Messages All the Way
The more I think about this problem of information discovery, sharing, routing and group forming, the more it seems that we’re headed to a deeper merger of the mail client, the browser and various and sundry publishing and content archiving systems.
I remain unconvinced that there would be anything better suited to this task than an email-like application that’s well integrated with the browser. What we’re talking about here is messaging: reading incoming messages (whether via email, RSS or whatever comes next), and writing outgoing messages: some to individual contacts, some to public spaces (like sippey.com or delicious), some to semi-private group spaces (on orkut or flickr or mailing lists), some to a personal archive, and some to one or more of those destinations (cc, anyone?).
So…universal inbox (email, notifications, RSS subscriptions, whatever), universal outbox (email, blog postings, social network postings, social bookmarking, personal note taking / filing). All searchable. All cross-referenced with all the associated contact lists(s). All with dial-able social network-based filtering / content ranking.
Writes Esther Dyson: “Spam is easy to get rid of, but what about all the stuff we wanted; we just don’t want it right now, but we want to make sure it comes back and reminds us later… Call it personal workflow.”