The value proposition is just really bad in all the services I've seen so far.
"Oh, you want me to sign up for your service so that I can look at the content you think I should see alongside the ads you're making money off of? And what exactly is in it for me?"
Something I would pay for: a rolodex social network. No centralized feed. No useless info. Your profile is 2-3 sentences and your current city (with some sort of maps integration for when you travel, to see who's near you). Two buttons, one to request to view resume, and another to request to view email. That's it. With the idea being, you use the site to enable you to keep up with people. You add people you know or have worked with to your network, and you can easily get their current email and catch up when you're in the same city. Simple, no obnoxious ads, no slimy tactics to increase time on the site.
Probably will never come to pass, but I can dream...
I really want this too. I need some sort of simple contact rolodex that simply shows who I know, why I know them, and why they're important (where do they work, how do I know them, who are they connected to, etc.). Just a simple UI, something that I would use most of the time simply to search.
It's then possible to expose the contact data to LDAP using "ldapcivi" (https://github.com/TechToThePeople/ldapcivi), so that the contact data can be queried from any mail client (including phones).
We also integrated CiviCRM with our IRC bot, so we can query emails and other info from there. Ex: "who is John Doe" on irc will respond with the basic data (name, email, phone), as well as the relationships of that contact, ex: "John is Manager of foo at ACME".
I have hundreds of contacts from church, school, work, video games, etc.
No, if you share something to a circle someone isn't in they wont see it, so they do let you control how others see you. Not a huge G+ fan, but I was a fan of circles.
I like that my personal life (facebook) and professional (linkedin) is two different networks. Its hard to accidentally share the the bad joke with my professional network.
I don't want to put in "obnoxious guy from conference" and then have that person be able to read it.
"Your note will be visible in the Relationship section of the profile and will only be visible to you."
Of course you may wish to store such information in a different system to avoid the possibility of LinkedIn inadvertently leaking the data.
But, then that would be work.
Would you be one of them? Would you actually keep and update yet another online profile, so that other people can find you on this particular network?
> something that I would use most of the time simply to search.
The answer to the above question from almost everyone you might want to search for seems almost certain to be “no”.
Also you might want to check out Nimble, like Rapportive it pulls info from other social networks. If there's a feature you want, it seems they listen to ideas.
I've also used http://www.cerberusweb.com/tour for sorting email and importing additional data about people, but that might be overkill. With Cerberus you would have to import the location data info yourself, for example. It's a "power user" type of application, very versatile.
Allowing you to share your contact info with people you choose and request access to others information.
Contacts+ uses my google and facebook and twitter credentials to link to those services, not to verify who I am - and if I don't want to link to FB or twitter, I don't have to; I'm definitely uncomfortable with being forced to use a particular identity provider.
I wonder if Humin has really thought through their identity and credential management requirements. A great many sites these days allow one to create an account simply by logging in "on the fly" using an existing email address and a password you enter then and there. One email validation email and you're good to go.
Why would Humin need more than that?
Why do you feel it would be a creepy feature?
Or the "Notes" section in the Contacts app on iPhone?
Or LinkedIn even?
What is missing or wrong with the current social network/address book things?
I'd just come back from a conference at which I'd been asked for business cards by lots of people, maybe a hundred. Of all those people, I only really cared to hear back from a few. Though it's nice to have my name out there and be cordial in the industry, I wanted to place some kind of filter on all the vendor spam that inevitably followed. If...I could easily provide "redacted" or "enriched" contact info, maybe via QR on a smartphone screen, for instance, it would be possible to meter who gets which contact info without hurting any future networking opportunities.
If any of you can figure out how to make this work, I'd definitely pay for it.
To sign up for the site, you need only a username, password, and verification method (email/sms/facebook/something to authenticate you as a person, but this wouldn't necessarily be tied to the account). The usernames are unique, and your personal url is domain.com/username or something along those lines (like reddit).
Then you can give your business card to everyone and their spammy recruiter, and if they follow up and visit your domain.com/username, they can hit the "request email" button, at which point you can choose which email to give them or ignore it all together. Potential problem is that unique usernames will mean that professional ones run out quickly. Not sure at what scale that becomes an issue....
In other news, if anyone here is going to be at hackMIT and would be interested in working on something like this, email me (its in my profile).
