Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Google makes gmail smarter

Don't we all hate our mailbox. Tons of emails in spam and almost as much in inbox which are not marked as spam. Hard to know which ones we should read first. Hardly to tell which is important or which one is not so much interesting.

NY times is reporting that Google has a solution for this. Google has a lot experience in writing algorithm for spam filters and optimized their code and to overcome email overload in the last 10 years. Google is applying same algorithm base for their new inbox function.

Google is trying to come to the rescue with a new Gmail feature announced Tuesday called Priority Inbox, which monitors your messages and tries to organize your inbox based on a number of criteria, like how often you correspond with a particular sender.

Google explains that the first thing Priority Inbox does is split your inbox into three sections: “important and unread,” “starred” and “everything else.”

“Important” messages are judged to be the most significant, and sit at the top of your Gmail window. Next is the “starred” area, the messages you say are important. Finally, “everything else” includes those messages that can probably be dealt with later, or completely ignored — the ones that aren’t quite spam, but don’t need to clutter up your screen or your brain right now.

A spokesman from Google said Gmail looks for terms and people that you categorize as important, or not, and decides whether those messages make it into your priority inbox accordingly.

The system also looks for the people you interact with on a daily basis, pushing their messages higher up the ladder. Finally the new inbox looks to see if a new e-mail was sent “directly to you, or if it is sent to other people too.”

A mobile version of the new function is not yet available but if it works well it will come soon.

The new feature will begin appearing in beta mode on Tuesday and will be available as an option for Gmail users as it rolls out across the service. Users will begin seeing an alert allowing them to switch to Priority Inbox.

There are other services with similar approaches to the inbox problem, including Sanebox, which prioritizes Gmail’s inbox with new folders, and Xobni, which works with Microsoft’s Outlook software.

This tool could be very helpful. I spend more time on moving my emails around and deleting them than actually reading them. And many times I forgot to go to a cool party because I missed to read the invitation. Of course this model works only well when it can learn from the user. You still have to make (at least at the beginning) the decision which mail is important and which not to help the system to learn.

- Posted using My iPad

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