Sometimes when I am not around my Outlook Express, I've been in the habit of retrieving my Comcast and Yahoo! email directly from their respective web sites.
This used to be easy. Typing mail.yahoo.com or mail.comcast.com swiftly routed me to a sign in page or if I was signed in already, straight to a Web-based email interface where my new messages would be waiting for me in my Inbox.
Yet comparatively recently, that highly efficient routine has been thrown off track.
Why? Because entering each website through the destination URLs I've typed above now gets me to a page full of content teasers from each service's portal partners.
I understand the business imperatives of content spotlight-laden landing pages, but why is this desktop email detour is in place? Plus, when clicked, desktop email often needs a new browser window. I never had to turn off my pop-up blockers to enable an email view but now it's sometimes necessary.
And please don't add an extra degree of inconvenience by making the email link on these content partner landing pages all that more obscure.
Take Comcast's, for instance? There's the email link, in small type at the left-hand corner of the landing page:
Funny thing, though. Google doesn't make me wade through portal pages to reach Gmail. Would it be that Comcast and Yahoo! had that enduring wisdom.