The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Friday, February 9, 2001

You Don't Have Mail!

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: For the past few years, I have had two email accounts. One of them I obtained many years ago; it's my main address. The other was a freebee at AOL, an "overhead" account, that I got when SonicNet did a deal with AOL a couple of years back. I always figured that if the day eventually came when AOL decided there was no reason to be floating me an account, they'd simply contact me and offer to let me start paying. At first, I didn't even use the AOL email address. I just occasionally logged into AOL to check on the SonicNet area. But then I ran into some problems when I attempted to send email from my regular account to people I knew that used AOL addresses. And so I began to use the AOL account to communicate with others on AOL — you know, the president of a record company, members of some rock bands that mean a lot to me. Imagine my surprise when I attempted to log onto AOL the other day and instead of the ol' "You've Got Mail!" greeting, I was informed that "This account is not valid." And that the "master account holder" could contact someone at AOL for further information. Whatever I am, I'm not the "master account holder," that's for sure. Hmmm. Over the years, whenever someone at the various sites I ran or companies I worked for offered me a company email account, I turned it down. I'll just keep using the ol' email address I've been using for years, I told them. To myself I thought, "No way are you going to let your email sit on some company server." Why, you might ask? Well, because the company you work for controls the server, and if they want, they can look at your mail. And I just never liked the idea of someone eavesdropping on my email. Plus, if (actually, not "if," but "when") you leave your job, you leave behind your company email address. Not my idea of fun. So I called up AOL to see what was up with my AOL account. And guess what, since SonicNet was the company that did the deal with AOL, any "overhead" accounts for SonicNet employees are the property of SonicNet; SonicNet is the "master account holder." The AOL folks — the three or four I was passed around to before we figured out that I wasn't the "master account holder" — ultimately said they couldn't deal with me. Gotta get someone at SonicNet to handle this for you, I was told. Damn, I thought, how could I let myself start relying, even slightly, on an email account I didn't actually control? If I'm lucky, I'll eventually get my AOL account back. If not, hopefully I've learned my lesson. But let this be a wake-up call! Learn from my mistake. If you're relying on a company account, there's no time like right now to set up your own account and make sure everyone you have contact with knows the address.

Datastream: Bright Eyes have hit the road: they play Chicago's Empty Bottle with Son, Ambulance on Friday, Feb. 9, then head to the 400 Bar in Minneapolis for shows (also with Son, Ambulance) Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11. All the tour dates, including a Noise Pop show in San Francisco with Mark Eitzel and Azure Ray, can be found at the Saddle Creek records site. The collaborative CD, Oh Holy Fools: The Music of Son, Ambulance and Bright Eyes is out now. ... Cursive are rapping up a new EP which should be available by the summer. Their last album, Domestica, was quite amazing. ... We were sorry to hear that the Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) has lost its EMusic funding, and has had to stop accepting new artists. IUMA, founded in 1993, was the first music Web site, and from day one featured free downloadable tracks by unknown artists. EMusic spokesperson Steve Curry told the Los Angeles Times, "It's pretty clear that sites for unsigned artists, where the ultimate goal is to get them signed ... [don't make] a whole lot of sense anymore in this economic climate." IUMA has been looking for new funding. ... The Napster ruling will come down Monday, February 12, and be made public at 11 A.M. (Pacific Time), according to a note on the Web site of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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