Friday, September 3, 2010

Hoy! Attention! Let op! Huomio! Achtung! Figyelem! Uzmanību! Atención! Uppmärksamhet! Gmail's New Priority Inbox

The Tech Gospel for today is on
Gmail's new Priority Inbox and how it can help you out in your everyday e-life.

What exactly is it?  Well, it's the opposite of a SPAM folder.  As good as spam filters have gotten over the past few years, manually flagging important emails is still quite a chore.  With all the new networking services, offline alerts are still delivered via email... like when a new friend request is received, or private message.

With the rise of large (above 5GB) email boxes, this has led to email hoarding.  I literally have over 10,000 emails in my personal account.  This is not including my work, or business accounts.  And yes, that's all spam free email.

The term for email that is not spam, but is not important, is BACN (yes, as in bacon... can you tell what programmers are exposed to at their workplace?  Spam, bacn, donut, eclair, froyo, cupcake...)

Gmail's new Priority Inbox creates a new section.  Not a new folder.  It's like a spam filter in reverse.  It tries to learn what YOU consider important by the frequency of received emails from a particular sender, whether they are read or not, and other variables.  You can also manually flag emails as important and this helps Gmail learn which emails are important as well.

Right now, it's still very raw.  So most of the input will come from the user.  But it learns quite fast so the more you help it identify which are priority emails, the sooner it can do it without your help.

All the emails still go to your inbox, what it does is just put the important ones on top for you to read first.

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