Gmail and the geek set

I’ve noticed lately how many of my friends and colleagues have adopted Gmail addresses. Although Gmail is still a very distant 4th place (after Yahoo!, MSN and AOL) when it comes to the broad Internet audience, it seems to have taken off among the geek set.

I took a look at my LinkedIn contacts. Here are the sources of email addresses among my professional contacts:

  • Employer – 40%
  • Gmail – 15%
  • Yahoo! – 12%
  • AOL – 12%*
  • Vanity (custom domain name) – 8%
  • School alumni association – 4%
  • ISP – 2%
  • Hotmail – 2%

Some things I found interesting in the data:

  • Most people (60%) don’t use their employer’s email address on LinkedIn.
  • Gmail has developed a following, despite having come to the email game much later than the others. This share most likely came at the expense of other providers; it’s unlikely that this group just adopted email when Gmail came out.
  • Hotmail, which was once synonymous with Web mail, is no longer cool.
  • My contacts know better than to tie their email address to their ISP.

Of course, this is all based on a sample of 1.

* Because AOL does not distinguish between employee and non-employee email addresses, I divided the AOL addresses into two groups: those that still work at AOL were counted as employer, the others were counted as AOL. All of the contacts counted as AOL are ex-AOLers who converted their business account.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is CEO of redesign | mobile. Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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One Response to Gmail and the geek set

  1. Doris says:

    I have Gmail, but I use it mostly to archive work-related messages. I rarely give out the address.

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