The problem in Email with the notion of Inbox and folders is that (a) as soon as messages came into the Inbox, one wants to get rid of them — reply and file, or delete (b) once the mails go into the folders, it is hard to see an “aggregate” view.
It is like walking at “street level” (a phrase used by Steven Johnson in his book Emergence). At the street level, one misses out on many of the networks / relationships which are present. One needs to get a higher-level view.
So, imagine if we could do the following:
– mail blog, which has all that I write shown on one page (all emails sent)
– mailroll, which automatically lists out my favourites — people whom I have corresponded most with in say the last 1/2/3 months
– mailmap, which shows the clusters of people I communicate with. Distance could be based on the frequency of my communication.
– mailpost, where each mail that I write (and dont delete) gets a unique URL, so I can refer to it
Mails are ongoing conversations with people — colleagues at work, friends, family. It would be good to browse through them via the weblog metaphor. A lot of our writing is being done in mail — it is a natural narrative environment.