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(May 2002)

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Subject: Re: e-postage again
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 23:53:47 -0700
To: Nick Simicich <njs @ scifi . squawk . com>, list-managers <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
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On 5/19/02 9:59 PM, "Nick Simicich" <njs @
 scifi .
 squawk .
 com> wrote:

> It is my general belief, about this topic, that if this proceeds, it is
> designing some protocol other than smtp mail.  Maybe smtp mail has outlived
> its usefulness.  Maybe it is time to design some protocol other than smtp
> mail, something that looks a lot more like Lotus Notes mail except that
> every piece of mail is signed (as opposed to optionally being signed),
> there is a decentralized signature authority and you decide who to trust
> and who to extend trust to - not only at the individual level but at the
> authority level and at the content type level.

If I were a betting person, and I am, actually, here's my thought.

Nick is pretty right here. I think SMTP-based mail will (and probably
already has started, although you can't see it in any real way) atrophying,
the way USENET did. For all the volume you still see on it, USENET is dead.
E-mail will likely follow.

There's a generational shift going on. The new generation of internet users
aren't seeing e-mail as the communication tool, they're going to IM. Email
is simply a "backing store" for IM for when your friends aren't online. It's
not far from that to putting the backing store IN the IM system and doing
away with SMTP. In fact, some places do something like that, using an IM
server for store and forward when a user logs on.

So if I were trying to "fix" e-mail, I'd probably look at taking IM and
subsuming email into it. Which lots of of folks are doing in various ways,
if you know what to look for (how about AIMSTER, for instance...).

When things get as endemic as email is, you generally don't fix them. You
just keep them alive, and then something else cvomes along and replaces it.
Except for those of us old pharts who sit around and complain about the good
old days and wonder where all the young pharts are and why they don't do
things the way they did in the good old days...

Chuq Von Rospach, Architech
chuqui @
 plaidworks .
 com --

IMHO: Jargon. Acronym for In My Humble Opinion. Used to flag as an opinion
something that is clearly from context an opinion to everyone except the
mentally dense. Opinions flagged by IMHO are actually rarely humble. IMHO.
    (source: third unabridged dictionary of chuqui-isms).

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