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Social Networks The Internet

Turning E-Mail into a Social Network 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the your-dog-wants-a-social-network-too dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "Saul Hansell at the NY Times has an interesting article on his technology blog about his conversations with executives at Yahoo and Google about how they plan to turn their e-mail systems and personalized home page services into social networks. Web-based e-mail systems already contain much of what Facebook calls the social graph — the connections between people. That's why social networks offer to import the e-mail address books of new users to jump-start their list of friends. Yahoo and Google realize they can use this information to build their own services that connect people to their contacts. Yahoo is working on what they call "Inbox 2.0" which will display messages more prominently from people who are more important to you, determining the strength of your relationship by how often you exchange e-mail and instant messages with him or her. "The inbox you have today is based on what people send you, not what you want to see," says Brad Garlinghouse, who runs communication and community products for Yahoo. "We can say, here are the messages from the people you care about most." There will also be some sort of profile system attached to Inbox 2.0 with a profile users show to others and a personal page where they can see information from their friends. "The exciting part is that a lot of this information already exists on our network, but it's dormant," Mr. Garlinghouse added."
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Turning E-Mail into a Social Network

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  • Optimistic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:13PM (#21358279) Homepage Journal

    So spammers get into this, and you know they don't give a f**k how rude they are, they spoil it for everyone. Further, they've got your email address you use as a contact base and, just like it is with present email, you have to change addresses and notify everyone you moved.

    My favourite social network, which I've used for decades, is USENET. I don't care about a home page to show pictures of my cat. I can easily leave a URL in my sig where people can go and see stuff if they choose and with a variety of newshosting sites I can hide my identity so people don't spam me. The downside there, is again, spammers. IIRC USENET is where spam was born.

    My advice, go find a bar your friends recommend and hang out there. You might meet someone IRL.

    • by studpuppy (624228) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:17PM (#21358319)
      Wait.. you mean those guys from Nigeria aren't really my friends?

      sniff, sniff...

    • Re:Optimistic (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UltraMathMan (1139987) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:43PM (#21358635)
      If the system did what the article says it will, prioritize email based on "how important someone is to you" shouldn't that work to reduce to effect of spam? Sure I'm probably overly simplifying things a bit, and yeah no technology is bulletproof, but the implication of codifying interpersonal connection and using that as a priority display basis - by quantifying your interactions with other via email - is in my mind a reduction of visible spam that makes it past other filters. Since one is unlikely to respond to spam and since spam doesn't often come from the same address, it could more easily be reduced with this method. In theory at least.
      • Re:Optimistic (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Garridan (597129) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @10:11PM (#21358883)
        Until your boss's boss emails you, for the first time, because there's a catastrophic emergency that only you can fix. And it goes down to the bottom of the pile, with the spam. Whoops.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by enoz (1181117)
          The only way for your boss' boss to contact you in an emergency is via a gmail account? That's the real Whoops.
          • Re:Optimistic (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Thursday November 15, 2007 @02:40AM (#21360797)
            Or that chick whose number you just got at the local chemistry convention. (HA! If only...).

            Seriously though, first-time contacts will go straight to the bottom regardless of importance. Other incredibly important things will end up with the spam as well such as college admission office communication. I'm applying to several colleges. They have emailed me about 3 times each "we need your transcript", "we're still waiting on that second letter of recommendation", etc. I want these emails to be top-priority.

            I think the Internet has run out of shitty "social network" applications and now they're trying to re-market stuff we already have. I.E. myspace and facebook operate on the exact same principle.
            -- You have a page with information about you. People who don't know you don't give a shit about it, but they never see this page because they don't know you. The people who do know you (I.E. your friends) already know this information.
            -- You have a comments box (myspace) or a wall (facebook) which is a shitty version of a chat room. People post comments to you which other people can read as well, like a chat room or IRC conversation. The only differences are that A) It's slower than IRC and B) People reply to comments on different people's walls. It's like trying to have one IRC conversation across 3 different channels at the same time.
            -- You have instant messages. These are instant messages that are already available through 4 different instant messaging applications. The difference is that IM apps. run in the background whereas you have to be logged into a website for the myspace/facebook chat to work.
            -- You have private messages. This is a shitty form of email, which you already have because you need an email address to sign up on any "social networking" site.
            -- You have all of this being used at once. You send someone a PM, they reply to it on your wall, you ask them a question through IMs, they tell you to see the email they sent you already.

