Tag groups

Email isn’t dead afterall

Email is dead or so they said, well it seems like Facebook has another idea. A few weeks ago Facebook announced their plan for merging all your communication to be found in one place, and including a @facebook address as a way to be reached. Though they’re suggesting it’s not email and calling it a conversation hub, since they’re removing the subject line as part of the message. Regardless of what they want to call it makes a good case that email is in fact not dead, just due for an upgrade.

Despite it’s failure, Google Wave had some solid ideas on bringing email inline with modern technology. The good parts of Wave will resurface in Gmail and other services. For example earlier this week Posterous launched Groups which has number of the things I liked about Wave with simpler and prettier UI. Been testing is over the last few days and thought there are still a few odd UI issues, the overall UI is simple enough for non-geeks to use and that’s key for mass adoption. In the sample at left (from Posterous) you can see the basic layout and support for photos/video etc. Not as pretty as some of the standard Posterous themes but I’m sure that will come with time. The big question is whether the masses start adopting it, especially with competitors like Facebook Groups; though they are different offerings, Facebook already has the masses using their services everyday.

AOL is also giving email another try with their recently launched Project Phoenix. I love the paper cut-out animation they used to announce the project (see below) and for the users of Aol Mail this will be a welcome addition. They’ve simplified the UI, added the ability to import your other email services and now lets you send text messages. Another plus is I didn’t notice any ads cluttering up the interface. I assume they’ll be there sooner or later and if not, this is an even bigger plus for the consumer. I also like their “quick bar” access to multiple communication tools. Despite these improvements I’m not sure it’s enough to attract new users, though it may help keep their current customer base.

Personally, I still use email for some things, but for many things email’s formality and permanence isn’t needed. If I just want to share a link, or something else temporal email is overkill. At the same time having an archive for things is still needed at times. It’s good to see some progress in allowing us to have our cake and eat it too. Only time will tell how this will shake out but for now these are a step in the right direction.

Refresh Philly & The Geeks Who Give

This past Monday was the inaugural meeting of Refresh Philly. This first meeting was more of a brainstorming session between the twenty attendees. What came out of that meeting was a desire to promote Philadelphia.  The group would work in conjunction with many of pre-existing groups here in Philly. Meeting the first Monday of the month, with meetings featuring two speakers covering different topics. This is to promote a cross pollination of people and ideas, as well as increasing the potential audience beyond that of any particular discipline.

To find out more, check out RefreshPhilly.org or the Refresh Philly’s group on Google.  If you’re in Philly on January 12th, come join us. You’ll need to RSVP as it takes place on the 45th floor on the Comcast Center, where the view alone is worth a visit.

Another Philly based event is the GeekWhoGive Food drive and Tweetup next Tuesday (Dec 9) from 6-9pm, at National Mechanics in Old City. The food drive is collecting non-perishable food for Philabundance the areas largest food bank.  As an added incentive local food podcasters Fork You will lead a cooking demo at 7pm, along with drink specials and raffle prizes.  Cover charge is 5 non-perishable food items (welcome to bring more).  Check the site for updates and additional info.

Links:
RefreshPhilly.org
RefreshPhilly on Google
GeekWhoGive
Philabundance
Fork You