Don’t use Gmail.
I found an article about migrating away from Gmail this week. I was struck by how painful it is to move away. Login and contact details all over the place.
I’ve never used Gmail. I run my own mail server(s). Always have. I still have all my email archived from 1996 days. Recently I’ve been tinkering with a few mail server configs and I realised, this stuff has become pretty complex.
I’d really like more people to use distributed, self hosted email systems, but we have some problems:
- Things like Gmail are very easy, convenient and free
- People are trapped in free email services – it’s very hard to migrate away
- Self hosted email can be complex, and not free (costs maybe 5 USD/m in virtual server hosting)
Why I don’t use Gmail:
- I can avoid it. I find it fun to maintain my own email services.
- I hate web based email services. Give me IMAP mail clients and mutt.
- The advertising business model behind free email can only have bad incentives – I don’t like the idea of surveillance capitalism
- I really don’t like the idea of some big evil empire having easy access to a large part of the communications in my life
- I would find it scary to not be in control of my logins details around the web
- The potential effort involved in migrating scares me – and the more you use it, the more you dig a hole for yourself
- Email is a network, if one person in the network hosts their email in a compromised place, it impacts the rest of the network – I don’t want to be that guy.
Don’t use Gmail.
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ps. if you find this topic interesting, let me know and I’ll write a post about how to host your own email services.