Interesting idea, at the same time there are ways to replicate this today in terms of 'send me a blind message on Facebook/LinkedIn and I'll maybe reply' and it doesn't seem to work well, at least not in my experience. It's about the power dynamic, fundamentally.
I don't think I give my business card out to enough spammers for the need to manually opt-in everyone that wants to email me to be a less laborious task than blocking/ignoring the occasional promotional mailing.
I imagine you can just control what info a conctact would have access. Maybe: professional email, personal email, office phone, personal phone, where do you work.
Maybe one profile for each info..but that is 5... how to reach 9 or 10?
I think of a relationship regulated by tags. Tags similar to Google+ Circles. You can use to set context: <church>, <college>, <company>. Or access: <prospect>, <top investor>, <important network>, <conference contact>. You can define an access profile for a particular tag.
You can change contacts though an app, but he won't have any access until you alocate a tag to him. So you won't offend anyone upfront, as even the VIP investors will have to wait until you put an all-accesstag on them. So it is a much more subtle acknowledge when after weeks the contact still don't have access to your email.
* Recent acquaintances
* Close family (reasonable people)
* Extended family (think annoying newsletter emails)
* Co-workers (cell number included)
* Clients (cell number definitely not included)
* Spammy business contacts (vendors)
* Travel (something I could hand out with temp hotel and phone info, etc.)
* Japanese (my wife is from Japan, we have lots of friends here and visit there often)
I could also imagine handing out specific cards at various social functions. For example, at a writing club I used to attend, I'd want to provide a link to my portfolio online. I'd never ever want anyone else to read that embarrassing stuff though. In another case, I used to attend a board game club, and it would've been nice to hand out cards with links to my profile on boardgamegeek, meet-up profile, etc.
It seems like this would work best if the exchange format was simply vCard or some other open format. You get to control who gets what at the point of exchange, and they can consume it into whatever system they like. There's no after-the-fact futzing with tags or permissions or contact management; it's just a system to control how you present yourself. The whole idea is probably DOA if you can't interface with the rest of the world's contact software. Maybe you allow connections if both people in the exchange are users of your service, but you wouldn't want to take it for granted.
As an aside, this got really interesting when we considered the "hot girl in a bar" situation. Let's say she gets asked for contact details many times, it's too loud to hear names or whatever, so she might need to snap a picture of the guy at any point of exchange, then review and modify permissions later. But that seems kinda fussy as a system.
You have two versions of your business card. One goes to anyone and has a junk email. The other goes to wanted contacts, and has an email that you pay attention to.
For myself though, I could easily see creating 9 or 10 cards for different situations. It'd be nice to have an easy way to manage all that.
You signed up as Joe Doe and plug your basic info: website url, physical address, your real email address, phone number cell phone, etc. All this can be in multitude quantity, like your email: office job 1, office job 2, personal. All this info is confidential and only seen to you.
Then your conference comes in. You click "create addresses" and system is randomly generating your email addresses, like this:
Then for each email you can setup few options, like:
- forward this email to office job 1
- forward this email to office job 2
- forward this email to my personal email
- if someone emails me at this email, send them autoreply with short profile: my homepage url, my pshysical address, my office phone, but no cell phone.
- if someone emails me at this email, send them autoreply with my personal cellphone.
When forwarding your email you can have optional header, such as extra info you added initially: "this is my Word Expo 2014". Then when 2016 comes in and you receive an email, header tells you the origin of it.
You can setup any email to hold on mail and not forward it at all and just notify you once a week/month/once there is X emails awaiting.
At any point you can dispose an email or simply set it to auto-expire. Or change its settings for that matter.
You have two options when it comes to your presentatione. You can go high tech and print (or request print) of business cards with QR code where each code is your CRF card with different email of course. In this scenario you could have different color of qr code representing different email setup and just memorize: green qr code - potential investors, yellow qr code - potential employees, blue qr code - cute blonde that i think likes me!
Or even simplier solution: order yourself a few thousand business cards with your email address like this: "firstname.lastname@example.org" and then just write down the email number after the pre-printed part of your email address that will match particular premium email #. And if someone asks about it, just tell them a perfect excuse: "oh yeah i get so much spam that once a year i have to create a new email for myself".
