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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Got the Wrong Bob? (Hopefully) Not Anymore.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM

click to enlarge wrongbob_big.gif

​Imagine the following scenario: You're emailing your closest

friends about a night on the town, but purposefully exclude your ex-boyfriend

Jon after he recently dumped you for that trashy 21-year old dancer at the Gold

Club. (Hypothetically, of course.) You're including a big group, and in your

haste, you unintentionally include your ex instead of your brother Jon, making things a bit uncomfortable when he reads the

snarky line you included about moving on to "better...and BIGGER." AWKWARD. Well,

Gmail is trying to help prevent you from this latest bout of societal

mortification with their latest Gmail labs feature, "Got the wrong Bob?

Catchy name aside, this feature is not only helpful, but

smart. Here's how it works: Gmail has begun detecting (and likely saving) your

emailing patterns when you email multiple people. For instance, if you're

usually emailing Kevin Smith with Ryan and Joe, it recognizes this, so if you

inadvertently include Kevin JONES with your note to Ryan and Joe, it will

attempt to alert you before the email is sent.  Note that this only works when you're emailing a group, and

only through the actual Gmail interface (not through IMAP or POP settings if

you direct your Gmail to a local client). While not perfect, it certainly can

help prevent you from some uncomfortable - and if used in the workplace -

possibly terminal, situations.

To use this feature, log into Gmail and in the "Labs" tab

from your Settings, enable "Got the wrong Bob". They also suggest the following

as a way to test out this feature:

1) Think of three people

you often email together.
2) Compose a message to

two of them.
3) Start typing the third member of the group (for help you

can use one of the people we suggest in "Don't forget Bob"), but then auto-complete on the wrong name.

Note that they're also looking for real-life stories when

"Got the Wrong Bob" actually saved you, so if something like the above

(hypothetical, really) scenario

almost occurred, let them know. And pray for discretion.

Follow us on Twitter at @aubs and @sfweekly.

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Aubrey Sabala


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