 2013? Less than $500,000. Let’s just let that figure sink in. And the fact that I had to google Google to get those tax stats just shows how terrible this situation really is.

Then, when I had to create a Gmail address, I laboured over what my email name should be (not least because most varieties of my very unusual name were already taken, oh the regret!). It was also because I was thinking: wait, this is the email address that will be tied to my entire Google profile, my youtube account, blog... will this be my 'forever' email name? Will I change my home address ten times, but never change email addresses again? Will I be trapped in the world of Google until I DIE? I nearly chose “f--kyougoogle@gmail.com” as my new email address. Fortunately I didn’t, because after I decided on my address I realised that you can NEVER CHANGE IT. [1]

As my techie friend told me, 'welcome to the dark side…'

CHANLET B, MELBOURNE

  1. This is, however, a great thing for feminism. No taking of the husband’s surname in Gmail land!
The dark side. Our digital future, in which we bind ourselves to Mammon (aka Google), as it sucks the lifeblood from the world. For ever. [ An angel leading a soul into hell . Oil painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch, c 1540. Wellcome Images L0030887]

The dark side. Our digital future, in which we bind ourselves to Mammon (aka Google), as it sucks the lifeblood from the world. For ever. [An angel leading a soul into hell. Oil painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch, c 1540. Wellcome Images L0030887]

PEDANTRY

YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY TOMATO

Somehow that subject line works better when spoken than when written.

In the cultural heritage industry, some say 'collections care' while others say 'collection care'. While it is not a strict rule, the convention in English is to use the singular form of a noun when that noun is used as an adjective. Most of us have little trouble choosing the better form of the following:

  • Fire truck vs fires truck (yet most of these will work on more than one fire)
  • Investment broker vs investments broker (yet most of these deal with more than one investment)
  • Nail file vs nails file (yet, you guessed it, most of these will file more than one nail)

Now, I personally find 'collections care' an awkward and bothersome homonym, and thus also related phrases such as 'collections management'. However, it has been suggested to me that the term 'collection management' is used extensively by the debt-collection industry, and therefore to avoid search result entanglement we in the heritage profession should stick to 'collections'. 

Clearly it was time to gather some evidence. On 2014 September 6, using an anonymizing program I searched 'collections management' and 'collection management' using Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Ignoring advertisement results provided the following counts:

The 'other' category mostly referred to 'intelligence collection' activities.

The appropriate statistical test for significance in differences in these results is a two-tailed Z test. With this test we find there is no significant evidence in these data of preference in the cultural collection management field for either the singular or plural form (Z-Score = 1.2484; p = 0.2113). The data do reveal a significant preference for the plural form 'collections management' in the financial (debt collection) field (Z-Score = -3.2103 p = 0.00132). The data reveal a significant preference for use of the singular form in all other fields combined, although examples from these other fields were sparse (Z-Score = 3.4392 p = 0.00058).

So, if we in the heritage industry want to distance ourselves from the popular understanding of debt collection, as revealed by search results provided by commonly used internet search engines, then we should use the singular form: 'collection management'.

Still, I do not think this is the most important consideration. Another consideration of some importance is whether the use of the term 'collections management' might seem to exclude or marginalize persons who only manage a single collection, even is that collection might contain over a million items. Although I do not take that too seriously, it is a consideration that only applies if we adopt the plural form in a situation where generally preferred English grammar would suggest the singular form be used. In other words, no one with a title of 'Collections Manager' is going to feel marginalized from the subject of 'collection management' while the reverse is at least possible, and maybe true to some degree. This is in contrast to 'collections management' in the debt collection sense, where virtually all workers deal with multiple collection transactions—perhaps that is the reason for their preference of the plural.

Most important to me, however, is that it is natural for professionals in our field to identify strongly with their responsibilities for the particular collection or collection units under their care. Unfortunately, I believe this happens to the partial exclusion of the general development of the field of collection management. I think this is a slight but somewhat insidious tendency which has contributed to a slower than necessary development of professionalism in the collection management community. Too few professionals actively engage in the development of 'collection management' as a professional field of endeavour and are content to consider their professional boundaries beginning and ending with the set of collections they are assigned to manage. In my opinion, to adopt the plural form contributes to this problem instead of nudging away from it.

However, if for no other reason, an aversion to being confused with a debt collector should steer us to the singular side!

R WALLER, OTTAWA

 

EXCUSES

EMAIL IS JUST EMAIL OK

Firstly, I would like to preface this piece of writing with some context:

  • I am 29 years old.
  • I work in the music industry, and successfully use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, Mailchimp, Wordpress and Pozible to run my career.
  • I own a Macbook Pro and an iPhone 5.
  • I am generally an organised, motivated and cool person.

Now, it’s hard for me to say this—it feels like I’m bringing a six-pack of UDLs to a wine appreciation night.

I still use Hotmail.

That’s right.

Not only that, I have TWO Hotmail accounts, one with a nickname my friend gave me in 2003.

And, my dearest Gmail-Nazi, I don’t care.

For me, it comes down to this. If someone sends me an email, I get it. If I send them an email, they get it. I use Mac mail, whose search history function is so munted it doesn’t matter where your account is from anyway. SO IT DOESN’T MATTER.

Why would I waste hours of time “setting up a Gmail account”, “importing contacts”, “changing my email account for all logins”, and “telling everybody about it”. In reality, the outcome is the same: I send an email, the person gets it. If they send an email, I get it.

Except, of course, I would be WAY COOLER because I would use Gmail. Never mind the fact that it’s the content of my emails and the accompanying pictures of dogs in hats that should establish my coolness.

Judging someone for their email host of choice is just plain snobby, in my opinion, and says more about YOU than me, really. Because you must love Google so much that they RUN YOUR LIFE and one day they will hand all your things over to the government and YOU WILL BE SORRY.

Meanwhile, I will be repeatedly unable to get my SMTP and POP servers to work. But at least I will be FREE.

@CHANLETB, MELBOURNE

The radical hippopotamus “Pepe”, a particularly violent member of Pablo Escobar’s Colombian drug cartel, was arrested after his Gmail correspondence was intercepted. Image credits: [Hippopotamus, Egypt] by T P Bennett, 1915. Lantern slide. State Library of Victoria, H83.103/122, available at  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43413 .

The radical hippopotamus “Pepe”, a particularly violent member of Pablo Escobar’s Colombian drug cartel, was arrested after his Gmail correspondence was intercepted. Image credits: [Hippopotamus, Egypt] by T P Bennett, 1915. Lantern slide. State Library of Victoria, H83.103/122, available at http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/43413.

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