Mohammad Al-Ubaydli’s blog

Advertising on GMail – not a bug, but a feature

Posted in People / organisations, Technology by Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli on June 24, 2008

About a year ago I began forwarding all my work e-mail to my GMail account. I did this for archiving purposes (unlimited e-mail rather than the 100 MB inbox my company’s Microsoft Exchange server allows), for quick searches (it takes too long to find an old message in Microsoft Outlook) and because the user interface provides threading of messages (also missing in Outlook).

What I really did not expect is the advantage of the advertisements. These appear at the top and to the right of each of my work messages and their targeting is based on the words in my messages.

This turned out to be one of the best ways to find innovative startups. For example, I am part of the research team working on data warehouses and we know that the extract / transform / load (ETL) process is a painful one. We all searched around for tools that help CIOs deal with this problem, but only I had an advert around their messages about data warehousing.

I clicked and got to Talend, and open source software ETL provider that looks really good. We are now arranging an interview with their CTO, Cedric Carbone.

Advertising on GMail – not a bug, but a feature.


3 Responses

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  1. BuZain said, on July 11, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks for sharing the ETL tool. I was looking for a better way to do the tons of ETL jobs currently done using MS SQL DTS and I believe Talend is a great candidate.

  2. […] Bush and the reporter Muntathir Al-Zaidi”. I have no idea why they advertised this to me (or this, or this), but I was so fascinated by who “they” were today: Russia Today’s Arabic edition. […]

  3. Dave C said, on March 4, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Hi, Thanks for sharing your story. I find it interesting that you got to Talend directly from your gmail account. Talend ( ) has some good and reliable software everyone should use. Thanks for your post.

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