[Email services on my private domains have been horrid for some time–by allowing gmail to be attached to these domains Google may put an end to the horror (for the moment at least).]
Until recently my email has been a mess. When you manage domains like peaceandwisdom.net you want to use email addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org: that is the point of going to the trouble of acquiring them. And this kind of detail matters when all your work lives in cyberspace. And you really do want your email to just work.
The problem is that the spammers have been wrecking email with (when I last checked) internet email traffic was dominated by spam, quickly clogging up you unprotected inboxes, and you can no longer assume that email you send won’t be silently thrown away by the recipient email system, because <i>you</i> are assumed to be a spammer.
Of course if you use one of the majors like Google, Yahoo or Hotmail then this will be a foreign country as they are making the huge investment necessary to shield their users from these problems, but those us using smaller web-hosting companies to handle our domain email have been living in a world of pain. The small players can no longer send email reliable but fortunately a gmail account can be set up to mimic email@example.com–sort of. At least it was better than nothing, as was the system for filtering spam, requiring as it did first-time senders to reply to a robotic filter to certify their humanity.
Imagine my delight when I attached the ‘peaceandwisdom.net’ domain to the blog, to find WordPress referring me to Google Apps to handle the email. Now I thought Google Apps was a collection of frivolous applications to clog up your desktop, or a poor-man’s on-line office suite. Well it turns out that Google Apps can be set up to handle all the email for your domain through Gmail and it did not take me long to get all my email converted to Google Apps.
This is pure genius. I had never taken Google’s plans to go after Microsoft Office all that seriously. That day has passed. If Google has many more clever and useful ideas like this they could build a serious bridgehead for Google Apps.