Someone building such a system could call it similar to gmail so your emails look normal, like maybe pmail.com (for "premium" mail) or something like it.
I think the problem is that this is very niche market. I am sure for a right solution you would pay even $99 per year, but again it would be hard to market and even harder to make some money long-term off of it :)
Of course this plus-sign behavior is a pretty well-known fact about Gmail, so it'll be obvious that you're bucketing your email in this way. Anyone can easily read off the 'base' address email@example.com, so you'd need to set it up so that mail to this address is heavily restricted and anyone wanting to actually reach you would have to use firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever. But I think this would basically also be true of any custom service you could invent having similar functionality.
I, for example, always remove the + part. Not sure why, just a behavior. Even if wrong, still it is what it is.
Besides, I don't think you can discard your email. So if you had email@example.com and month later you decided you don't want anymore email from this account, you would have to setup rule for this email to go to spam, which is not a perfect scenario. Better would be an auto-response that e-mail expired. Something like PlutoMail is doing.
I don't give out business cards. I tell people to google me and send me an email or a tweet or whatever they end up finding.
This filters out everyone who doesn't have a really good reason to contact me because they just won't care enough to invest the 30s of extra time it takes to type "swizec" into google and click a link.
Memory is not the best keeper of information at conferences where you might meet tens of people.
If anyone cares to contribute (or develop), feel free.
That idea is fantastic.
The advantage of course is that there's about a billion people already on it.
those all seem to rule out the various business models. hope someone smarter than me figures it out.
OTOH using some sort of central-issued IDs (NI, kennitala, PESEL, SSN, INSEE, passport number) like http://87120402424.pl.tel feels a bit dystopian...
As someone who recently came across an actual rolodex, with both typed and hand-written notations throughout, this idea sounds like something I'd seriously consider signing up for.
I still think RSS trumps email for this...
I typically have multiple email addresses at all times, with one constant (my gmail) and the others revolving around my employer, my school, and other affiliations. And which email I give you depends on how I know you (I'll give classmates and potential employers the university one, etc). So even though I might have someone's corporate address, if they change companies, I'm SOL. With this service, I can click your "request email" button, and you tell me the most convenient address to reach you at.
I see you are not using gmail.
The first two of those properties arise from being based on the DNS for SMTP endpoint discovery.
This is why every protocol needs to specify that it uses the DNS, and how.
And that is why I get so worried that the draft HTTP/2 editors so steadfastly refuses to do so.
Are there modern use cases for NNTP? Could UUCP be used for sneakernet or bluetooth intermittent mesh applications? What's the verdict on WebDAV, CalDAV and CardDAV as neutral protocols for sharing data, contacts & calendar?
The implied Gossip algorithm of the server-to-server subprotocol was well suited to the intermittent availability of links in that particular network. Messages (articles) were PGP verified. NNTP is channelized by design, and servers like Diablo have built-in expiry management. It's also easy to monitor with a lightweight news reader.
This was only a few years ago. I was pleased with it, at the time - simple to build from readily available parts.
We need a neutral, replicable client-side data store with standardized interfaces for automated analysis/filtering/reading. This could be an offline archive of docs, web browser history or online/cloud bookmarks, along with _private_ annotations about content and authors (e.g. killfiles, quality ratings).
If the datastore is open (standard & source), there could be healthy competition among proprietary apps to use the datastore, but not control it. NNTP could predictively replicate (via home wifi) a subset of this cache to mobile based on personal calendar, reducing public network usage.
What's good about this approach is that it would surpass the usability of mobile apps + public cloud, thanks to the private cache reducing the impact of public network latency. With neverending hijinks on net neutrality and web standards, it may be worth exploring NNTP pub/sub between home server/laptop and mobile devices.
After the death of Google Reader, I've switched to news.gwene.org, which operates a RSS to Usenet bridge. It solves a lot of the problems that other RSS readers are still dealing with, since the Usenet people figured this stuff out back in the 80s.
Sample web interface to NNTP messages, http://read.gwene.org/group/gwene.com.nytimes.nyt.rss.books
I wonder how long they keep articles? Could be useful for podcasts.
Can you elaborate on what you mean here, for those of us in the dark?
