Web Mail 5.15 released April 30

This morning at about 2:30 AM EDT we released Web Mail 5.15. The only change in this release is the addition of the optional News Preview feature described in this post.
Let us know if you find this feature useful or if anything doesn’t work as expected. As mentioned in the description linked above, a future release will give some customization options for choosing the type of news to show in your preview. Also, if you want to skip the news and have your login go straight to the Inbox, just click the link “Choose my default view” and set the option there.

54 thoughts on “Web Mail 5.15 released April 30

  1. Being able to turn off ads would be a HUGE improvement, although I worry about the “upgrade” phrasing. I hope, as I am already paying for Earthlink email, that it’s not a cost-added upgrade just to turn off ads that shouldn’t be there in the first place. (I’ve never personally seen, or heard of, any other company subjecting paying customers to ads on their webmail clients, although I am sure there must be counter-examples of that. [maybe AOL has ads? They seem to love them]) If Earthlink wanted to offer free email, that would totally be understandable to cover the client with ads.
    Again, I thank you for having this blog and letting us give feedback… believe it or not from my last few messages with complaints, Webmail is about the only Earthlink-branded page I use so it’s in my best interest to give feedback to make it the best it can be. 🙂

    Thanks for the feedback. No, we are not unique in having ads in Web Mail for paying customers. If you haven’t already, you may want to read this thread about advertisements, and my responses about how we do strive to make the ads have as little affect on usability as we can. There is a welcome change coming up in a few weeks that will move the ads to a less intrusive location on the layout, and make it even more usable. I’ll be posting details about that soon. We do also have free email accounts at EarthLink which you can get here. All Web Mail users get the same experience at this time except those paying for a Premium Email account (email only) althrough free users do have a few feature limitations.
    Email Guy
  2. I don’t mind you directing me to a “news” page, but at least you could change the news every once in a while.

    Sorry, that is being fixed right now. Our news feed provider had a problem.
    Email Guy
  3. I don’t mind the news headlines, but – AFTER FOUR DAYS – is Sheryl Crow’s adoption and the two-nosed cow in Wisconsin, still the most important news you have to report? I mean, there’s a war in Iraq, Iran is developing nuclear weapons (nuke-u-lar weapons?) and Sunday night was the final episode of Survivor!

    Our news feed provider is working on this problem right now and it should be fixed within an hour or two. Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad to hear from users who find the feature useful (when it is current anyway).
    Email Guy
  4. I think what most of these comments reflect is a first reaction before taking a look to see how easy it is to turn off the news view.
    No offense, but did you read the comments or just parse them? It’s not a question of making it easy to turn off the news view; it’s the matter of forcing a new feature upon us without considering what people want. And quite frankly, I find that remark of yours condescending and offensive.
    I’d also point out that prior to this change EarthLink was virtually the only Web Mail service without a Welcome/News screen when logging in.
    Then why not keep it that way, thereby keeping your customers loyal and happy? Seems to make more sense in the long run.
    The difference is that we are the only one that lets you turn it off, because we are concerned about giving users choices.
    Then why not offer customers the choices they want? No ads or a news feed on webmail both seem to be things that paying clients are asking for.

    Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I apologize if my prior remarks were taken as condescending, that certainly wasn’t my intention. As for ads and choices, we are working on a way to offer some upgrade options for the Web Mail experience, including turning off advertisements. Look for more on that in the near future.
    Email Guy
  5. Sorry web guyh, but please add my voice to those who object to adding the news to mail. My wife uses compuserve, and it is significantly easier to get to her email than for me to get to mine. Fewer key strokes, etc.
    Please look at the comparative ease of deleting messages from the in box, and from the suspect mail box. the in box takes one key stroke to remove a message. Suspect mail, which is almost always trash, takes more. This is just the opposite of what should be. It would be appropriate to fix that, instead of spending time on the news.

  6. Email Guy, with all due respect, please read the comments that have been posted. This isn’t a “first reaction” that is contingent upon simply turning it off News. It is a reaction to Earthlink’s continued “feature creep” in Webmail with additional stuff that is at best irrelevant, and at worst (like the ads, for paying customers) annoying.
    Many (most?) of the other Web Mail services that have start pages are free– they are trying to push you into other services offered by that company. Again, we are paying customers of Earthlink, and want the internet our way. If I wanted news headlines in my email, I’d sign up for a service. If I wanted a portal, I’d use My Earthlink or some other portal site. I don’t want either of those.
    Please don’t take this as a flame. We want this service to be the best it can be. I have my Webmail account open almost all day at work. I find it very useful. What I don’t like is when things are added in an almost arbitrary fashion, and then near unanimous criticism is written off as “Oh, once you turn it off, you’ll be ok with it” — the issue is that we HAD to turn off a feature we didn’t ask for and a large number of us didn’t want. When almost 50 of your paying customers come to your blog to post and say it wasn’t a good idea, please take that as a fairly good indicator of a much wider customer issue. It’s not like it’s even close with people saying “Hey, I like it, don’t be so hard on it.”
    Thank you for this blog, and the chance to express our feelings. Maybe this is a sign that a “customer feedback group” or the like is needed, to better understand how people use Webmail?

