It seems like I go through this thought process every month or so on my own, so I figured I’d open it up to the all-knowing f-list. Right now, my primary e-mail is via my domain (tk at tk dot org). This has advantages and disadvantages. The main disadvantage is that when I give out my e-mail address, I have to decide whether the recipient is someone that I am not upset about handing my website out to…and y’all know what I post here, so perhaps you can understand the concern. This, of course, is only a concern when I’m giving my e-mail to someone who also knows my real-life name and who might potentially be the kind of ass who would want to do harm to a person with my proclivities. Thus, 99 percent of the time, it’s not a concern at all. (I do know that my domain/real-life connection is discoverable, but you have to be trying to find it with some tenacity. For example, there are ways to search the wayback machine and link up my real-life name with this domain, but they’re not entirely obvious. Otherwise, if you know that connection, you’re likely someone with equivalent proclivities and/or a liberal mindset such that I don’t imagine you care. And, of course, I operate on the theory of security by volume…that is, to get to the good stuff, you’ve gotta be willing to sift through a massive amount of less interesting stuff.)
Because my work has required me to become a part of several social networking sites (e.g., Facebook) and because I’m looking for other work, I’ve also established a GMail address that is in no way linked to this site (versus my other one, which is tk at gmail dot com). Because that address gets frequent e-mail, I’ve been using GMail more often than I have previously. It’s made me really come to like GMail.
My domain e-mail has also been known to have problems, and when it does have problems, it is not always immediately apparent. I’ll be sending mail having no idea that the recipient isn’t getting it and vice versa. At one point, any e-mail sent from the webmail was not getting to people, but e-mail sent from T-bird was. Weeks went by before I found out and thus pinged my hosting company as to WTF was going on. GMail is far more reliable.
However, I also have some pride in owning my own domain, and in the 99% case, I’m usually happy to be publicizing my domain via handing out my e-mail. It has on more than one occasion served me well that someone I gave my e-mail to then navigated to the domain. I nagged a husband that way.
I see my options as threefold:
1) Start transitioning friends and family to the (tk @) Gmail address. Set up T-bird to IMAP with the GMail address. Use tk dot org e-mail only for mass e-mails and the like (e.g., when I sign up for e-mails from commercial sites, order confirmations). This removes the problem of directly exposing people to my domain. It’s not like I’d
2) Switch tk dot org over to using Google Apps For Your Domain (GAFYD) for e-mail only. Then, I get the power of G on my tk dot org addresses, mostly…but GAFYD is often behind standard GMail in terms of features. I’m not even confident it has IMAP. It also doesn’t fix the 1% problem.
3) Leave everything as is.
So far, every time I’ve had this discussion, I’ve settled on option 3, as much from inertia as anything. Any thoughts from y’all?