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Gmail's Crusade - Kill Embarrassing Email

Contributor:
David Silversmith
David Silversmith

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person?  Perhaps you have forgotten an attachment?  Or, maybe after a few too many beers you typed off an email?  Well - Gmail Labs wants to put an end to email embarrassment.

We've talked about reasons to switch to Gmail before, but it seems like Google Labs is quite busy coming up with new reasons and they seem to be focusing on ways to help avoid email embarrassment. 

The latest is another small, but useful feature that Google has humorously nicknamed: Got the Wrong Bob?  When you turn this feature on in Labs, Gmail will scan an email’s recipients to see if you are accidentally sending a message to someone you don’t want to be sending it to.  Gmail will look at your history of grouping people together in emails and make intelligent guesses if there is some anomaly in that list.  While this feature won't work effectively until you have used Gmail for awhile, in theory it could stop you from sending an email where both your current spouse and your ex-spouse are both recipients. 

This first feature is a companion to Don't forget Bob where once you pick some email recipients, Gmail suggests more people you might want to include based on the groups of people you email most often.

The most famous anti-embarrassment features is Mail Goggles.  When you enable Googles it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night email (weekend by default, but you can adjust). It does this quite simply by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?  I suppose if you are a math professor and a drunk this might not help you - but for most of us the math is hard enough when we're sober!

Now you might not have sent a drunken email, but almost everybody has forgotten to send an attachment.  Googles Forgotten Attachment Detector prevents you from accidentally sending messages without the relevant attachments. This utility prompts you if you mention attaching a file in the body of your email, but forgot to do so. To get a great look at the range of Gmail features that are available, check out this video from Matt Cutts.  Matt is a power Gmail user and a Google engineer and he shows which features of Gmail Labs he has enabled in his personal account.

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