            A "social networking" site is just a bulky way of packaging worse versions of applications that already exist into a crappy interface that attempts to slam them all together. It doesn't streamline communication, it just spreads the conversations we already have over a shit load of different mediums. It doesn't do anything but hinder communication.

            I think they've finally realized that no one over 21 is buying into this crap so they decided to simply take something that everyone uses, change an algorithm that already works (Chronologically ordered. Ascending/descending) to one that hasn't been tested at all (more messages = that person is more important) and sell it back to us. I seriously have no idea how these companies stay in business.
            • by davidsyes (765062)
              Sounds like Saul and others read my or others' slash postings about compiling e-mail contacts and other information to to this.

              However, since gmail (requires, I think) shows text/context-sensitive adverts, I supposed they were onto that avenue a few years ago. Revenue stream must be good. (I'm thinking of reverting to old/classic yahoo since the "new" yahoo with the adverts pane is a pain in my ass.. it doesn't REMEMBER or is not allowed to remember to keep the hell shut. I almost NEVER read the adverts, an
            • by Mana Mana (16072)
              i have to say, you're fucking brilliant. hit the nail on the head. gad, you're like thomas i friedman or somethin' ^_^
            • What's powering most Web 2.0 companies isn't technology: it's psychology. How people perceive your web site, and the minute differences in using it compared to the competitors.

              No, seriously. Name any recent web company and the innovation wasn't technology or business model, but psychology and marketing.

              Take blogs. A blog is really a forum with the first post being made prominent. And a forum is Usenet, which are BBS systems, which are... Or you could look at it as blogs being narrowed personal web pages, e.
          • by wed128 (722152)
            I currently have my work e-mail forwarded to my gmail account. Whoops.
        • Until your best friend emails you from his other account and goes to the lowest priority part of the inbox

          Until your new customer emails you for the first time and you don't see it....

        • by VicVegas (990077)
          Simple enough to rectify. Put a *@yourcompany.com filter in that will make it relevant. vV
    • by RLiegh (247921)
      >My advice, go find a bar your friends recommend and hang out there. You might meet someone IRL.

      So, basically your advice boils down to... "don't use social networking sites".

      We in the 21st century would like to thank you for that insightful and informative tip, Mr Luddite. :-p
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @10:45PM (#21359143)
        Exactly. All social interaction now occurs on the internet. Get with it. Bars are dying and within months will no longer exist. Social networking sites are now your only option for social interaction. And don't worry about meeting anyone IRL. "Friends" no longer exist, ever since the term was vitiated by social networking sites, where everyone has 800 "friends" that they will never see or talk to IRL. Nevermind that, social networking sites exist to bring people together! Not to make some people very rich. We could start calling them $ocial networking $ites, but since that's substitution of "$" for "S" in a non-Microsoft-bashing context, I guess it'll never catch on.

        Social networking sites can kiss my a**; I'll keep my friends in real life, thanks. See my MySpace or Facebook profiles for more about this.
        • by defile39 (592628)
          But see the beauty of a site where the only "friends" you have are the ones you actually converse with. If you cannot "add" a friend, other than by having regular and meaningful email conversation, people won't be friend counter whores like some tend to be on sites like myspace and facebook. Though I'm still in school (I've been a degree collector), my college years were just before the social networking scene took off, so I haven't had much interest in the myspace/facebook brand of social networking. I
    • by DuncanE (35734) *
      Its funny you should mention usenet, because I always found reading posts though a nice news client much more enjoyable that reading posts on a online web based forum.

      Similarly I find Facebooks internal inbox system to be a poor substitute for email, but unfortunately several of my friends contact me that way.

      So rather than Google adding social pages to gmail, how about facebook giving us POP access to its inbox and RSS access to our friends feed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by value_added (719364)
      My favourite social network, which I've used for decades, is USENET.