It is also a good medium for non urgent communication that paper mail used to serve. The problem people see with email is actually not a problem at all with email, it is with how it is sometimes abused. My boss sometimes sends me an email and then prods me via Slack if I did not read it in 5 minutes. That is what these chat/message services are replacing... The short term action required requests that were formerly served with a phone call.
Email will outlive everyone commenting here because it works. I run my own server so I know the NSA don't have direct access to content (although I always take note of any inbound messages that are flagged as not having used TLS, or where the other address is gmail etc.), I can make disposable addresses, addresses specific to websites (to identify sites that sell/leak your address), I can run my own spamfiltering that doesn't invade my privacy, I can DKIM sign my messages and have a provable way that only I sent the message, I can use PGP for any private information, I have a set of filters to classify email so I don't even need to spend that much time dealing with it, and I can access it from anywhere I can get an SSH client. No service does that.
Sure, email isn't "sexy" anymore, but that doesn't mean people of my generation don't appreciate it.
Is email our last success in popularizing an open and federated standard?
Maybe you can count OAuth, but IMO i have low confidence that we'll in the near future be able to collaborate on an open protocol so that many benefits of email such as control without vendor lock-in can be enjoyed.
We have too many entrenched interests by the main players. I have been working briefly on improving the exchange of trust/reputation data online, but it seemd for us that there was no alternative to a proprietary system if you wish to see widespread adoption.
EDIT: I guess Bitcoin has good potential.
If you mean one with a distinct and separate S2S/federation protocol (SMTP) from the main C2S protocol(s) (POP/IMAP), probably.
OTOH, it could just be that separate S2S protocols are less favored in the first place -- the web is newer than email, open, and federated (in that web servers -- but doesn't have a separate S2S protocol. A web server that needs information from another web server to do its job uses HTTP just like any other client.
Isn't the Web younger?
Either way, my point still stands that besides the rapid development of the "internet", we have yet to see another standard emerge (besides OAuth and Bitcoin)
Looking at Facebook's sign up page right now, and it seems that email is still required for registering a new account.
The thing is, almost every Internet service still requires an email address to sign up, and that ranges from mobile games to ecommerce shops. Some services provide the alternatives of allowing users to sign up via Facebook/Twitter/Google+; but in order for the users to get a Facebook/Twitter/Google+ account, they'll still need to sign up using an email address. Besides, almost all services that allow social network sign-in gives their users the option to sign up with email as well.
The services that do not allow email signups are few and far between -- like Medium.com, for example, but as said before, in order to get a Facebook or Twitter account, the user would still need an email address. Even mobile only apps like Whatsapp still appear to require an email address to sign up for their online support site.
Email is not an identity. Most people have multiple email addresses, and some people share some addresses.
Currently, you need to provide a code that is texted to a mobile phone for some level of proof of identity.
Maybe the requirement is based on some heuristics? IP address, country, other info provided by the user, and so on?
applications die, protocols stay.
if your software solution use the web protocol, you're already limited by it. that's why I hate 99% of the internet techs.
I use gmail so that I get good operation cross device but it's heavily filtered so I only see a fraction of total email on my phone, but I can search everything.
I then pop everything off using fetchmail and process all emails down to zero once or twice a day using pine (either in Terminal or irssi connectbot on my xperia).
This suits me not only from a day to day perspective but also because if gmail locks me out for some reason I can easily route around it and still have a full
backup of my email history.
In order to enable pop3 though, I had to change a default gmail security setting. Have you had any issues at all since leaving pop enabled?
Using Kmail, I'm having to fetch each month's worth of email at a time. Can't find a setting anywhere so assume that is a Google thing.
This is a big part of why email continues to thrive. So many services have email baked in (e.g. a new WordPress install sends you an email). There are some services that let you choose between email and SMS, like plane reservations and banking alerts, but 95% of the time, any notification will come through email.
Given that, there is no way you could eliminate email without cutting off all those services in the process. Any new protocol to replace email would have to be a drop-in replacement for anything that currently sends out email or at least coexist peacefully alongside it.
You would think that if anyone could accomplish that it would be Facebook or Twitter, but I haven't seen any integration like that so far (e.g. get your plane reservation update or Amazon shipping confirmation by Twitter DM or Facebook message).
That said, if we could redesign email, my quick wishlist would be:
* Better encryption. No surprises that a HN comment thinks we should encrypt metadata as well as contents, and have something better than the way we have to exchange GPG keys at the moment.
