Another day, another Gmail outage - well, that's the way it can start to seem. Twitter was all a-quiver with how the system was down; people didn't know what to do about it and one wag put a note up saying the human species can last six days without water but only about eight minutes without Gmail.
OK, I was on a train and assumed the iPhone was playing up, briefly. I now know better. But I'm still not angry with Gmail. I'm just not.
Let's take an objective view of this. I pay for my Gmail but that's only because it's tied in with Google Apps. I can have it for nothing if I choose. I can also have Twitter for nothing, Google Docs and all sorts of stuff.
And guess what. Occasionally - and I do mean occasionally, it just feels like forever when you're going through it - the system falls over. I've seen Twitter failing, I've had difficulty sending Gmail messages out and receiving them for an hour or so at a time, but mostly it works perfectly. I am genuinely a happy customer because I pay peanuts, and that's only because I choose to, and for over 99 per cent of the time, I think, I get a good service.
Very few people seem to be making this point. We're all conditioned to expect professional-grade service for next to no money whatsoever. Maybe it's just me, but if anyone can explain how this excellence is supposed to be sustained over time or why we imagine we have the right to complain, just let me know.
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It's also quite interesting to see email stand the test of time. Social networking etc often gets promoted as the replacement, but most people i talk to still check their email before logging into FB etc.
I guess it's still the 'catch-all' for most online communication.