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Re: A Nation of Bloggers and Googling by E-Mail

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2002 15:06:02 +0100 (BST)
To: Joe Clark <joeclark@joeclark.org>
cc: WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.21.0208241443560.4248-100000@jarl.webthing.com>

On Fri, 23 Aug 2002, Joe Clark wrote:

> A rather odd statement here:

It seems to me par for the course in a press release: someone has
added hype to something that's been around for a long time.

> >By most measures, Google dominates Web searching. Now you don't have 
> >to be on the Web to use it.

Until 1998, I was stuck on the "information dirt track", where
actual download speeds of 100 bytes / sec were a rare luxury.
In those circumstances I used web-by-email myself over several
years.  I even implemented such a service in (IIRC) '95.

> >A new service called GoogleMail gives you e-mail access to the 
> >popular search engine.

Not a bad idea, but certainly not new, and well under an hours work
to implement.

> >For example, GoogleMail is fielding many queries from places where 
> >online Internet access can be relatively expensive, like Russia and 
> >the Philippines. "People are creating e-mail queries offline and 
> >then going online just to send them," Mr. Newman explained. "Then 
> >they disconnect, and log back on later to download the results."

Yes, that makes sense.

> >The service has also drawn interest from blind users, who use 
> >special devices that read them their e-mail. Now those "readers" can 
> >handle Web searches as well. [...]

Interesting.  It would seem that googlemail have accomplished something.
Not a technical accomplishment, but one of raising awareness and getting
into the mainstream press.

> Just how is Google inaccessible to screen readers? It's almost 
> entirely plain text. Sending results by E-mail eliminates the one or 
> two graphics (which already contain alt texts) and nothing more.

I'll defer to Al Gilman's reply on that subject.

BTW, calling it "googlemail" looks to me a lot like a case of passing
off, using someone elses (deserved) reputation.  That kind of (lack of)
ethics puts me right off.

Nick Kew
Received on Saturday, 24 August 2002 10:06:09 UTC

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