Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Email is the place where information goes to die

Email is the place where information goes to die

Update: Roland found the original quote by Bill French, April 2003.

So, I've been accused of using this phrase quite a lot.  I figured I should probably claim it by making this blog post.

And yes, I still believe it: email and mailing list is great for quick back and forths. It's terrible for synthesizing information and finding a conclusion a week later.

I'm in favour of web native / crawlable archive systems. Email for notification and quick discussion, but give it a permalink to the conclusion.

I have many (many, many, ...) gripes with Basecamp, but even if you use it as nothing more than a centralized email archive, it's pretty decent. Other strategies? The Trac wiki/ticketing/SVN repository, email enabled forums (with RSS, of course), etc.

Synthesizing and collecting all the resources we deal with is import. Help make information not die, your future self will thank you.