Anjanesh

Assignment Statements, Comparisons & Observations
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Google Apps for Domains

Friday, December 22, 2006
Ok, this may be old news, but this is intended for Indian individuals/startups especially non-IT ones. There is one thing I find common in a lot of individual freelancers/businessmen and very tiny-sized companies in India. The have their domain name registered for their official use yet disclose only their gmail account to others esp on the internet. I've seen at various places (joblistings, classifieds, realestate etc) where there is a proper website associated with the post but the contact email address given is their gmail email address. I've seen replies like "Is this a real company ?", "At least get a proper email address". People tend not to respond if the email address is that of free one thinking its not a reputed company. But there are genuine people who just don't yet have enough of their initial capital. The advantage of gmail over having to deal with their domain email is pretty obvious since Google has put tons of effort on Gmail. 1. Spam. This is probably the most relevant reason since Gmail would block better than webhosts giving their own spam solution. 2. Space. Cost is a factor and given the number of emails pouring in, you probably wouldnt have enough email storage at your host and will either end up POP-deleting or buying extra space. We all like to keep a copy of almost everything on the internet now-a-days and buying extra space for a startup wouldnt be the next choice of investment. Gmail's almost-3GB is definitely more eye-catching. 3. Control Panel. The last few email control panels on webhosts I've used were GoDaddy's, 1and1's, Horde, Squirrel, NeoMail. All are good but nothing is really good enough is it? You defintely have far better and more features in Gmail, esp the conversation layout. Plus, Google will always self-update, while we got to depend and wait on the webhost for updates. 4. Free POP/SMTP. The advantage is over other free email providers like Y! etc where POP and SMTP are paid services. Others like HotPoP have some sort of limits on the number of mails transferred. G does not stand for God. 1. The biggest disadvantage of Gmail is ofcourse, not being able to create folders. 2. Sponsored Ads. But then....thats the whole idea for their free service. 3. Privacy. The whole world knows they use our data for their own statistics. 'Free' is their marketing technique. Unless your emails are really 'top secret', I don't see the need to worry on this. Google Apps for Domains (http://google.com/a) is targetted for small-size organizations to have their basic needs like emails, calendar, startup page and chat setup all by Google for free. The only thing you got to is buy a domain name and point to Google's servers. This is the best solution for the individuals/tiny-sized companies I mentioned about earlier. Reaons for using: 1. Your prime purpose is ofcourse email visibility which would reflect something like mail@yourdomainname.com or jobs@yourdomainname.com. 2. You could still have yourdomainname.com pointing to a webhost (Google is not really acting as a webhost here) containing a real site, or you could have a template-based site at Google Apps for Domains. The only problem with this is that you cannot edit the hompage's main template. You can have a custom look for the rest of the pages by uploading files. Ultimately, this provision was made for your business to kick-start - not to host heavy dynamic stuff. 3. You can create a startup page for the people who you've partnered with or hired to access their mails, calendar, chat for which you can create separate accounts. The few people who are working with you, can interact in the same circle easily reducing any ambiguity. The startup page can be of different layouts and include various widgets which you can integrate to your site. If you want your custom widget, you can host it at some webhost or maybe even at Google Apps for Domains (it should work since you're uploading an XML file). Creating a widget is not that much of a headache for a web-developer who is into XML and JavaScript. 4. Google is likely to add more services soon, so these 4-5 services aren't the last. I guess this should be more than enough to really make a ignite your business on the internet-point-of-view.

1 comments:

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