Why I Blast Email
[1/11] from: Carl:rebol at: 11-Jul-2003 11:42
Sorry guys. I disagree. Email is evil. I've been using email now for 25 years. It was once useful to me, but it's really a problem for me these days. It could be that I'm just biased because I get a thousand spams a day (good thing I've got REBOL filtering it for me, our I'd spend all day on it.) Maybe I'm also biased because email programs like Outlook and Eudora open emails and fetch http image links without my permission, so I cannot use them. Maybe I'm biased because our biz contacts and lawyers send us confidential docs unencrypted, and I constantly have to remind them not to. Maybe it is the fact that my investors call and ask what I thought of a doc that I never received because email is not a reliable delivery system. YES, email is as good as the general delivery postal box at the bottom of my road. In that regard it has its place but, email should *not* be the driver of business processes, workflow, or even public discussion (ask why weblogs have become so popular over the last few years). NO, email is not as good as the telephone or a good Internet-base communications system. IMMHO, -Carl
[2/11] from: joel:neely:fedex at: 11-Jul-2003 14:09
Just another $0.02... (I've been covered up in recent weeks due to a change of job within the company. Ergo, I've been mostly in lurk mode. Hence my perspective...) On Friday, Jul 11, 2003, at 13:42 US/Central, [Carl--rebol--com] wrote:
> YES, email is as good as the general delivery postal box at the bottom > of > my road. In that regard it has its place but, email should *not* be > the driver > of business processes, workflow, or even public discussion (ask why > weblogs have become so popular over the last few years). >
$0.01 : I'd agree with the remarks re "business processes" and workflow , but reserve judgement re "public discussion" unless the replacement is equally public and persistent.
> NO, email is not as good as the telephone or a good Internet-base > communications system.
$0.01 : "Good" is a value-judgement term, highly dependent on the specific measures of quality which one considers important. Again, I'd agree that email is not as "good" wrt interactivity, reliability, and confidentiality (when needed). However, a chat-based interactive environment is certainly *not* as "good" as email wrt accessibility to the widest range of participants, including those who'd like to follow a thread off-line (or go back and refer to content later), those behind firewalls, a sufficiently diverse geographic spread (so that not everyone is awake at the same time, etc.). Optimizing for one measure of "goodness" frequently/usually pessimizes over many others... -jn-
[3/11] from: pwoodward::cncdsl::com at: 11-Jul-2003 15:07
Carl - I agree, email definitely has it's problems. Every couple of weeks I add a few new keywords to my email filters to keep my in-box from getting too swamped to work with. However, any solution to the problems with email will have to match it's core strengths: 1> Ubiquity. It cannot be understated. To many people Internet == email. 2> UI Metaphore. On a broad scale people are familiar with email programs. You've hit the nail on the head when you say it's not terribly good for threaded discussion, or even secure communications. It also, perhaps due to it's ubiquity, makes it a great target for spam. I don't really have too much of a problem with rich email (HTML, images, etc), as one frequently must balance usability with security. I've been researching building an email proxy server - using both SMTP and IMAP4 interfaces it would run locally, and Outlook (or any other email app) could use it. However it's delivery mechanism would be managed via a P2P network based on the JXTA protocol. It would be relatively easy to encrypt everything that passes through it using PKI. Instead of automatically sending email over the P2P network, it would first request the public key of the recipient - that would then be used to exchange a session key which would be used to send the message over the wire. By the time it hits your in-box, it would have been encrypted and decrypted transparently. The proxy would be the email store (IMAP4) - and eventually it'd be ideal to allow the P2P synch of the proxy (say between your home system and work system - keeping your folders in sync and your addressbook, etc). It's going to take forever to get people off of email! - Porter
[4/11] from: Carl:rebol at: 11-Jul-2003 13:55
Good comments. Thanks for sharing them. As you know, I don't usually state my opinions in public like this. Not my policy. So you know this one is a sore spot. Email is next to useless for me, and I don't use the telegraph either. Don't get me wrong. Email has its place for "general delivery", just as postal snailmail has its place. We still get and send postal mail. We still get and send email. New mediums usually don't replace the old ones. Eg. TV did not replace radio, VCR's did not replace movie theaters, etc. etc. There are a few exceptions. The telegraph is dead (although Morse code lives on, if you are a shortwaver). Also, I don't think the comments made about the problems of chat-based interactive environments are totally valid. In IOS (AltME, Groove, and other systems too) you can read offline and persistent messages work nicely for that "diverse geographic spread" (the time zone "sleep" factor). Granted, some systems still need to get offline posting capabilities, but I think that's a minor job to do. Enjoyable dicussion tho. A worthy topic. -Carl
[5/11] from: greggirwin:mindspring at: 11-Jul-2003 16:23
Hi Porter, << It's going to take forever to get people off of email! >> I disagree. People will move, even from something as entrenched as wired telephone service, if the right thing comes along. They didn't move for the first cellular/mobile phones, but they are now. They moved *to* email quickly; I think they can move *from* it quickly. It will just take the right thing. At this point, there are too many incompatible options though. -- Gregg
[6/11] from: ed:brittlestar at: 11-Jul-2003 19:27
quickly is a very relative term...