* Better security. Easier to guarantee that the ostensible sender of a message really did send it. Also, help prevent the viral problem of malware, which spreads through inboxes protected by rubbish passwords.
We started out intending to "fix" email with a better protocol, and ended up creating something much greater.
The core problems that we tried to solve (to help define "better") were:
- Security: encrypting and authenticating your messages
- Control: the sender hosts the message, so they can edit or delete them before the receiver sees them
- Flexibility: all messages are, in fact, just key-value stores, so any type of data can be sent on the protocol (whether it's Mail, IMs, Vines, Instagrams, or whatever the flavor of the week social network is)
I think it's a great product, and we are going to start the developer release of the client (Melange ) tomorrow.
I haven't seen any IM2000 implementations, so I'd love to check it out if you know of any.
Do you not like IM2000, or have other feelings towards it? I'd love to hear your feedback.
As another poster said, crypto everywhere and a permission system, from DNSSEC on down. Every assertion would carry a cryptographic chain of its authority.
Some kind of multi-user solution would be great. Mailing lists are a hack. To some extent NNTP filled this role though - maybe it's just a case of using the right protocol for the right job.
So yeah, it could definitely be made better - very few protocols are perfect. But it's done pretty well considering.
Like <embed> and <object> tags in HTML?
For example, I don't remember the last time my team sent an internal email that wasn't a forward from a client. We use Slack. Exclusively. We organize projects around it, sales efforts, everything. It has the async nature of email, the separation of topics like email, and the search power of email. It also means that none of us ever feel like we're out of the loop.
It is hard to overstate how critical this fact is to Email's future. If you look at most of the canonical Internet protocols (SMTP, HTTP, DNS, XMPP, IRC, even BitCoin) - they have this fundamental feature in common. Even though they're part of the application layer of the Internet, they've become fundamental protocols that other technologies rely on. They are part of the infrastructure of the Internet.
I say this is someone who just started using Slack and loves it. I still can't see it replacing email, though.
I actually think these guys are interesting exceptions. Yes, they are still around, but they've largely been eclipsed by proprietary solutions. Why? Why did Twitter storm to success XMPP was ostensibly the same thing but with all of these good qualities (open, federated, decentralised, etc.). Still to this day messaging is a battleground for new entrants touting completely opaque solutions. It seems like there's something more to success than just being open, federated and decentralised.
Edit: GTalk shut off federation for XMPP extensions like multi-user chat and Jingle (Voice-Over-IP).
As for IRC - yes it has been largely eclipsed by proprietary solutions. I chalk this up to the lack of a compelling, truly simple web front-end for it. For instance, Slack seems to imitate a lot of the feature of IRC - it would be easy enough for it to just be IRC underneath, and maybe it is. But as far as I know nobody ever wrote a true web client for IRC that was compelling enough for the mainstream.
I remember people saying that in about 1998. Email killers have been successful, but not at killing email.
To do that to email, you'd have to dismantle DNS.
I'm saddened and proud that every time I read that sentence, I initially think the person is using Slackware.
I think this has been helped by the general lack of innovation in the email space. From pretty basic mail, we ended up with a few (very surprisingly few) email clients and very little advancement on the original theme outside of html formatting and huge inboxes.
Lots of people dump on Microsoft, but one of the huge upsides of exchange is the tight integration of mail and calendar. From a conversation you can immediately schedule actions. Invites are even sent out over SMTP if I'm not mistaken. Getting a calendar to integrate well with gmail was one of the major accomplishments of web-based email, yet it seems like repeating this anywhere else is an accomplishment comparable to discovering cold fusion.
There's also been pitifully little work done in improving the experience of managing email and calendar servers. Managing spam is still a tremendous problem and all this adds up to most places, if they aren't using Exchange, just buying corporate Outlook.com or gmail accounts for their employees.
The problem of course is that for any serious advancement to really work, everybody (both client and server) have to move to support the advancement.
But one lesson to be learned from Facebook and G+ is that email can be replaced by an easier to use and friendlier system. There's a possibility of disruption, but it's obviously not in anybody's particular interest to keep reinventing email+otherstuff in this kind of highly centralized way. If Facebook goes down, there goes a huge chunk of the global communication system. At least with email I can be pretty sure my message is going to arrive at the destination at some point.
