Electronic mail, the king of the killer net apps.

Yet it sucks. (See Eric Armstrong's What's wrong with email )

It's ubiquitous, so it's tempting to build on top of.

But would it be better to replace it entirely?

A way of categorizing types of email:

  • spam - commercial, unsolicited. Seems to be growing out of bounds. You can usually recognize it pretty easily, and delete it in bunches. A bigger hassle if you rely on slow (dialup) connections. There are spam-filter services to help, but not free.

    • an idea that might help: filter all incoming mail against your address book - any unknown-sender email addresses get dumped to a probable-spam folder. (You'd put this rule after your list-to-folder rules.) MsOutlook almost has this feature, but not quite.
  • personal spam. Email from individuals you haven't met yet. A big problem for online celebrities, not for me. Email clients should match against your address book and let you filter/file email from anyone not in that directory. MsOutlook does not appear to have this feature (you can match against lists of individuals, but I don't think you can have an ever-expanding AllUsers list).

  • quick exchanges - short email conversations that are usually disposable

  • (hmm, disposability and thread-length are really orthogonal)

Email monitoring/deliverability

Service (ESP = Email Service Provider)

see also HtmlEmail

Jun'2009: distribution of email clients: MsOutlook 33%, Yahoo Mail 16%, HotMail 16%, Apple Mail 8%, GMail 5%, IPhone 5%, ThunderBird 2%... (I'm not sure I believe this...)

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