Technology and Design

Technology Review has an interview with Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. He comments on email and blogs:

There’s something about e-mail that demands a reply, demands a response. But when youre getting thousands of these things, it becomes an impossibility to respond to everything. So weve got to shift the etiquette, and maybe make e-mail more like publishing: that is, you send something out and you might get one percent response. I think that the paradigm of e-mail as letters, as objects, is inappropriate. I’m waiting for a shift to the timeline, rather than the object, as the organizing principle. If you think about a blog for instance, thats a timeline. And its a really good way of organizing huge amounts of information, because were quite good at sequencing. Were quite good at remembering when things happen. That has meaning for us. But imagine creating an individual document around every one of those individual blog entries and just having them there on your desktop or in a folder. It would be completely meaningless to you. And that’s how we treat e-mail now. But imagine keeping e-mail a bit more like a blog. Then suddenly, youve got instant messaging qualities and e-mail qualities happening at the same time. So Im guessing that well start to see that sort of timeline become more and more important. Because I think its the way that we as human beings tend to organize massive amounts of data.

What me mentions about timeline reminds me of Scopeware.

Another interesting comment: “Early cars looked like carriages, early TVs looked like radios. Every time somebody brings you something thats new, it looks like the old thing. Its only the second or third generation before it finally starts to look like the new thing.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.