Brad Feld, a blog I read regularly, has a great post about a growing problem, information and email overload. We have for the most part successfully eliminated spam from our inbox lives. In gmail I receive maybe 5 pieces of spam a week, which is nothing compared to the hundreds I see added in my spam folder throughout the week. But we are now reaching a point where email is a necessary form of communication, and some people are getting close to 500 pieces a day. That’s impossible to work through, and it’s highly unlikely they’re ALL important. As Brad discusses in his post, we can adapt some of the features used to effectively eliminate spam to put them to use on filtering emails on a more prioritized basis, thus making our inboxes smart.
Via Brad Feld:
“Now – if we could turn these same spam elimination systems – which work automatically in the background (e.g. I use Postini and spam simply disappears – I never think about it anymore) – into “email prioritization systems” (e.g. spam has priority=null, email from Amy or my mother has priority=immediate, email from my partners has priority=high) where the priorities are automatically tuned by my pci based on my behavior things become more interesting. Finally – add one more layer of abstraction – my pci knows when I am ready to received different priorities and presents them to me only when I’m ready”
From his comments section I found a cool little company called clearcontext, which is working towards this sort of solution for outlook. I think I’ll just wait for google to integrate that into gmail. I’ve moved out of the outlook world, and I’d prefer to stay out. In fact I’ve emailed google many times about basically offering their gmail product as competition to outlook for corporate customers. Please google, please…hey the advertising pays for itself.