Get a better name at Shortmail.me

When we launched Shortmail.com last summer we tried to make signing up easy by supporting sign in via Twitter and adopting everyone’s Twitter name as their Shortmail name. So @Ev in Twitter is Ev@Shortmail.com. That’s great for a lot of folks; and that relationship continues to be true. You can send a Shortmail to anyone by addressing it to Their_Twitter_Name@Shortmail.com.

But it turns out, lots of people contacted us saying that they love Shortmail, but they don’t love their Twitter name and could we open things up so they could chose a better name. So we did.

Today, we are announcing the opening of Shortmail.me, a sister service to Shortmail.com. It’s fully interoperable and has all the same great features as Shortmail.com. Plus it has a brand new, wide open name space. So people can go ahead and create a Shortmail.me account with any valid name (respecting the rights of others of course.)

So go to Shortmail.me and claim the name that best represents you or your business.  Or use the Shortmail iPhone app, which has been updated to make it even easier to sign up and start using Shortmail.

You can read the full announcement at 410 Labs.

And as always, please let us know what you think.

Using Sparrow and Dropbox to add private attachments

In the traditional sense, Shortmail does not support attachments. We think that extraneous logos, vCards, and content in Word documents or pdfs distracts from the message itself, and clutters the communication. But we do realize that sometimes it’s desirable to share a document, image or video – and one of the best ways to do this is to use a service like Dropbox.

Neil Boyd, one of our favorite beta users, recently video blogged how to use Dropbox and Sparrow to “send” an attachment over Shortmail. We love it!

Neil points out that all links embedded in a Shortmail message are shortened using our own link shortener, http://shml.me/. It’s true that you can play ‘link roulette’, seeing what links others are sharing on our site (you can also do this with bit.ly, and t.co). Since Dropbox links are often private (and obfuscated), this increases the possibility that the Shortmail/Dropbox user’s file is exposed to others.

Earlier today, we added a fix to our system so that Dropbox public urls are never shortened by our url shortener.

Now you can send Dropbox urls over Shortmail without the risk of having them available through yet another obsfucated url. And since the recently-released Sparrow 1.5 makes it so easy to use Dropbox to “attach” files to email, we hope our Shortmail users will continue to use these tools to communicate in ways that matter to them.

How do you prefer to “attach” files to Shortmail messages? What can we do to make it even easier for you?

Shortmail for iOS Is Here!

This is an exciting day for the Shortmail team! Since this summer, we’ve been working on creating a new Shortmail experience: Shortmail for iOS. It ships today, and we’re excited for you to try it and see what you think.

With the Shortmail app, we really feel like we’ve created something entirely new, and we are just getting started. Here are some of the app highlights:

  • Instantly converts Twitter accounts into Shortmail accounts. Using the Twitter integration in iOS 5 (which is required), we instantly convert your Twitter accounts into Shortmail accounts. No hassle, no signups, no passwords. It “just works.”
  • New messages delivered instantly – via push notification! Get instant, SMS-like notification of new Shortmails — no IMAP, no special configuration required. With Shortmail, email has a “first class” push mechanism, directly to you.
  • View conversations, not messages. Conventional mobile email clients show you individual messages – out of context. Shortmail is all about communicating with people and puts each new message in its proper place. More like text messaging, less like email – still compatible with any email address!
  • Support for multiple accounts. Having multiple Shortmail accounts is easy. Just add a new Twitter account and it’s automatically added to Shortmail!
  • More signal, less noise. Shortmail’s 500 character limit is long enough to express a complex idea, but short enough to ensure concise, clear communication.
We’re thrilled to be able to share this with you, and we have a lot more coming soon. We think you’ll be amazed how Shortmail for iPhone transforms your communications into something totally new.
And of course, we want to hear your feedback. Please let us know what you think. We have a lot more yet to come and we welcome your suggestions, questions, and ideas!