  7. I dont know why anyone would be upset to have top news headlines appear when opening web mail. I like it!!!!!! if you dont , just go to your inbox. Boy that is to hard!!!!

  8. I can understand why many users prefer not to have the news preview before accessing their Inbox. That’s why we put a prominent link right at the top of the news area that says, “Choose your default view”. When you click that, the choices are “INBOX” and “News”. Click Inbox, and you won’t get the news view again.
    We decided to make news the default in order to expose the feature to all users and to get new users to click and try out our portal site (where all the news link go to) which has a lot of other great features. The inconvenience of turning it off is one-time, and easy to do. Although not reflected in the comments in this thread, we have quite a bit of positive feedback through other channels including the feedback mailbox. And most users have chosen to leave the view enabled.
    I think what most of these comments reflect is a first reaction before taking a look to see how easy it is to turn off the news view. I’d also point out that prior to this change EarthLink was virtually the only Web Mail service without a Welcome/News screen when logging in. The difference is that we are the only one that lets you turn it off, because we are concerned about giving users choices.
    I do appreciate the feedback. We have been careful to make sure you have a choice, and I believe we have made it easy to select that choice.
    Email Guy
  9. By looking at some of the other comments, it seems that you don’t get it. WE DO NOT NEED NEWS ON OUR E-MAIL!! It’s just another button to click on before getting to our e-mail. If we wanted news we’d read it on the Start Page. WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?

  10. I am SO glad to see how many others dislike/hate/are ticked off/ etc. about your new news preview. I sent a message last week immediately upon opening and seeing it, but I didn’t post it here. I have been a customer for many, many years and you’ve really messed up here! We don’t want the news shoved down our throats! We go to this site to clear our email of anything unwanted and we DON’T WANT THIS NEWS PREVIEW! Or we use it when traveling where we are bombarded with news. So, get rid of it and SOON!!! If I want to see the news I’ll seek it elsewhere. I’m paying you and YOU ARE NOT SERVING ME/US.

  11. I thought I would be the only one who didn’t like the idea of the news headlines being the default over the Inbox on a MAIL site. A lot of people have posted in the Comments area under the announcement of this feature’s debut last Monday. These have been placed without further comment by you. Can you please post something either here or in that area that will let us know that Earthlink misjudged on this and that the Inbox will be back to being the default, like it logically should?
    OK, I know you can’t say that if it isn’t true, and it is probably not true. We may be 31 like-minded souls and may be the ONLY 31 like-minded souls in Earthlink’s customer base. There may be 31,000 who love this new feature and are being a silent majority.
    So, if anyone out here is reading this and wants to post that you like this new feature, please do so in order that Earthlink will get some positive feedback and thus be able to determine whether it’s just a small group of complainers who are critical of this new default, or, as I suspect, the 31 who have posted are the tip of the iceberg and are representative of Earthlink customers as a whole.

  12. Setting the news as default is annoying, and the option to turn it off seemed to be buried in the preferences section. It is annoying and quite useless. We PAY for this email service, yet we have advertizing on the top and now a news link crowding up the sidebar? Please take it off, and let our mail just be for mail.
    P.S. Why didn’t this new release include the option to drag and drop messages? That would have actually been useful.

  13. I join in the chorus of posters declaring the news headlines to be inappropriate default material for the WEBmail page! Please dump this (mis-)feature … or at least make the default setting of the governing preference be to see our inboxes first, and *not* news (that is, make it “opt in” rather than “opt out”).
    Oh, and speaking of that preference … it doesn’t work, at least not for me. Each of the three times I’ve used webmail since this misfeature intruded, I’ve tried to set the preference to make it go away. But it won’t … every time I submit the change in preferences I get the error message “Sorry. Your preferences could not be permanently saved. Changes to your preferences are for this session only.”
    Bad move, guys.

  14. I found it totally annoying that the news suddenly started appearing (without warning from Earthlink) as my start page. I didn’t ask for it and don’t want it. I can get news anywhere. When I log on to Earthlink, I want my e-mail…period!
    I had to take time to go to preferences and change it back to my e-mail as the start page (which was easy enough to do), but it was something that was simply not needed. You guys should be spending time working to fix the problems that exist, NOT creating new ones for us!

