g-harmony : matching through mail

Yay! Gmail has new features again. They’ve also moved the location of the invites (again). I must say I like them much better along the side than across the top.

There was already a contacts list but they moved it to the side and gave it a pretty color. There is a slight problem with the algorithm that automatically adds people to your list because on mine, almost half are people I don’t know.

At first I thought that I was mistakenly looking at other peoples contacts. That idea didn’t last long because I figured after all the worry about gmail security, the last thing they would do is release a feature that shares contact lists without asking. Also it was a very silly thought. Bad Sunshine.

So then I realized that google was using gmail to get in on the popularity of online matchmaking. Instead of using odd commercials like e-harmony they’ve been a bit more discreet about it. Using similar technology to the one that generates appropiate text ads for you, gmail has been secretly scanning the text of your emails to discover your interests. They then put it into a custom database and run all sorts of tests to find a match. From my emails its very easy to tell that I am a css junkie that likes Futurama and… um… teaching? Well nevermind that. It’s not for us mere mortals to understand how gmail’s revolutionary matchmaking works. All of these unfamiliar names in my inbox must be the people that matched my profile. They probably share my love of… writing theses .

Ok so the people I don’t know are actually from a mailing list that I was subscribed to, but I think my theory was a lot more interesting.

What is REALLY cool about gmail (cool enough to justify all caps) is the way you can filter by contacts. So you click on one of the contacts (one of those complete strangers… some guy named Jordan) and it brings up all the conversations you’ve had involving that contact. Now that’s what I call sweet.

If any of you still don’t have an invite, I could be persuaded to part with one if you make your request interesting.

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