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igmoe

why Gmail sometimes drives me nuts

When I first got onto GMail, I emailed everyone I thought would care that I had updated my email address. I did this in the logical fashion: I sent out a single message to them all and bcc'ed them on it.

I was horribly confused and dismayed to discover that everyone that wrote back to me got grouped into a single "conversation" in GMail. At first, I had thought that GMail's conversation feature was very cool and useful--and it is, when it works. In this case, though, it meant that thirteen different people were carrying on three completely divergent conversations with me simultaneously and all of the conversations were smooshed into one "conversation" that was a headache to sort out.

When it doesn't work, it vacuums badly.

I moaned my sad story to jcobleigh, who laughed and said, "Learning has occurred!" I ruefully agreed with him.

Then this afternoon, I did it again! I sent out one message to 50 people (of course with
the same subject line: "wedding pictures!") and now all of their responses (which are of
course about wildly differing things, like how they forgot to answer a lunch-invitation email two weeks ago, etc.) are being grouped in one giant
blob of a conversation!!

I guess learning STILL has not occurred...

Comments

*sniffle*

oh, and why don't you just change the subject so it'll group them differntly?

(Anonymous)

wedding pictures!

i'm not familiar with gmail's conversation feature. so when you send out a message with the subject, "wookie in lederhosen", all the messages you receive that also contain "wookie in lederhosen" get lumped together? is that what happens?

if so, then looks like this is a case of presumtuous software design. it assumes that folks that email you will bother to change the subject line to something that's relevant to their message. i think that's a rarity. i say you're the victim here, not the pupil falling through the cracks. you're the victim of software that is not as smart as it thinks it is, and of emailers with poor emailing skillz. see how cool and hip i am? i said "skillz."

-waiken
GMail tends to be a little bit better than that. It assumes that you will not have two separate conversations that each have the subject "wookie in lederhosen" at the same point in time.

If you send e-mails to two different people with the same subject within minutes of each other, GMail assumes they are the same conversation. I've sent out e-mails with the same subject days apart and it does the conversation threading correctly.

(Anonymous)

ah, but reveilles' problem is not that she starts conversations on various topics all labeled "wookie in lederhosen", but rather people who respond to "wookie in lederhosen" with unrelated matters. i suppose if there's learning to be done, it would be for reveilles to recognize when "wookie in lederhosen" is no longer a valid descriptor for the thread and remember to change the subject herself.

-w-w-
That makes conversation threading work from the point at which the subject lines gets changed. However, the reply made with the new subject becomes disconnected from the original conversation.

I find that conversation threading works right most of the time and is great when it works. Unfortunately, when it breaks, it breaks badly.
Yes, that's what silly_lilly said. I guess you guys are right; I just need to be proactive about the problem instead of complaining about it. :)

Btw, Chewie, you look SMASHING in those tights...
shiny

June 2017

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