This is a blog post that I had started writing quite a long while back, and had somehow inexplicably filed away under "drafts". The link above points to a cool post wayyy back in 2004, where someone proudly exclaims that s/he has been invited for a gmail account. The first reply lays out the advantages of the gmail interface, including the labeling-over-foldering technique and the view-mails-in-a-conversation-thread innovation. These are of course now considered kernel for any self-respecting mail service. In fact, I have for some time stopped making much distinction between Email and Gmail. I recall in those early days I had a primary rediffmail account, a secondary yahoo account, and multitudes of hotmail accounts. The latter I signed up for just to test out the Incredimail software (which, I must confess, I was rather surprised even existed anymore). Those were the heady days of pioneers, testing out different sorts of email providers, figuring out which one is the coolest. Then, one day, I got an invite to gmail from JC. Inertia-loving that I am, I ignored such an invitation, preferring to stay true and loyal to my beloved(!) rediffmail and yahoo mails than sell my soul to the devil...read, gmail. I liked google, don't get me wrong. I just did not quite understand how a search engine could deliver mail. Anyway, a few days later, JC and I were conversing over phone, and he inquired about the invitation. To which I promptly expressed my disdain, and explained that I had managed to delete that invitation. He persisted, in true spirit of the one he is named after, and sent me yet another invitation. You must understand, in those days, each gmail user had a limited stock of invitations they could send out. Sending two invitations to the same person was a luxury one could ill-afford. yet, JC was persistent, and managed to make try out gmail. That was around 2004-05.
Need I say more?
p.s. Just checked, and it seems that my old rediffmail account still exists!!!