Mailinator

I mentionned Mailinator in the previous post. May I suggest two links for your reading pleasure?

Paul Tyma, who developed it, explains why mailinator works for him:

I've left many registration webpages on my screen right at the point where I was supposed to enter an email. My internal thought process weighed putting in my real email versus creating a fake yahoo one. Eventually, my lazy butt decided it wasn't worth registering for either option. [...]

You can sign-up for a Yahoo account in about 4 minutes. But you know what, its not about the 4 minutes, its about the context switch. By the time I finished the Yahoo account, any excitement I might have had for the original registration might be gone. [...]

Mailinator removes that problem (for fake emails anyway) because you can invent that email in your head in an instant. You don't need to context switch. Once your done signing up (which was step 1), you can go check your email at mailinator (which is step 2). With a fake Yahoo account I would have needed to do step 1a, then signup at yahoo (step 2a - which as we discussed really has about 15 individual parts), then 1b, and 2b.

Adrian Holovaty points that Mailinator is changing the '1 e-mail per person' mentality. He likes it but also weights the idea from a content provider standpoint:

I love the idea. I think it's brilliant, and I admit to using Mailinator half a dozen times since I learned about it last week. In certain situations -- like the other day, when I needed quick access behind a news site's registration wall and didn't trust it with my real e-mail address -- it makes perfect sense. We live in a world where privacy policies are either too long to read or too short to trust. [...]

But the honest online-content provider and Web developer in me don't like what's happening here. Requiring a unique, valid e-mail address is a convenient way to limit the use (or misuse) of certain legitimate Web applications. Typical Web bulletin-board software, for instance, allows only one person to register under a single e-mail address.

Like Adrian, from a personal then from a content provider standpoint, I have used Mailinator already and can appreciate its convenience, but I realize how fragile the notion of valid email address can be.

Mailinator is one of those things that one can love and/or hate but that will leave very few people indifferent.

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