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First week, second one..

I didn’t have much time to review and update my blog but, as I’m here in a Starbucks in downtown Seattle waiting to get a bus to the new destination, I thought it was worthy to write down some notes.
The MVP Global Summit (#mvp11) has been a great experience to me, to my colleagues and, to my knowledge, to the MVPs. It’s always amazing to get together in this place, far far away from our hometown. It’s about building relationships, interacting with the Product Teams, engage on with new opportunities and of course having a great time during the evenings. Great technical sessions, an amazing event organization, the Safeco Field Party, the Product Group dinners, I think almost everything was perfect. Of course there’s room to grow and of course some of you may not have been that satisfied with a particular session. But it’s not that easy to accomodate all of you, because of the different backgrounds and skills you may have.
Personally, I’m very happy with the whole event. Every year is better and better.
I had almost 100 MVPs coming from the Region I represent which is huge and my only regret is that I didn’t have the chance to talk with all of you guys. I just wanted to talk with all you but I just couldn’t ! 🙂 At least I met almost all of you which is good.

Time flies and now you’re probably headed back home. I hope you’re taking with you great memories to tell your friends and families..

I’ll see you soon !

Gmail cooler than Hotmail ?

During one candidate review and another (:)), I thought about writing a post about e-mail messaging offering. And this is something I’m thinking about for several days.

I wanted to compare the 2 services from a higher perspective (but you can find a detailed one in the link provided below). I selected Hotmail and Gmail as they are the most used e-mail services abroad (so please bear with me Yahoo and AIM users :)).

So the question on my mind was: why users tend to adopt a Gmail account?

There are a number of features we need to keep in mind.

Free space: Gmail now offers around 8 GB available space while Hotmail offered 5 GB, than 25 GB and now it’s almost unlimited (it detects if you need more space, and then it is automatically increased).

Filtering: they are both doing a great job on filtering messages

Spam: both are good in terms of junk emails. Someone would prefer one service or another but the Junk filters are both pretty good

Forwarding: with Hotmail you can send messages from different accounts (“on behalf of”) like Gmail, AOL Mail and Yahoo! Mail. Same as Gmail.

Advertisement: they both have it (on the web)

Security: they both use https encryption

Privacy: well, Google automatically scans e-mails to add context-sensitive advertisements to them. It seems your e-mails not read by a human but a bot will scan them to send ad-hoc advertisements. Also, senders’ emails are scanned too so (and this is one thing that really concerns me), if you have sensitive data to send to your customers, are you sure these e-mails are not really read by someone? What if you work for a Company which is a Google’s Competitor on a particular are? Hotmail uses Country-based advertisement so Microsoft does not need to scan your email messages. And a question: does Gmail “owns” the content you have in your Gmail account? That’s a question for you guys !

Search: Gmail does probably a better job in searching through your folders and emails as it uses the Google search engine (of course if you don’t access your emails through a client).

Web interface: Generally speaking, the Gmail web interface is thin and fast. Hotmail contains more advertisements.

Mobility: both services are accessible via a mobile phone easily. Of course if you have a Windows Phone 7, Hotmail works best. Same as you have an Android phone and a Gmail account (you have a dedicated application for that).

Other services: of course both of them try to drive their own additional services. Calendars, Contacts, SkyDrive, Windows Live Messenger, Office Web Apps, Google Buzz, Google Docs….you name it !)

Attachments: both are good now in terms of sending heavy files

There are probably other features I’m missing here but that’s ok to have an overview.

So, in the end, who wins? I think nobody wins and both are winners. So how come Gmail is perceived as cooler than Hotmail? Hence the reason why you tend to adopt one service for another. Does it depend to your needs? I don’t think so. Does it depend on space or spam filtering or mobility access? Not at all, I’d say.

The reason, IMHO, is brand awareness. Again, Google does a better job in branding its own services. Some of them are better than Microsoft’s ones, some of them are not. It’s the way in which it positions itself in the market. As someone said on Twitter: “#Microsoft writes software to sell software, #Apple writes software to sell hardware, #Google writes software to sell users”. This is no secret and an absolutely true statement: it corroborates what I’m saying here.

+ the power of the Long Tail. If you link branding (remember, Google is an Internet Company) with the Power of Mouth, than your chances of success are enormously higher. People talking about this particular feature or service to other people, online and offline, is the secret of success.

So, in the end, is Gmail cooler than Hotmail ? It seems so. And if you think about it, it’s in your head already. You don’t have to scroll down all the functionalities to see which service is best. It seems it’s already a fact (but it’s not, if you drill down into details). And this has been “caused”, believe it or not, by the Long Tail,  the Power of Mouth, together with a good Branding Awareness.

So, to go Off Topic for a while and apply this to other stuff: you can brand anything. I believe a lot of people in the IT Industry think marketing or digital marketing or whatever you wanna call it is just fluffy/it’s not important. But they’re wrong. If you do it wisely and effectively, it’s the most powerful thing you can do.

Even for yourself (go have a look to this book and read it if you’re interested in this…)

Link to: How Does the New Hotmail Stack Up to Gmail?

Just wishing you…

kontent`a liber`temp`o (Esperanto)! Feriae felices (Latin)! Tchestita Koleda! Честит празник! Sarbatori Fericite! Vesele Praznike! Sretni Praznici! Boldog Ünnepeket! Linksmų švenčių! Veselé svátky! Festi! Veselé sviatky! Wesołych Świąt! Kellemes szünidőt! Buone Ferie! Laimīgas Brīvdienas! Καλές γιορτές! Džiaugsmingų švenčių! Srećni Praznici!

 

English

 

summer

 

:)

Categories: Personal

Abruzzo Emergency

You may have heard what is happening in Abruzzo (Italy) and especially in the nearby area of the city of L’Aquila.

Please read on here and/or follow the below link if you want to actively help the earthquake victims

Link to: Supporto Tecnico Enterprise : Emergenza Abruzzo – la risposta di Microsoft

Categories: Personal

MVP Open Day – Greece: Interval

I’m here attending a roundtable so why am I posting? Because it’s in Greek :)

Seriously, the event is still running, for me it is a great opportunity to meet all the MVPs living in Greece. I already had my speeches and now we split into 2 different audiences to talk about the local office interactions. There are a number of important and very impactful communities and User Groups in the Hellenic land: from Autoexec.gr to DotNetZone to StudentGuru.

Right now the MVPs and Martha (local ITPro Audience Marketing Manager) are talking about an important forthcoming event: the CyberCrime Security Forum 2008 which will be held on the 29 and 30th of November in Athens – Piraeus.

Now I won’t bother them with my click-click so I’ll stop blogging ;-)

I got it !

After days and days and days of talking and rumors, what was I supposed to do? Simply talking ? Of course not ! (everyone needs to reward himself sometimes :))

treopro

I found the device @ 399 € (Vodafone branded) which is quite good, considering that in Europe, unbranded, it is sold at 100 bucks more. If you want to know more about the Palm Treo Pro, you can find specs and out-of-the-box videos everywhere.

So I won’t cover those topics but expect a solid review from me shortly ;-)

Link to: Treo 800w Specifications – Treonauts