Wednesday, December 21, 2005

tips for using your anonymous email address

In the last round of secret pal, my pal accidentally included her "real name" in what should have been anonymous email. While it didn't spoil my experience, it did make me realize that some people might need help configuring an account to be anonymous.

Tips:

1. If you'd like an invitation to gmail, send an email to knitting secret pal 6 at gmail dot com (my previous anon email address). Just leave out the space and use @.com at the end.

2. When you sign up with most free acounts (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc) your "real" name is required. However, this is seperate from configuring the name that will show when you send email. You can usually change this via an "options" panel in the web based email client. If you have trouble with this, you can use the contact form on my blog to ask a specific question...just let me know which free account you're using.

3. It is helpful to configure your mail client (eudora, outlook express, outlook) to check your anonymous email account. You can also use your usual email interface to send email from your anonymous address...most of the free account now support "pop3" access which means you can use your mail client to check and send that account. Look in the help secion or search help for "configure mail client" or "pop3 access".

4. When you configure your email client, again make sure to protect your name. For example when configuring my gmail account for this round in Outlook, where it says "name" I entered "secret pal" you could put betty boop, elvis presley or whatever...just make sure it's not your real name.

5. If you have any doubt as to whether your name will show or not, use the anon account to send an email to your main email address. You'll get to see it exactly as your future pal will

10 Comments:

Blogger Gary Freedman said...

Secret pal? I have an imaginary friend. I get to talk all I want without ever getting interrupted or worrying about what he has to say.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Giulia said...

cheryl, unfortunately gmail is the only free email provider that allows you to download your mail using POP3 for free. both hotmail and yahoo charge a fee for that service, however it's possible to download the mail anyway using a small application called freepops ( http://www.freepops.org/en/ ).
that said, if you need more gmail invites, just let me know :)

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll add that gmail let me put "secret pal" as my "real" name. I did Secret as my first name and Pal as my last, so others can do that and skip the configuring display name part.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Sheilah said...

I've got extra g-mail invites as well if you need them.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Hello! I love this idea, but I'm a little confused on how it works. How do I set up a blog so that my pal can get to know me and give them my mailing address while still remaining anonymous? The only thing I understand is how to set-up an email account that hides my real name! Maybe I'm just tired and missing the obvious.
Thanks,
Tracy

8:25 PM  
Blogger Giulia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Giulia said...

tracy, since you already have a blogger account, you could do the following: create a new blog, make sure that it doesn't appear in your list of blogs (profile > select blogs to display, it must be unchecked), then in the template remove all the profile tags (see here)
your blog is now completely anonymous.

(sorry, had to remove the previous comment because the link got all messed up :D )

4:41 AM  
Blogger Giulia said...

then again, if you meant how you can remain anonymous to the secret pal you're giving to, well, this swap is a chain. your secret pal (the person you're sending stuff to) isn't the person who's sending stuff to you, and you only know your receiver and not your sender. if you want to set up an anonymous blog for your receiver, you can do so as explained above but it's not compulsory, as you're supposed to communicate with your pal by anonymous email. you're asked to provide a blog address which is mostly meant for your sender, to get to know you and to see if you liked the gifts.
so when you are matched you're given your pal's blog url and real mailing address, while he/she only gets to know your anonymous email.
hm, hope it's clear enough, maybe some experienced swapper could revise my post, or one of our hostesses? thanks :)

5:01 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Thanks for the help Julia, I think I understand. Basically it's ok that the person who sends to knows who I am, just not the person who receives from me. I guess the chances of someone I know being my pal is pretty unlikely anyway. Thanks again for the help!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Wait, now I am a bit confused. For my anon e-mail address I created an e-mail that happens to use my blog name in my e-mail address. However my real name isn't mentioned. Is that OK?

8:12 AM  

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