      My thought exactly, but it's worth pointing out that mailing lists can be as useful and fun. I'm not surprised that any of the large email providers are looking to make more money wherever there's money to be made. What I am surprised and dismayed with is that so many people live in their browsers and set themselves up to be easy prey for this. It reminds of broadcast television. There might be a few good shows here and there, but the p
  • Except that (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:18PM (#21358327) Journal
    People sign up for social networks to be in a social network and they sign up for E-mail to get E-mail. I would much like to keep the frilly "crap" separate from my day-to-day email.

    When Hotmail started throwing for-pay spam to my inbox and cluttered many of their pages with ads, I made a switch to Gmail. If Gmail throws a round of unnecessary social networking (especially without me opting-in) It may just be time to move along again.
    • I've had Gmail since it's early days, I'm with you on hoping they don't follow this. But, it seems to be the trend here lately with everyone.
    • I'm looking forward to a GFaceMail world, just so I don't have a social network constantly emailing me just to log in and read the equivalent of email that was posted there. Avoiding this simple usability headache is worth it alone.
    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Given that you have to select 'older version' every time you log in to get rid of that stupid Jabber interface and the equally obnoxious 'informational' popup that shows whenever you mouse over an e-mail address on Gmail these days, it looks like we're going to get these 'features' shoved on us, whether we want them or not.

      This is what frustrates me the most about all of this '2.0' garbage-- it's velcro for cruft. I just want my e-mail sorted by date. That's all. I don't even fucking use threading, let a

    • by Kadin2048 (468275) *
      When Hotmail started throwing for-pay spam to my inbox

      Seriously? I always knew Hotmail was ghetto but if that's true, that really takes the cake.
    • by MikeFM (12491)
      I agree that UI clutter is a bad idea but I think that taking advantage of social information to make email work better is a good idea. Hopefully, Google will do this as intelligently as they do most things (unlike Microsoft) and not screw up our email experience.

      I already love the integration of IM and email and the presence information is often useful.

      I can see an option to sort incoming email by how frequently you've sent messages to that person as being very useful. Without totally hiding away the new m
      • I can see an option to sort incoming email by how frequently you've sent messages to that person as being very useful...the messages from my friends and family would pop to the top of the list where I'll see them right away.

        How about a system that can sort incoming e-mail into different folders by sender, or by subject, or by any header. You know, like any decent mail client has been able to do for over a decade. I get mail from friends, Sylpheed [sraoss.jp] sorts in into my "friends" folder. I can even say "if it'

        • by MikeFM (12491)
          If you want to manually create filters for every possibility instead of having the system figure it out for you then you must not get very much email. I get thousands of messages a day and it's a huge pain to create filters for every possibility. I much perfer to let my email client do some figuring stuff out for me along with being able to create my own filters. What if your needs change from moment to moment and you need the messages filtered differently?

          For instance, if I receive ten messages a day from
          • If you want to manually create filters for every possibility instead of having the system figure it out for you then you must not get very much email.

            I get lots of e-mail, but there's only about two score ways to group it: friends, work, mail from political groups, various mailing lists, and so on.

            For instance, if I receive ten messages a day from a certain email address why not have the email program identify a need to offer a virtual folder of mail from this email address?

            Because that may not be a

            • by MikeFM (12491)
              Mail programs need to be reactive. This is easier thanks to the virtual folder concept where mail can be in more than one place at a time. For example your bosses email might show up in just your work folder (assuming everyone uses the same domain or other obvious clumping hint) unless he suddenly sent 10 messages in a short period whereas it'd also show up in his own folder and maybe that folder would rise to the top of your list because the email program would recognize that all the messages are from a si
  • But the real question is: is it really worth it? I mean, I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook, but even though Gmail has had a chat feature for years I've used it all of twice. When I want email, I go to the site for my email, and when I want to go on Facebook, I do that.

    Sure, I understand that a lot of it is about attracting a larger user base to (they hope) make more money, but to me a unique venture would be refreshing to see.

    • It will work if it's done subtly and non intrusively, like GMails chat system but not like how this Inbox 2.0 is sounding. Still, it could work alright, current inboxes are fairly primitive repositories that could use this sort of personal touch. Either way it'll happen - it's got Buzzword 2.0 technology, how can it fail?
      • Correct. Just as the postal system replaced having to pass a note to someone yourself, so e-mail and text and IMS will all eventually go away. Once they come up with something you can send from a phone or a computer, that is safe and secure, that is (near to) universal, then i for one will sign up for it.

