Google Apps Custom
Anyone else getting freaking tired of how Google Apps creates a new Google Account for every new domain/organization you’re a part of? Well, I am. I’m tired of having around 10 Google Accounts, having to sign in and out of them all the time, etc…
I present to you: Google Apps Custom (GAC). The idea is to replace the free version of Google Apps but to work substantially different. Instead of creating new accounts, this package would collect existing Google Accounts. It would allow for domain aliases and everything, but all those aliases would fall into a user’s personal Google account. Here’s an example:
- I own email@example.com
- I own a few domains (e.g. meatyjuicy.com, milkybacon.net and allyourfoodarebelongto.us)
- I create a GAC account and add my custom domains to it
- I then proceed to add my Google account (aka firstname.lastname@example.org) to my GAC account.
- I can add other Google Accounts to my GAC account too. All I need to do is add them and assign them aliases
- Other GAC accounts can add me as well.
Notes: (1) All emails/accounts count to one’s personal storage limit. If a user needs more storage, they can upgrade their Gmail account. (2) Aliases should be domain-specific unless otherwise noted. That means that, for example, I can add my dad as email@example.com but not necessarily firstname.lastname@example.org, but I can set dnsinfo@.
This would be a win-win for Google. It has the potential to increase the number of Gmail paid accounts plus it avoids the incredible myriad of Google Apps accounts just to add custom domains. It would also be perfect for communities and encourage new users to sign up for their own, personal Google account so they can be added to the community.
One other interesting feature that could be added would be “shared aliases”. These would be email@example.com that would be received by multiple users and, using some technology that already exists (in Docs and Wave), real-time interaction: if user A is shared email, user B would be notified of that, including real-time composing of new emails and replies from that shared aliases (activated as soon as that alias is selected from the “From” dropdown). These shared emails could have some sort of visual indicator so as to distinguish them in your Inbox. The truth is this technology is out there and we’ve all used it in multiple circumstances. I’m just coming up with ideas on how to use it… :)
Well, first of all, I’d like to get this post to someone at Google. I’d like to hear their thoughts on it, even if they can’t commit to anything. I’m pretty confident with the ideas I’ve presented here. If you want to get in touch with me, please do so on Twitter. Thank you.