Another lesson to be learned is that social networks like Facebook are actually just a combination and integration of two (or three) common things that used to be all over the web: a personal website and email. You get a profile (which does a good enough approximation of the personal homepages of the web 1.0 days but actually a bit more like ) and people can message you (and more recently IM you). Basically a global presence you don't have to put much effort into to manage and a way to contact you. More importantly Facebook offers you various levels of control over who can see your presence and who can message you. Spam is almost unknown in Facebook's version of email.
So when I see distributed social network efforts like Diaspora, and all this talk of authentication and protocols and whatnot I wonder why we're not really using and extending the distributed infrastructure we already have. Even if we improve it in some way that makes it no longer work with the old email network, it won't be the first time a better internet service replaced a previous one (WWW replaced gopher for example) -- there's no reason two competing distributed messaging services can't run in parallel.
Contact points on Facebook are discoverable by real name based on the social graph, which is kind of a first in the history of communication. If someone mentions a John Doe in conversation, I can get in contact with the correct John Doe with a very high probability of success and no effort.
The PSTN, email, AIM, ICQ, MSN, etc. didn't offer that. They could have, but their communities developed with different norms. Facebook managed to get people to use their actual identities. That's a remarkable feat - not even Google could replicate it. But it's what made Facebook so useful and so addictive - it's about the actual lives of people I actually know.
Facebook does contain an analogue of "Web 1.0" personal webpages, but the action on Facebook is centered on the News Feed, which was sort of a new class of thing. Few people actually have profile information filled out; going to someone's Facebook page is just a way of filtering the News Feed to only content related to that person.
The real "Web 1.0" equivalent to Facebook would have been an RSS reader for all your friends' blogs. But for people to be comfortable blogging, they had to be able to (feel like they were) in control of their audience. Though Blogger, Wordpress, etc. supported user authentication, it would have been incredibly onerous compared to centralized identity. Which is more or less what Facebook became.
A truly open, distributed Facebook based on the "Web 1.0" would probably have looked something like an RSS reader that could authenticate to each friend's blog with OpenID. But it still would have lacked the ability to discover and search for people by real name that makes Facebook so useful.
Facebook succeeded, initially, by being livejournal but not letting people customize how their profiles looked. (News Feed really wasn't big in the early days). Everyone's page looked the same, and it was a good look; you immediately knew where to see interests, where to see favourite movies and so on. It also had better-integrated photo sharing functionality than any of its rivals.
And it was a much better interface for organizing parties than anything else: a big chain of email CCs gets unwieldy fast (and is irritating to anyone who can't make the party but still sees all the messages). AIM/ICQ/MSN/* never really handled groupchat properly. Jabber screws up if you want to sign in from more than one place. IRC gets the groupchat part right, but relies on everyone leaving their computer on the whole time, or doing something even nerdier like setting up a bouncer. Skype would eventually solve the problem, but it wasn't in the picture when Facebook started out.
So I wonder how hard it would be to setup a DNS-like searchable index for an e-mail like replacement? Instead of having to remember firstname.lastname@example.org I just have to remember 'John Doe' he works for Foo Inc. and I can probably narrow it down from a list of other John Does. If not, I can always call him and ask him for his explicit address as a fallback.
> but the action on Facebook is centered on the News Feed
It really seems that, much more than Twitter has ever managed to be. People's News Feeds are really their microblogs. For many of my FB friends, I can go to their feed and read back a few months to see what's going on in their lives. Just as if they had been keeping a blog. But the convention on FB seems to be short posts, so I don't have to read long-form posts, but they also aren't restricted to a tiny string of characters.
I actually think the news feed reminds me quite a bit of the finger protocol and .plan files. (there's commenting and likes and such of course also).
So what core distributed communication and web presence technologies already exist that could approximate Facebook and what and how would they have to be modified to work at least as well as Facebook? What new things would have to be created from wholecloth?
Would it be possible to integrate all this mess tightly enough that a person could set up their own "Social 2.0" node without too much fuss?
But Facebook's power is the social graph. I don't have to remember "he works for Foo Inc." and I can always find him even if he's long since moved on from Foo Inc. Rather, he ranks highly in the search results for "John Doe" because we have friends in common.'
