Premium Spam

March 2, 2011

My spam filters seem to be having a tough time recently. I’m thinking more of email filters, rather than Akismet. That said, I wish that Akismet was a little less hospitable to certain Russian-writing agents. While I took a little Russian in high school, the main result was that I realized how bad at languages I am.

Three messages that gmail somehow let through (to andrew at changingway dot org) made me smile, though.

  • Healthier way to smoke.
  • Make happy the girlfriend! Present to the girlfriend unforgettable night!
  • hi! My neighbor died because his viral infection was mistaken for bacterial…

Each one pure spam comedy gold, but I have to give first place to the last on the list. The switch from the chirpy “hi!” to the details of death has a sort of brilliance.

If gmail is going to let spam through, then I’m not too unhappy that it picked these three.

Domain mapping is one of the paid upgrades available for WordPress.com. I use it: that’s why this blog shows up as changingway.org (it was born as changingway.wordpress.com, and will still answer to that uri). I also use the custom email feature of the domain mapping upgrade: that’s why you can email me as andrew at changingway.org.

I recently got an Android phone, and I want to use my changingway.org email on it. I could of course use the Android’s browser. But I’d prefer to use its Email application. Why? I’ll defer that question until the end of the post.

This post is mainly about how to use the Android Email app with the custom email feature of WordPress.com domain mapping. Usually, Email setup is pretty much a matter of giving the app an email address/password combination. For custom email, you need to do more than that.

Instead, you need to do some manual setup. You’ll need to tell the Email app about some things you’ll find on your custom email web site. Starting at the web page from which you manage your custom email, click on Settings (near the top right of the page) and then on Forwarding and POP/IMAP. You want IMAP (see here for why it’s preferable to POP).

Make sure IMAP is enabled, and click on Configuration Instructions. This will take you to a list of email clients and mobile devices: Android is of course a mobile device. Clicking on Android will take you to some incoming settings (e.g., IMAP server is imap.gmail.com) and outgoing settings (e.g., SMTP server is smtp.gmail.com).

Tell your Android’s Email app about these settings. It’ll ask you for them after you provide your custom email username and password. Note that your username includes your domain (e.g., andrew at changingway.org, not just andrew).

You have a few decisions to make, some of them arising from the fact that the Email app can manage multiple email addresses. You’ll need to give your custom email a name, and decide whether it’s the default address when you send from the email app. For example, the app on my Android knows andrew at changingway.org as CW, and uses it as the default address for outgoing mail.

If you are the target audience – people wanting to use the Android Email app with the email they got when they mapped a domain to their WordPress.com blog – then I hope that this how-to post was helpful.

Now, from how to why, and to three specific questions of why.

  • Why prefer the Email app to checking email from the Android browser? My main reason is that the Email app can display a new mail notification icon at the top of the Android screen.
  • Why use the Email app, rather than the Gmail app that also comes on Android phones? After all, the custom email account is a Gmail account. I haven’t tried the Gmail app. My wife actually bought the phone, and had it set up with her Gmail. So I’m not sure whether a custom email could be used for the Gmail app. If it can, I suspect that some of the above will be helpful.
  • Why use this phone in the first place? Some have said that the G1 isn’t built for email. Well, the G1 is the phone I have, and it works pretty well, for email and for other things. And there will be many more Android phones, each seeking to improve on the G1.

Web Week on Wednesday

August 14, 2008

Looking back over the past week (i.e. Thu to the Wednesday that finished an hour of so ago), the last few days seem to have been particularly busy. But representing the latter half of last week here is Jeremiah Owyang’s account of the many challenges facing the social media industry. Jeremiah starts with the lack of profits. He goes on to mention the cutthroat competition, and that’s one of the things driving profits down; I’d say the customer expectation that stuff on the web should be free of charge is another.

Gmail was the big story on Monday. Gmail Goes Down – Twitter Survives, as Frederic@RWW nicely put it. Many were tweeting about their lack of Gmail, but Twitter held up. The following day, Merlin Mann gave a good getting things done without Gmail (GTDWG?) tip.

As you can see, and as John at All Things Digital remarked, Apple (AAPL) has eclipsed Google (GOOG) in market value.

The blog comment service Disqus is high on many “I wish we had this at WordPress.com” lists, especially after its recent update. Mashable Adam wrote that Disqus has a shot at owning the commentsphere. But please don’t let its absence stop you from commenting on this post.

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