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Vanity, thy name is... Yahoo?

RocketMail
A blast from the past

Yahoo is poised, in just a few minutes, to begin accepting registrations for @ymail.com and @rocketmail.com e-mail addresses.

That's all well and good. But I really hope this isn't seriously thought of as a maneuver against Google's ever-growing Gmail.

In fact, it seems obvious to me that the people most likely to adopt a Ymail address are... Yahoo's existing users. Oh, and spammers.

They're not going to win any of Gmail's users, that's almost certain. Unless, of course, they're looking to snap up an additional "vanity" address. Because, for some reason, they can't do so on Gmail... or on one of the hundreds of other free services out there. And because they either are unwilling or incapable of registering their own domain name.

Thus, Yahoo seems to be targeting a market that cares a little -- but not much -- about their personal brand. The kinds of folks who aren't willing to spend a dime to stand out, but who crave individuality. And evidently, they're expected to find it on the world's largest Webmail service... along with millions and millions of others.

I quote from the announcement: "People can finally say goodbye to CutiePie4Ever80 or mattclark1977@yahoo.com and get a new Yahoo! e-mail address at ymail.com and rocketmail.com."

Of course, getting your hot new e-mail address depends a lot on timing. After all, saying goodbye to CutiePie4Ever80 means little if you're late to register your shiny new ymail.com address... and have to suffer the ignominy of settling for CutiePie4Ever80@ymail.com.

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