        I think it's gonna take something new to do this, rather than sticking plasters on our existing systems.
  • e-mail filters? (Score:4, Informative)

    by bitingduck (810730) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:22PM (#21358373) Homepage
    I thought I already took care of this by creating mailboxes for people or subjects that matter and filters to put messages in them. It's worked pretty well for quite a while now, and I can check the boxes in the order of how interested I think I'll be in what they have to say. With some filters I can even prioritize things, so that if person A sends me a message about topic B, the topic B filter is higher priority and stops further filtering.

    I even have a social networking tool from it, because if my friends send something to several people it's usually a small number (sometimes with one or two new people) and they use regular cc instead of bcc.

    IIRC, email has worked this way at least all the way back to Pine.
    • Privacy Concerns. (Score:1, Informative)

      by twitter (104583) *

      I thought I already took care of this by creating mailboxes for people or subjects that matter and filters to put messages in them. It's worked pretty well for quite ...

      Yes, this is a fairly standard email client tool that could use a few minor improvements without third party disclosure. Kmail makes it easy to organize your email with a right click create filter option. It's also bright enough to notice mail lists so you can organize that way too. This can be improved on by noticing how often you ema

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:23PM (#21358395) Journal
    Dear Google, please do not fubar your email system my making it "web2.0" as it is currently not as broken as you seem to want it to be. I use your services because they are relatively clean, non-intrusive and most importantly not like Myspace. That is all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Not only that, but relegating a message from an old friend or business contact that I do not speak to very often to some obscure place in my in-box just because your algorithm "thinks" they are not important to me will not endear me to your system.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by owlnation (858981)
      Yes. Can I also add...

      Search. Google, that's the thing. You know the thing you got your name for. The thing that still is not really good enough. Really not.

      FOCUS Google! That's the thing -- forget the Web 2.0 garbage, keep it simple and keep improving search. After all, the reason most Web 2.0 crap exists is because search isn't good enough to meet people's expectations.

      Better search = no need for social networking sites.
      • Hum... I'm not so sure what "Social Networking" is, but I'm pretty sure its not Search. I mean, I dont think people go on MySpace or Facebook to search for information... They might well find stuff while they are "networking/socializing" but then finding and searching are different things...

        I often find things I was not searching for... but normally not thanks to a Search Engine. While using a Social Networking tool maybe...

        I often search for thing I cant find... Search Engine can help... but even there, if
        • by SL Baur (19540)

          Hum... I'm not so sure what "Social Networking" is, but I'm pretty sure its not Search. I mean, I dont think people go on MySpace or Facebook to search for information...

          If you think about it a second, the rest of your post refutes that statement.

          As I understand it, people tend to go to social networking sites to search for long lost friends, or be available for long lost friends to find them. That is searching. Basic Google search doesn't do that good of a job of it, but it could ...

          • by droopycom (470921)
            Does: "hanging out at the mall hoping to run into some friend" qualify as "search" ? If you reply yes, then I'm sure you can equal "Social Networking" with Search. But I guess most people would answer No.

            Does: "hanging out at the bar hoping to run into your next girlfriend, wife" qualify as "search"? Not very different, but a few more people might qualify this as "Searching". Some people might just think that's a lazy (loosy?) way to search. I would also assume many people go to the bar to "have fun", rath
      • by SL Baur (19540)
        That's maybe the most profound posting I've ever read. I never thought of it that way, but you are absolutely correct.
        • It's a good comment, and I'm inclined to agree, but if that's the most profound thing you've ever read, I'd recommend you get reading. There's a whole world out there!
    • by STrinity (723872) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @11:55PM (#21359657) Homepage
      You don't get it. If we can synergistically harness the power of web2.0 for a social network, we'll have an engaged, community-based killer ap combined with bleeding edge e-vision that will allow us to implement solutions and solutionalize implementations.
    • by studpuppy (624228)
      Amen... I can't count the number of times I've had to reset my Yahoo! email back to the "classic" version from the Beta version. When will people learn that "improved" doesn't necessarily follow "new"?

