Auckland cybercafé Net Central has developed a free email service that can be accessed from anywhere, similar to US services such as Hotmail, RocketMail, GeoCities or Bigfoot.
The big difference is that Net Central’s offering, Citymail, carries no advertising and requires no demographic information to register.
Net Central founder and Citymail developer George Ma says the service was developed as a “value-add” for Net Central patrons. “From our own observations in the cybercafé we noticed that people really just want a fast, efficient messaging system that is simple to use. That’s the key difference between our service and others. If people want a full feature set then that’s not our strength.”
To register for Citymail, users only have to answer three questions — user name, password and email address.
“We also think that when operating in New Zealand it will be faster than US-based email services because it won’t have to go through an International link.”
Ma says because he developed it himself, the service has cost very little so far. “We’ll be keeping a close eye on the cost of hosting it. We have a limit of 3Mb of space for each account.”
Net Central launched the service on May 18 and has about 50 customers, so far all customers of the café. “Until now we haven’t really made it public. This has enabled us to keep an eye on reliability and look out for any bugs.
The URL is citymail.net.nz.