Why I use Yahoo! Mail

Please note: I no linger use Yahoo! Mail as my main Email provider. I use Fastmail.fm but I keep this page on my site becuase I think it contains useful information.

(Are you interested in archiving you Yahoo! mailbox? Read here.)

People sometimes wonder why I use Yahoo! Mail as my main Email address and not a "proper" mail account accessed by a "proper" mail client.

I answer them with two words: "stability" and "usability".

I know that if I have access to the Internet, I have access to my mail. I am sure that Yahoo! will be always there for me. Browsing to Yahoo! is the best way to check if my connection is working. Using Yahoo! mail, I don't have to rely on anyone other than Yahoo!. If I change ISP, computer, OS or browser, I have access to my mail account without the need to change anything.

I have started using the Internet in 1995. Yahoo! has been there (here) since 1994. I don't know of any other internet service that's been there longer than Yahoo.

Since being on the Internet, I have switched several Email accounts and I even was a Mailmaster of one operation. I know what it is to run a mail server. I know how hard it is to be "Always On". I have sent many "my new mail address is..." messages. I am tired of it.

In all the discussions I have read about computer usability, the telephone is a common metaphor. "The computer should be as easy to use as the telephone". For me, Email is now easy as using the telephone. I have used Netscape mail, Outlook Express, Outlook and PocoMail. All of them have many features that I miss using Yahoo! Mail. None of them are as simple to use as Yahoo! Mail.

I am asked: "is the 6 MB storage limit enough for you?" and I ask back "why do I need more storage?"

I try to minimize the mail I get by:

o Discouraging people from forwarding me stuff they have not created themselves.

o Keeping mailing lists subscriptions to a minimum.

o Archiving (almost) only mail that I send.

o Overcoming the tendency to parallel the number of Emails I get with the feeling of being loved.

I now have 166 items in my Inbox that I have to deal with one way or another. Getting more mail will force me to feel guilty of not answering/deleting/archiving the mail that's in my pile. The storage limit of Yahoo! Mail helps me manage my online life more reasonably.

Yahoo! people don't pat themselves on their back saying "we are great" . Viruses? We will let you scan all your attachments. Mail piling it your Inbox? We will offer you to file answered mail in your folders or delete it. Attachments? We will give you 20 MB of Briefcase to store your attachments. All this great service without the need to download one piece of software.

Yahoo! gives me FREE service with value I don't get from any other vendor of hardware, software or website. I have yet to meet another web service that is as reliable and simple to use as Yahoo. Had I lived somewhere else other than Israel, I think I would have also used their commercial services but we don't have Yahoo! Israel so the only thing I can do is write: "Thank you Yahoo!".

Send me comments about this article to hanan_cohen@fastmail.fm.

People are more important than computers.