I need reading lessons or something.

I know that when people read on the web, they often skim. But I seem to forget that I'm one of those people too.

Someone pointed me at this story a little while ago and I read skimmed it (twice) as "Yahoo Mail will be providing 100MB of 'virtually unlimited' storage" which is obviously a dumb thing to say. We all know that Gmail offers 10 times that, right?

So I pointed this out to someone else (who also needs reading lessons I guess, but will remain nameless) that also agreed it was dumb.

(In case your counting, that's three people who collectively "read" the story a minimum of five times.)

You can see it coming, right?

I then sent out an e-mail to a whole bunch of people and essentially asked whose bright idea that was. Inevitably, a few moments later I re-read the message for the third time and finally got it.

The "virtually unlimited" is for paid users, while the 100MB is for everyone else.

Oh. Okay. That makes sense.

I, of course, now feel rather stupid and in need of reading lessons.

Crap! I should setup a procmail rule now to route the pending "hey moron!" replies to the trash.

Too much on-line skimming and not enough real reading can damage your brain. Consider this your warning.

Posted by jzawodn at May 13, 2004 04:05 PM

Reader Comments
# Scott Johnson said:

Hmmm, let's see. 100mb free at Yahoo or 1000mb free at Google. I think GMail wins hands down.

on May 13, 2004 05:06 PM
# Jon Gales said:

So is it unlimited for paid accounts? Some would say 1GB is "virtually unlimited". I'd be interested in knowing what Yahoo's definition is.

on May 13, 2004 05:18 PM
# Manuzhai said:
on May 13, 2004 10:03 PM
# Charles said:

Ah, time again for one of my favorite quotations:

"People never read. But if they do read, they don't understand. And if they understand, they forget."
--Stanislav Lem

on May 13, 2004 10:11 PM
# Barry Schwartz said:

I don't think Gmail wins hand down. I think Gmail has a lot to offer.

However, I do believe this upgrade from 4MB to an additional 96MB will give Yahoo! mail users a reason to stick around.

How many people hate changing email addresses or phone numbers.

Personally, I don't know how anyone survives on anything but 'unlimited' storage.

on May 14, 2004 01:00 PM
# TDavid said:

What came across to me as disingenuous were the reports that "this had nothing to do with GMail" ... obviously that's bogus *if* indeed someone really said that.

Yeah, yeah, we just "randomly" decided to upgrade free space from 4 to 100MB. Riiight.

on May 15, 2004 04:37 PM
# Lee said:

OK, maybe I'm still missing something, but what the heck does "virtually unlimited" mean?

Google says 1G for Gmail.

Yahoo says 100M for free users.

Yahoo (and JZ) says "virtually unlimited" storage for paid users.

Again, what is "virtually unlimited" - 1G, a petabyte, 101M?

"virtually unlimited" - in this context (not this blog; in the stories) is a marketing phrase that seems meaningless. It's a quantifiable value, not "looks cleaner than the competition" type thing. Numbers vs. subjective values.

What are the ACTUAL numbers?

on May 15, 2004 06:54 PM
# Sarah said:

I came up with a way to completely eliminate spam but no one seemed interested. I think because it required such a massive overhaul of the current system. Anyway it is not spam that takes up my time, it is those darn e-mails that actually need to be read and processed.

on May 18, 2004 01:49 PM
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