  15. I don’t like, or want, the news brief page getting in the way of getting to email. I get more news than I want elsewhere. Take it off

  16. Re.: Brandon’s suggestion
    He/she just doesn’t get it, as EL also apparently doesn’t. The rest of us do NOT want anything related to news on our web *MAIL*, not even the supposedly convenient link thereto, which just wastes another line of precious screen real estate. In fact we don’t want *anything* else, not even a digital ticker tape (which eats up CPU power), that is not about mail.
    As for worthy disaster alerts, I have a special radio for that. They formerly were called Weather Radios, but a while back NOAA “enhanced” them to include other issues (e.g Amber Alerts). If it isn’t important enough to qualify for the Emergency Alert Radio, I’m not interested!
    As for the advertisements ever going away: I’d bet on hell freezing over first.

  17. I don’t often agree with everything EVERYBODY says.
    But I agree with EVERYTHING EVERYBODY has said to date on this subject!

  18. Hot Dang!
    I thought I would be the only person who was *TOTALLY PISSED* by the new news feature!
    Add my vote to the “Kill This” column.

  19. Earthlink gets worse and worse. If I hear about a provider that has more respect for its PAYING customers, I and obviously many others here, will switch. By more respect, in case the employee reading this is allowed to listen, we mean stop inundating us with ads, the latest being “news” from which you expect a profit, but have the direpsect and gall to present to your paying customers as a “service” for them.
    I have two ideas:
    (1) to Earthlink employees: pass the word up corporate chain that you do not like working for a company like that, and if they do not respond, then find a better job for your soul. I hope in time that as the quality of employees decreases, companies like Earthlink fade into oblivion where they belong. The decision ultimately is the consumers’ and employees’, if we can collectively get it together to demand what does not exist now, corporate ethics.
    (2) fellow customers, we can impose some justice here, using Earthinkk’s site to answer this: what are the best companies to switch to, for those of us fed up with Earthlink? share your info.

  20. The news feature doesn’t bother me so much. It’s easy enough to just turn if off if you don’t want it. Frankly I’d rather see news headlines within webMail than flashing, obnoxious advertisements. How about replacing the ads with news headlines links? When users click on the news links, they can see ads on with their news, but not in their mail. So you still get your ads revenue, and you get happier webMail customers.

  21. I have to agree, I dislike it, and turned it off as soon as I found the option to. Entirely useless, IMO.
    I also agree that the headlines link, if it must remain, needs to be moved far away from core email menu items.
    Thanks for asking for comments, even though it’s looking pretty one-sided so far. 🙂

  22. Simply another useless feature. Another click of the mouse. Want news look for news on the home page. I deleted the feature and caused other problems.

  23. “The only change in this release is the addition of the optional News Preview feature […]”
    When the feature is “optional”, why was I forced to change my settings on ALL my email addresses individually, so I won’t have to see the news anymore? What a complete waste of time – the news headlines were FORCED upon me (literally shoved in my face), when I wanted to read my MAIL, nothing else!
    Like other people, I am seriously thinking of changing my provider. This “optional feature” is just another drop in the already full bucket …

  24. As if having ads shoved down a PAYING customer’s throat isn’t bad enough, we now have to have news headlines forced upon us?!?! Granted, it was easy enough to revert back to having the Inbox as the default view, but why in the world should we be forced to do this? Last I checked, I was signing into Web MAIL, not Web NEWS! I don’t want news headlines in my web mail! Heck, I don’t even want to see the “News Headlines” link on my screen!!! Whose brilliant idea was this anyway? Oh… let me guess… probably the same fool who thought it would be a good idea to put ads in paying customers’ Web Mail! (Note to self: Stop procrastinating and find another ISP already!)

  25. I use webmail to view my email….period! I found this News Preview to be a nuisance! I don’t log into webmail to get my news. Luckily I found the option under preferences to change it back to INBOX.

  26. The news coming up when trying to access my inbox is ANNOYING!!!
    I can already check the news on my start page. Please discontinue this!

  27. When I am at my home page, I see the news, I want to read my e-mails, not the news. Please take it off.

  28. Considering that webmail is for users only who PAY for using it through the regular isp charges I am NOT HAPPY about the additional screen I have to ignore. Advertising banners are bad enough without this nonsense.

  29. This new “enhancement” is unwelcome, unwanted, unneeded. If I wanted news, I know where to go. Please, just give me my email, and remove the clutter!

  30. OOOPS….
    I’m with all the other posters. It was a nice try but, I fear, a non-starter. Like others, I customized my start page to give me the news I want right up front.
    That said, it was a nice effort. Now, what’s next??

  31. Get rid of the new “news” feature in E-Mail. It takes long enough to open already.
    My home page has more news than you could ever want.

  32. Just my opinion, but I don’t find this feature useful. There are many other places online to read news headlines. If you choose to keep this feature please give users the option of turning it off if they so choose.

