More Bitching

Today seems to be a day of bitching/ranting.

It seems to me that when a company goes from focusing on one specific niche market and wanting to be the best at doing that one thing, to wanting to be the Internet Superpower of the 21st Century, that original focus dies. The idea Google started with and used to bring users to their little corner of the internet is going down the tubes and very quickly.

I have one little problem that apparently thousands of Gmail users have and Google is far from resolving the issue, despite claims to the contrary on 19 January 11 shared with users on Googles Gmail Help Forum. This is the problem:

In email, photos can be attached one of two ways:

  • Embedded within the email (inline) which is kind of like pasting photographs into a letter you’re writing.
  • Normal attachment which is akin to just shoving the photos in the same envelope as the letter you’ve written.

The problem that I and many others have is that Gmail is not showing the embedded photos most of the time and on the odd occasion they do show up, when the email is forwarded, recipients cannot view the photos. There is no problem when photos are attached by downloading them and then clicking the ‘attach files’ button. But who wants to ask people to go through all that trouble when simply clicking Forward should suffice?

There are countless threads already started on the same problem and one of those threads alone has 348 replies, all of them negative. People from the Google Team occasionally pop in to offer “helpful” suggestions, but none of the suggestions I’ve come across  work for me. There are others who don’t work for Google, yet who offer help in the Forums and are given the title Top Contributor, but they don’t really help. One such Top Contributor mentions some secret/private forum that he has occasionally forwarded issues to, but why does Google feel the need to have something separate?? Their employees responsible for the maintenance of Gmail should be accessing that help forum all day every day instead of letting people who don’t work for them be their front line and accidentally reveal the existence of some secret/private forum only special people have access to.

I don’t really know what I will do at this point. I joined Gmail way back in 2004 because I saw it as something new and better than Yahoo and Hotmail, but I see it quickly following the way of both of them. Technically, since Gmail is free, we only get what we pay for, but generally companies give away product to entice people to buy the other products they have to offer.  For instance, I have found that Saturdays are the best day to do any shopping required at Sam’s Club because they give away samples for free. These samples are meant to entice you to try what the manufacturer has to offer and spend money on other things they have to offer. The samples production mistakes gathered up in the hopes you won’t notice how bad they are, while at the same time promising that if you spend money, you’ll get the better product. The samples are a small part of what you will spend money on.

Companies like Google and Yahoo and MSN need to operate on the same principle, but sadly they don’t. All they care about is making more money and providing the illusion that they are the Internet Superpower of the 21st Century.