Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear Sophie, sorry it's just too difficult

If you haven't seen the Google Chrome ad "Dear Sophie" you should see it below. Being a dad, especially one with a daughter named Sophie, you can't help but feel the need to recreate this experience for your own children. Unfortunately, I found that trying to replicate this was much less heart-warming than the ad would suggest. For starters, Google doesn't allow you to create gmail accounts for other users. If you enter a child's birthday and they are less than 13 it will stop you also. Next suppose you forget to login to the gmail account for a few months, guess what, it just might be deleted. My issue was that since I never had a gmail account attached to my google account (yes they are separate things) and as soon as I tried to create a gmail address for my daughter, that address becomes permanently attached to my google account. Even if you delete the gmail account, I would never be able to assign my gmail account to it. Furthermore, my daughter would never be able to have her email address as it is permanently taken by my account. Of course I didn't want to simply give her my account which has access to all the other google services like this blog/adsense/analytics/picassa/youtube. My only recourse was to create a new google account for myself, transfer every google asset I have to that account, delete my old account, and try to recover it from google (supposedly recovering an account only recovers the username, my daughters new email address, but everything else is wiped clean). Now google is refusing to recover the account. Apparently, they are not sure if I am the owner of the account, despite the fact that I'm the one who deleted it. So now I'm stuck. My daughter won't have her email address. All this because google can't bring themselves to change gmail accounts on their google account.

I say screw it all and just create a private blog by limiting the permission of the readers. This eliminates the need to keep logging into your children's email accounts to keep it around. Since its private you can share it with them and only them just as any email account.

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