  33. I don’t like the new News you have added, especially the part that tells you you have email, which includes spam mail as well. If I want to read the news this should be my choice not yours on when and where I read it. I would like it removed from my web email ASAP!

  34. What’s up with webmail today?
    My account suddenly and inexplicably switched from displaying the in box as the default to displaying a news feed. I didn’t select this option, don’t like it, wasn’t happy to have to manually switch back the options to default to the in box.
    I don’t need instructions to correct this, but other users might.
    It seems like a poor way to introduce a service, if that was what was intended.

  35. I really do not like the new webmail. After signing in, the system takes you to a screen with news highlights, and your inbox count. News highlights are everywhere on the web, and the added step is unnecessary and useless. Whose bright idea was that and what is their company email address, so I can tell him/her myself.

  36. I noticed the new “default” today when opening my earthlink webmail accounts. You are forcing us to see some page about news headlines. How can I turn that annoyance off?
    Thank you.

  37. I was the first one to complain about this when it was first announced. I figured I’d be the only one who wouldn’t like it. I see I’m not alone, so now I feel freer to say, “Bad idea.”
    I have four email addresses for which I use Web Mail. Today, I’ve taken care of the two I use the most. I really don’t look forward to taking care of the other two eventually. It would be nice if you could put in an option in which I could apply all of my Web Mail preferences to all of my Earthlink-based email accounts. I realize that not everyone wants this option – some may want one email address in which someone has to be approved to get emails through (high security), plus another email address in which anything that doesn’t get stopped by Earthlink’s Spam Blocker gets through (medium security).

  38. Sorry. it’s not a pertinent feature. This user has news/information sources pre-established. The additional layer over the email is unnecessary. TNX – MS

  39. STOP messing with what works. Getting to the earthlink mail page takes long enough as it is, then to find a news page that I must figure out how to bypass – this isn’t what I need. No more surprises – PLEASE!

  40. I hate having to look at yet one more screen. I have dial-up as high-speed is not available in my area. While I’m complaining, I have those moving ads as it slows down stuff for us dial-up folks.

  41. I don’t like to read news when all I want to do is read my email. I read the news on the Earthlink home page. So get it of off my email address now. That feature stinks really bad.

  42. This is a worthless feature, and truly aggravating when using a slow connection. If I want news, I’ll go look at a news website. When I go to my webmail address, I expect to see the email and nothing else. What fool came up with this GFI?

  43. The new “feature” is a “new”-sance. Get rid of it. There are one million places to get news online, and the place where I check EMAIL should not be one of them (hence the term webMAIL). I can’t wait to figure out how to bypass this annoyance and get back to the business of reading email.

  44. I still think it is wrong to have the default view of webmail to be anything but email, as apparently other users think, but at least I can turn that off. I’d like to request that the “News Headlines” link be moved away from the important email links “check mail” and “write message”. Or at least have it separated from them with a line, as the spamblocker link is.
    I’ll restate my view on this: I want webmail to be a simple, quick and light weight interface to my email, completely focused on my email, and not an integrated portal to the web.
    And thanks for being a good sport about the complaints!

  45. A news feature you’re forced to read before you are able to check your e-mail? Please get rid of that–bad idea. If I wanted news, I’d go to a news site! What were you thinking?
    Where are the clearly posted instructions on how to turn the unwanted feature off?

  46. At 6:40 A.M. PDST I saw your “new” web mail feature – “news”. Isn’t that suppose to be on the main Earthlink Mypage?? Just how is it related to my email??? Personaly I do not like the change, I use WebMail to screen my email before starting Thunderbird to download it, I don’t need or want the ‘extra’ garbage. There are news feeds for what your doing. PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK.

  47. The news feature is not useful. It’s what brought me here to find out how to turn it off. You might find this hard to believe, but when people come to the webmail page they are looking for their email, not the news.
    Thanks though for making the “turn off” instruction readily available here.

  48. What the hey?! Web Mail is MAIL. If I want news, I go to my personal start page. Or I turn my TV set on. Or I read my newspaper. But when it comes to my e-mail (I have 4 e-mail addresses, two with Earthlink and two with Juno), it has to be MAIL ONLY.
    You know that old saw? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Exactly. Please leave Web Mail alone.
    I am very tired of getting anywhere from two to nine start pages when I first log on to Earthlink in the mornings, I am sick and tired of EL disconnecting every 1.5 minutes or every time I click on something, and now the e-mail?
    I’ve been with EL since version 1.0, since April 1998 (dial-up), and I am very, very, very seriously investigating other ISPs because I’ve had it up to here with what has been happening for about three weeks.

  49. being. (why all lower case?) If I wanted more “news” I’d of asked for it. That said it would be OK as a public service to have a disaster notification scroll bar -but I don’t need the modern Journalist.

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