A Day Without Email

Due to our growing business and the need for more bandwidth, we’ve been in the process of switching IP addresses at work. We ran the old and new IPs side-by-side for a couple of weeks, and finally turned off the old IPs on Friday.

Needless to say, there were a few glitches. That’s to be expected when technology is involved. What I personally wasn’t prepared for was the email outage that started sometime Saturday.

Like most internet and search marketers, I get a lot of email. Newsletters, forum notifications, account updates, Google Alerts, weekly reports, and more fill my inbox 7 days a week. It usually takes a few extra minutes every Monday to download all my weekend mail. This morning, I noticed that I had very few new messages – and most of them were internal. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I hadn’t gotten any external emails since sometime Saturday morning.

Our IT staff worked all weekend and all day today to get the issue resolved, and we finally started getting external mail a couple of hours ago. But any mail sent during the outage is, apparently, lost forever.

Which leaves me feeling, well, lost. Much of it I can do without – as a matter of fact, I’d been thinking about paring down my e-newsletter list anyway, since I don’t have time to read everything I get. But I really need the reports and notifications from the PPC engines. To make matters worse, some of my Google reports are stuck in “Pending” – even after re-running them and taking out the “email this to me” option. My Google rep is working on it, but since she couldn’t email me earlier today, even that process has been slow and inefficient. We’ve had to actually (gasp!) use the phone! I am really glad I have a rep team in Ann Arbor – I could call them at 9:30 a.m. Eastern instead of having to wait until the Mountain View office opened up.

Asking “what did we do before X technology?” is a common question, and I’m not nearly as plugged-in as a lot of my SEM peers are. I don’t have a Blackberry or an iPhone, I don’t Twitter or Stumble or Digg, and I rarely check email on my cell phone. In fact I rarely use my cell phone. But spending a day without email has been challenging. I do remember life before email, and I’m even (double gasp!!) old enough to remember working without it – but not as an internet marketer. Email is definitely in my “can’t live without it” category.

Update, 9/18/07: Turns out the issues with my pending Google Reports are unrelated to our email outage. Apparently this is a known Adwords issue, and Google’s tech team is working to resolve it. For once, I’m glad this is a Google glitch and not something we caused!

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