Change your email-address: yes, no, or never?!

Email in Minnie’s boudoir by egoodman, on Flickr
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Once in a while it happens, that you have to change or want to change your email address. The need to change your email arises for example when you change your employer, or if your email address contains organizational information like name@department.company.com. If the company changes its organizational structure, or even its name (it seems to happen quite often today) you will get a new email address. This has to effects:

  • Hurrah! You left all those loyal spammers you couldn't get rid off behind! This will happen immediately.
  • Upps! You left some members of your network behind. It can take a little while to surface. For example this was brought to my attention at a conference, where people complained that they couldn't reach me using  my old email address that has been out of service for 3+ years.

So I wanted an email address that was valid for life. The way to go for me was to get a domain for myself. If you just want a personal domain there are commercial providers available that would offer such a service very cheaply. If you are the owner of your domain you can have it for your whole life. Now you can be reached using name@your-domain - a life long. If all your changing email addresses given to you by your institution(s) are forwarding to this one email, there will only be one postbox you have to check. I personally like that. I filter my email later.

If you want to use a webmail provider like gmail, then just forward all mail send to name@your-domain to your gmail account or let gmail access your postbox and get the mail for you. Make sure to set the reply-to address in your gmail account to name@your-domain so people will not see your gmail account and start using it (you might want to change it in the future).

Since you are planning to use this one email for a long time. You should be weary not to invite spammers and get a good spam killer application, if it does not come with your webmail provider.

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