What you're describing might be better for, e.g. professional contacts you meet at conferences (which seems like LinkedIn's territory) but for organic friend-groups based on high school, college, location, etc. then mutual friend count (or degrees of separation, if no mutual friends) is a damn good indicator of relevance.
Is there a way of doing a distributed social graph with some degree of privacy and no central authority?
Exchanging phone numbers is already integrated into the social fabric of our society as a step in escalating a friendship or asking for / receiving the opportunity to date someone. It's a somewhat intimate act, and appropriate for a communication mechanism that's basically only used between people who are already friends.
Snapchat doesn't have the ability to discover acquaintances / friends-of-friends nearly as easily as Facebook does.
I also wouldn't say it "took over messaging." People don't really have actual conversations on Snapchat, they send photos of themselves making weird faces or Twitter-style status updates. New class of thing.
Email has MIME, there are calendar information formats (ical, IIRC), and various MIME handlers. The primary block was that Microsoft owned the corporate desktop, and competitors, until Google came along, couldn't agree on interoperable standards.
Facebook and Google win by being Web based and "in the cloud". Facebook had its social graph, Google had the fact that many users were relying on it for email, and increasingly, companies are.
There are any number of other problems surrounding mail, with privacy, spam, true federation (spam means residential/consumer IP space is virtually always blocked), and access from multiple devices being prime among them. Diaspora is interesting (I'm on it and active), but very small and growing slowly if at all. I do very much hope that some federated system (Diaspora, Friendica, FreedomBox, Sandstorm.io) will emerge, but it's a long and slow process.
Google and Apple both have integrated calendar and email systems. They just use separate apps instead of having everything in one silo.
Ironically, one of the biggest successes I've seen with Google Apps is a site which had formed from multiple company mergers, with separate MS AD/Exchange domains, which 1) couldn't be merged and 2) couldn't exchange calendaring information.
The solution (this a few years back) was to go to Gmail and Google Calendaring. Among the most successful and enthusiastically adopted mail/PIM migrations I've seen ever.
The closest that anyone has come have been the big social providers with messaging applications which mimic email in many respects. Even then, they are copying the email model with a branded version - not replacing it.
It will take an entirely new and different protocol that simplifies communication with the same or better capability scope to displace email.
I don't see cloud designs of now working on top of standards like email does. No wonder data tends to get stuck in silos these days.
But I do use the heck out of email ever since I quit all social networks a couple of years ago.
One thing that email does not provide for anyone is choice. The barrier to entry is running your own IMAP, SMTP, and possibly spam blocker servers, which almost no one wants to or even knows how to do anymore. It's also somewhat inefficient for conversations, just like regular snail mail is inefficient for conversations. You mail letters, not one-line replies.
So I tend to think of IMs, chat rooms, and other methods of communication on the Internet as simply compliments to email, not replacements for it. Nothing will replace it, because nothing needs to. It's email.
(sidenote: I'm pretty sure one big reason everyone uses email is because they were given an email account, and didn't have to search out the technology. You don't see people clamoring about the reduced use of Usenet in comparison to forums nowadays. Same can be said for texting, I personally got a phone one day and someone sent me a text message, that's how I started texting. Probably never would have thought getting text messages sent to a phone that I can just talk on would have been a useful enough communications platform to seek out and possibly pay for.)
What stops you to send a one-line reply in email?
http://incubator.apache.org/wave/ (first from Google, now Apache) was/is a brave try. The main problem with email is the lack of consistent formatting rules which means that it's difficult to keep track of structure.
But hey, it's a massive success. Worse sometimes really is better.
I'm sorry but this doesn't make sense to me. To cache all images you've ever received is sort of antithetical to the whole 'decentralized' nature of email, and the internet in a nutshell. The 'inconvenience' of having to re-download far surpasses the need to store every single trivial little thing on your mail client's cache. A few seconds is worth way more to me than taking up tens of gigs of images on my HD that I will never see again.
One could think of contextual information added to emails, like detecting invoice numbers, intellligent attachments (e.g. recognizing Dropbox links etc.) and so on. I really hope there will be some client like this in the future, if not, we'll build it :)
I think this goes beyond email.
Similar to the way consumer applications gratuitously became big and slow as processor speed increased and magnetic drive space increased, today we see gratuitous use of increased network bandwidth.
