Friday, October 15, 2010

The Inbox: Like Search Before Google

April Fool's bearImage via WikipediaThe inbox continues to be the wild, wild west of the computing experience. Email is still the dominant application. Before Google came along, the feeling was search was done and over with. That is why Yahoo refused to buy Google, despite being given the chance by the Google founders. Yahoo already had a search box. Why bother? AltaVista was king.

It is not possible the inbox is done and over with, even though the last major innovation with the inbox was when Google gave one gigabyte of space, and that too on April Fool's day. You had to see it to believe it.

Is it like when you borrow too many books from the library and do not get around to reading them all? Whose fault is that? Your having only 24 hours in your day is not the tech sector's problem. That perhaps is not even God's problem.

Google did a good job of expanding your inbox. And the search function in Gmail is great. And the newly launched Priority Inbox is great too. But the inbox has a long way to go. Your social graph is made up of concentric circles and your inbox has to reflect that. Not all emails are equally important.

There has to be the option to visually read emails. So you collect all emails from this one person and you visually read 100 of them at once. You should have the option to form word clouds out of those 100 emails with the option to jump over to an individual email from that word cloud, if the desire should take wings.
Fred Wilson: The Impact Of Priority Inbox: I get a lot of email and I can't get to all of it regardless of what email client I use. Other Priority Inbox users might actually read through Everything Else. But I don't and can't. ..... Google has solved a huge problem for me and potentially created a huge problem for emailers.
So how do you get hold of a celebrity like Fred Wilson? You tweet them. You leave a comment at their blog. If it is worth their time to read, they will read. They might even tweet back, or reply to a comment. But don't be counting on it. It is not like you have a right to his time, especially when he also has only 24 hours in a day.

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