      Oops. Did I just say that out loud?

    • by Mana Mana (16072)
      ``Dear Google, please do not fubar your email system my making it "web2.0"''

      absolutely right. have you noticed that the new look gmail is much slower to load on slow links.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It'll never catch on. If there's no way to on-line stalk your ex or the gal/guy you had the crush on in High School, why would anyone use it?
  • Perfect! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pete-classic (75983)
    Once they implement this they can sell top placement in your inbox to spammers!

    -Peter
  • by CrAlt (3208)
    When will the internet bubble "2.0" pop? I cant freakin wait. Words like "blog" and social networking make my skin crawl.

    Here's an idea.. How about they turn web based email in to email that just works?
    Taking 2 or 3 times more time to read my email on gmail as it took with pine/mutt is not a step forward. Now they want to add even more crap to it.
    • When will the internet bubble "2.0" pop? I cant freakin wait. Words like "blog" and social networking make my skin crawl.

      Looking back at the last bubble burst, it seems that another one should be due around 2009.

      Here's an idea.. How about they turn web based email in to email that just works? Taking 2 or 3 times more time to read my email on gmail as it took with pine/mutt is not a step forward. Now they want to add even more crap to it.

      indeed, but adding features is their way of fighting their web2.0 war

      • Out in the real world, people like features in their software. Nice things, like human readable names and options they can see at a glance, not unholy acronyms and cryptic arguments that require a check to the man page every time you want to do something. Useful things, like being able to search through the email, and chat with their contacts without having to figure out how to make 6 small programs all talk to each other. Pretty things, like graphical indicators when something is happening.

        Sure, you'll
        • I didn't mean for it to be so bare as to be unusable, just that email actually working like I dont know, maybe email? keep things simple as a default and let those who want extra features enable them if they want. There isn;t any need to shove them down people's throats.
        • by sowth (748135)

          I would love to see a system like that. Please tell me when someone creates one. So far all the attempts have failed. They use endless cascading menus which disappear if you move mouse in the wrong direction, or whatever whims of the GUI. They give useless nonsensical error messages (if they give any messages at all) which both new users and age old masters can't understand. They lock everyone out of various options, because they've decided us "lusers" can't understand it. They automatically do things which

    • by jo42 (227475)
      My definition of:

      "blog"
      Something you leave in the toilet bowl sometime after a huge, heavy meal.
  • Who'd'a Thunk? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mechsoph (716782) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:28PM (#21358465)

    The Web and Email let you connect with other people? Amazing!

    Seriously, I don't really see anything too spectacular with the walled-garden social networking sites. They do some maybe useful munging of data, and they allow for the click-and-drool usage pattern. Really though, they're nothing you couldn't already do ten years ago.

  • the moment it launches...
  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@gm a i l.com> on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @09:50PM (#21358721) Homepage Journal
    People that are into this social networking web site thing miss the point. Trying to say that Facebook or any other social site has some sort of a lock in is like saying the bar down the street has a lock in. People go to these places to hang out, and when it starts to suck, they outgrow, or just get bored, they go somewhere else.

    • by chromatic (9471)

      Trying to say that Facebook or any other social site has some sort of a lock in is like saying the bar down the street has a lock in.

      What kind of bar or street contains only data, which is only scarce if someone actually does lock it up?

      • by tjstork (137384)
        What kind of bar or street contains only data, which is only scarce if someone actually does lock it up?

        People will go to these sites, put in as little as possible to hang out, play roles and then move on to the next place after a few months. Ergo, any social networking facility there is ought to be client side, and built into the browser...

        • by chromatic (9471)

          I agree that social networking data should be under the direct control of the user and not locked up in any single walled garden, but for now that data mostly is.

  • More intelligent it gets, the lesser privacy you have,
    although it may be * automated *... it is weird to know someone reads emails and assesses relations.
  • ...I will never use GMail for my own email.
  • by ghjm (8918) on Wednesday November 14, 2007 @10:20PM (#21358949) Homepage
    It means these systems will turn into walled gardens where their users only ever talk to each other, which is good for me because they're out of my hair.