As such if there is even a momentary problem with the remote network, then there will likely be a problem with your application. Many of today's applications have no "offline" mode. Network availability and performance is assumed. Just as back in the 90's it became assumed that the user would have a capable PC. A "slow" PC would not run the latest software.
Many of the applications I write for my own use require very little computing power... I develop on a modestly powered machine and so my programs can run fast from old hardware if need be (i.e., can't afford the latest gear). My approach to "apps" is to periodically download bulk data from the network to keep the application updated, and this usually is scheduled for off-peak times when costs and congestion are lower. Fast network speeds and inexpensive local storage are much appreciated when performing these updates. Not to mention the ease of obtaining an internet globally reachable IP address through today's "cloud hosting" providers.
But I will never understand today's "app" and "web API" trends. Developers of these "apps" utilize the costs of storage and bandwidth a different way. Storage is mainly remote (on someone else's machines, not yours), and hence controlled by some third party, not the user. And most of these applications I see are designed to make constant piecemeal downloads, minute by minute, hour after hour, day after day (even if the same information has been requested before) when they could just as well download all the data they will ever need once, and periodically update it during off-peak periods. As such, if the network is congested or down at runtime, the user must suffer it out. Of course, by making a call to the remote network every time the user takes some action, third parties are able to track everything a user does. That, and the whole app/api approach to development has value to some people perhaps, but surely it is not users.
Also you could open the attachment right inside Google Drive
> It's a globally addressable system that does not require any centralized system, which means it works everywhere and for everyone no matter what choice in service provider the individual user (or their organization) makes.
Isn't it the case that nearly all email is routed using DNS? Certainly all of mine is. While there are certainly arguments against centralized addressing systems, the advantage that email has isn't that its addressing system is uncentralized: it's that its addressing system is more libre than proprietary systems.
>These "open social networks" don't pass messages to the end user. They pass messages to servers which the user then consults.
How is this different from email? Most people don't have email addresses at a domain assigned to their normal computer; the vast majority of email is accessed over some internet protocol from a remote server, whether its IMAP, POP3, or HTTP. I've never used Diaspora, so maybe I just don't understand what functionality its missing.
> the advantage that email has isn't that its addressing system is uncentralized: it's that its addressing system is more libre than proprietary systems.
I think that the biggest advantages of e-mail are its decentralization + federation based on open protocols. These make e-mail extremely useful despite all of its shortcomings. Consider for example IM services. They multiply like mushrooms these days, yet most of them completely lack federation and therefore are crippled if you look at them globally. You can't communicate with users of other services at all (unless you register there as well which defeats the purpose of decentralization). XMPP attempted to solve it, but unlike e-mail most participants on the IM scene were too selfish to fix the situation, including Google who deserted.
> How is this different from email? Most people don't have email addresses at a domain assigned to their normal computer; the vast majority of email is accessed over some internet protocol from a remote server, whether its IMAP, POP3, or HTTP. I've never used Diaspora, so maybe I just don't understand what functionality its missing.
I think his main point is, that in e-mail you can have real push mechanisms in theory. I.e. you send a message and the other participant receives it through the e-mail service. In social networks (even decentralized ones), the delivery of such notifications is delegated to... e-mail. Which shows their intrinsic deficiency. They aren't implementing the full scope of the communication process. I.e. if you envision a better social network, it should be decentralized but also take care of the delivery of the interactions in one coherent experience in order not to rely on other external tools for that.
E-mail isn't fully decentralized most of the time, but it still can be (you can run your own e-mail server). You can run your own Diaspora pod the same way, but like above, it would still delegate notifications to another service.
I really think that if Google could help alleviate people's concerns with email (volume, spam etc), people would be quite happy with email again :)
But I agree that email is a great thing. I hope someone creates a sick email client that turns back the flow from Facebook to the email. I'm fine with Thunderbird + Enigmail, but I don't see the average person using it any time soon (or ever if unchanged).
I've been using it for two weeks now and I have to say it's a must have app for all Gmail users ... It's has completely changed the way I work.
No more often than I used to see the same thing with an AOL Keyword instead of a URL. I don't think the internet is "moving to this model" so much as it is a model which periodically emerges when a particular portal is dominant enough with the commercially-relevant audience, and fades as the dominance of that single portal.
Wrong use case...