2-4: Webmail

Set up a Gmail Account

What is webmail?

Webmail, as the name suggests, is an e-mail service that is meant to be accessed over the web rather than in an e-mail client like Outlook . While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of webmail providers out there, the biggest three are generally accepted as being Yahoo Mail, Microsoft’s Hotmail and Google’s gmail. Most major webmail services are free, relying on selling advertising against the space in order to make money.

For 23 Things, we’ll be using gmail.  This is not necessarily because it’s better – though it is quite user friendly and does have a lot of enviable features – but largely because we’ll be using other google products later on in the course and you’ll need a gmail account anyway.

Why use it?

The main reason to use webmail is that it’s highly portable – you can access your email from anywhere in the world provided you have an internet connection, and you can keep the same email address even if you change internet service providers.  Another reason to use webmail is to help protect your real identity online – it’s not a very good idea to, say, post to something like library_mofo (warning: contains some strong language) under a pseudonym, only for the profile of said alias to proudly display your @library.uwa.edu.au address.


see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Webmail addresses are also great for reducing the amount of spam received by your main email address. Because they’re free and easy to make, you should use one when signing up for services online, particularly if you’re not sure about their legitimacy and/or privacy policies. It’s actually not uncommon for someone to have two, three or even more webmail accounts in addition to a work or a home email account, using one for friends, one for family, one for work and one as a junk or spam address that is used to sign up for things on the web.

To Complete Thing 4

  1. Go to http://mail.google.com/mail/signup (new window)
  2. Follow the prompts to fill in the boxes.
  3. If you don’t want google to track what you are doing while you are logged in , you must make sure that the Enable Web History box is unchecked.

All done? Move on to Thing 5


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