gmail social graph

The power of Gmail

Written by Gennaro Gallo, ex-Google and ex-Oracle writing from Los Angeles.

Let’s start with a funny – or not so funny fact, if one of your friends you’ve been corresponding with uses Gmail, Google has your email. Anytime we email somebody who uses Gmail – and anytime they email us back – Google has that email.

Emails are an amazing medium, if you want to know people’s truest thoughts, as opposed to what they want you to believe, look at actions which are not being faked or where there is no gain in faking – in theory, they are called costly signals (sometimes called honest signals).

Amazingly, emails are not Messenger, Facebook chat or WhatsApp or else, they represent us to a greater extent and at a deeper level, they depict our socioeconomic interactions and our deepest behaviors/thoughts/sentiments; how we interact with our loved ones, with our clients and with social institutions (banks, hospitals, bring it on…).

Last night I used MIT’s Immersion tool – that I discovered last year while on a client selling Business Intelligence at Oracle – to find out the amount of network data Gmail and Gmail related interactions from within only my account have generated ever since I’ve used it. I was shocked. I suggest you test it.

This tool from the MIT Media lab has generated a new way for you to see your email, as a visualization of your life organized around people. A tool that maps your life based on every email you’ve…

The assertion here is that if just one person within an email exchange has a Gmail account then Google can see the email of the other recipients.

At your company, for example, one external consultant using Gmail can leak the whole social structure of interactions from the given time of the exchange ongoing.

The data quality and the data set here is probably mind blowing making Gmail one of the densest data generators in the digital space. Or the broadest set of data for Google to leverage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s