>>They moved *to* email quickly
Didn't it take roughly 5 or 6 years ('90 - '96) before email really took off in the mainstream (corp. & personal use)? It has taken longer than that to move from VHS to DVD as the dominant format in the US, and that took a lot of pushing.
>> I think they can move *from* it quickly.
With communication enablers, I think it's often harder to switch than it is to adopt. As with most technologies-- programming languages included-- in order for the masses to switch, the benefits must substantially exceed the cost/pain of migration. It's a really high bar of perception that must be cleared. Usually what happens instead is the new technology encompasses most of the basic needs/features of the legacy technology (often in the form of bloat ). This enables users, who really don't care a whit about bloat, to be more easily persuaded. The common story is: Start-up company go to market with next-generation great idea, let's say... "video email over the surplus digital TV spectrum." The big corporations let this upstart blaze the trail, found the market. If it takes off, the big corps cherry-pick the best ideas from the start-up and incorporate them as "features" in the next major release of their own software. I definitely wouldn't bet on email disappearing for a long time. Sure, I can see it evolving though. // Ed O'Connor - who's just woken from a long REBOL slumber The early bird gets the worm, but the _second_ rat gets the cheese.
[7/11] from: andreas:bolka:gmx at: 12-Jul-2003 16:34
Friday, July 11, 2003, 10:55:09 PM, Carl wrote:
> Good comments. Thanks for sharing them. > As you know, I don't usually state my opinions in public like this. > Not my policy. So you know this one is a sore spot. Email is next to > useless for me, and I don't use the telegraph either.
I know, I know - you don't like email :) But nevertheless: You seem to be using REBOL to send email (your mails do not contain an X-Mailer header, but an "X-REBOL: Link 188.8.131.52.1 http://WWW.REBOL.COM" header). Now if you would add a very simple functionality to your mailing reblet, those of us using mail clients with threading functionality would really benefit. Your mailer does not send an "In-Reply-To" header in mails that are replies to other mails. There are clients that make use of this header to enable a nice, threaded view mode. Adding that header is rather easy: if you reply to message A just read the value of the Message-ID header of message A and use that exact value for the In-Reply-To header. Example follows. -- snip -- Message A: Message-ID: <[web-112615--compkarori--co--xy]> Message B, an reply to message A: In-Reply-To: <[web-112615--compkarori--co--xy]> -- snap -- Just a suggestion :) -- Best regards, Andreas mailto:[andreas--bolka--gmx--net]
[8/11] from: ed:brittlestar at: 12-Jul-2003 12:07
[Slightly Off Topic] Spam has basically ruined email for many of us, the digital cognoscenti ;^), but a recent study of 2,500 workers suggests that most folks don't share our headaches-- not yet, anyway: While spam (unsolicited email) is a growing problem for personal email accounts and for the Information Technology specialists and Internet Service Providers who are trying to stanch its flow, little spam reaches the on-the-job inboxes of American workers. http://www.pewinternet.org/reports/reports.asp?Report=79&Section=ReportLevel 1&Field=Level1ID&ID=346 The report provides some worthwhile datapoints for anyone that wants to grasp the ubiquity of email in US business. Other related links: The Spam Problem: How Bad Is It? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,762731,00.asp The Email List-Owner News Source http://emailuniverse.com/list-news/ -- Ed
[9/11] from: gchiu:compkarori at: 13-Jul-2003 9:27
On Sat, 12 Jul 2003 12:07:12 -0400 "Ed O'Connor" <[ed--brittlestar--com]> wrote:
>[Slightly Off Topic] > >Spam has basically ruined email for many of us, the >digital cognoscenti ;^),
and is a good thing for improving the prospects of IOS as an alternative communications medium :) -- Graham Chiu http://www.compkarori.com/vanilla/
[10/11] from: ed:brittlestar at: 12-Jul-2003 21:46
Ahem... And one simple technique that can be employed to inhibit spam is to remove the explicit email address inserted in the email body when replying to someone's message. ;^) That way, when the list archives are posted on a webserver, email harvesters crawl away empty handed. Perhaps the 'lister code should scan and remove email addresses (other than the list address, obviously), or replace them with something like: nameATdomainDOTcom -- Ed
[11/11] from: maximo:meteorstudios at: 14-Jul-2003 11:59
good point. let's not be the instigators of our own spam... At work, you see, I receive less than one spam per month... I guess that's why I still like e-mail ;-) every hotmail address I've had though, gets replaced after a few months though... for spam, isn't there a (or several) server(s) which lists universal offending servers (which do bad things like mail forwarding) and a list of spam mail addresses... When I was mail admin, I could access these and get a huge filter of who not to accept mail from... the server would get a refreshed list each day (or everytime you wanted) and your own server could send new confirmed spammers to that list so that it would be shared amongst the others using the filter... isn't all of this still functional ?! or are the lists too exhaustive, now, slowing servers... I was using SLmail server... -max