    Those of us who use e-mail for business probably rank the value of any given email by how *few* we get from that person (spam not included) - particularly if we work near sales. The one e-mail I got this month from Mr Big Shot Customer is vastly more important to me than the 30 from Sue down the hall nattering on about why the refrigerator isn't cleaned up yet.

    -Graham
  • If it was ranked on order of who was important to me, I'd never see any email. Then I might get some work done!
  • Actually, I'm exaggerating, but seriously: I only use my gmail account for "backup" purposes for when my main mail server is down, or as an address when registering on forums, corresponding with unknown individuals, etc. How could Google claim that their model is an accurate reflection of my "social network" without first validating how my gmail account is used?

    There are a lot of assumptions that are put into play when Google and Yahoo! begin to datamine their e-mail troves , making connections that might
  • ...just a hook into your inbox to see what you trash right away and who's email you'd keep around for a while, or respond to, before trashing. Funny, Gmail and Yahoo could both do it his right now if they wanted. Why the big deal over understanding "the social network"? Its always been there right under their noses.
  • Who says that just because you talk to someone frequently means that their message is important to you? In fact, for me it's nearly the opposite.

    I don't need to reply immediately to a conversational email from a family member or friend. On the other hand, more important emails come from people you don't necessarily talk with frequently:

    A professor reminding me of the upcoming paper
    My boss telling me that I don't have to go to work tomorrow due to weather
    The credit card company/power company/landlord telling
  • "The inbox you have today is based on what people send you, not what you want to see," says Brad Garlinghouse, who runs communication and community products for Yahoo. "We can say, here are the messages from the people you care about most."

    The INBOX I have today is the same I had 6 yrs ago...and I see what I want to see, organized HOW I want to see it...
    get a real email client and you get control over WHAT YOU WANT...instead of having some stupid inaccurate algorithm GUESS at it for you.

  • the under thirty crowd doesn't use email, they use IM. most view email as for grandparents to circulate jokes and prof's to distribute assignments...
  • Missing the point? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hyades1 (1149581)

    Number of messages = how important somebody is to me? Please, God, let this idea crash and burn.

    A lot of the people who are important to me, like my family overseas or friends I meet after work, I rarely exchange e-mails with.

    On the other hand, there's this nasty little bum-kisser in the office who thinks I can be flattered into promoting him, and somebody in Russia who seems to be obsessed with the size of my penis. They e-mail me constantly.

    I really and truly DO NOT need them moved up to the top

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by riten (1189369)
      There are many ways to decide on "importance" of a person in your life through the use of your e-mail behavior. No sensible developer will base on the "Number of messages" really. That's too simplistic. Importance can be determined in many different ways:
      • The bi-directional communication strength - how frequently do you and X respond to each other's mails? (typically kills spammers)
      • The delay in your response - how quickly do you respond to the person from the time you saw the message in your inbox? (sho
  • What an interesting idea to make e-mail into a social network. Maybe they could add a way to send messages to people, and see what messages you've received from others. That'd really assist being social with people. I wonder how quickly they can get this put together.
  • If Orkut and Yahoo Mash and other also rans want to take on Facebook there is only one way to do it. They must open up and become a virtual social network that is much bigger than Facebook. OpenSocial is not it: OpenSocial is about making life easy for apps developers: not making communication easy for end-users. A status update typed into Orkut or Yahoo or Twitter should be visible to people in all of the other services. Users should be able to invite other users to play authenticated games across network
  • Nice. I invented something like it >2 years ago and proposed it to Ogilvy Mather, the system which runs on an internal network.

    Google's spam filter is good but they can still do a lot more with what they have, for example identify mailing lists and group them on the side of the page, allow reordering by date/sender etc as Yahoo does, don't let important emails scroll off the bottom of the page so fast.

    I would not be a happy camper however if social network analysis (which is used to identify information
  • "Inbox 2.0" will display messages more prominently from people who are more important to you, determining the strength of your relationship by how often you exchange e-mail and instant messages with him or her.
    Now there's a novel idea that deserves a patent immediately!

    I've been doing that in the mail reader I use for oh, only about a decade now.

    See http://www.gnus.org/ [gnus.org]

  • Email as a social network? Thats what we did in the late 80s before the web.
  • For the record the only social networking that you should ever need is IRC. I don't understand this obsession people have with social networking.

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