In furtherance of failing to post any original thoughts of my own, I'm going to tell you about my friend Dawn, who managed to recently do two things:
1. Join the new millennium and switch her email provider from Excite (which, by the way, refused to deliver any of my mail to her, each and every time); and,
2. Explain in plain terms why Google is the genius giant it has become.
Note that Dawn is a lot of things, but she's not an information age guru. She's not a tech biz junkie, nor is she electronically inclined. In fact, she doesn't own a TV. She's a wife, a dog and horse person, a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a damned good writer. She's terrible at keeping in touch for the most part, but when she does, it's always a learning experience. Take, for example, the email she sent me yesterday, in which she demonstrated point #2 from above, and which is posted totally without any kind of permission whatsoever:
"My new email is through google, and it seems to know what's best for me when it comes to picking out sidebar advertising depending on with whom I am corresponding, and about what. For some reason, whatever we are talking about makes it think of 'Guitar Lessons in Boulder' and 'Find a Therapist.' Hmm. There is a niche job for me right there. If I could only play guitar and or give advice."
Google, if you're listening--and I know you are--there's some gold there in that last sentence. What if, while you were pushing targeted ads, you could also provide some sort of career/life coaching to go with them? I know it seems like a long shot, but you were too once. Take that idea for free; after all, you're the Big Brother I never had.