I’m a bit obesssed with receipts. I hold on to every one I have for about six months or much longer. It comes from having a mother that threw receipts in the bin the minute she got home and so it became a lot more fun to try and exchange things or get refunds or complain about shoddy merchandise. One of the many novelty and tacky cups I have (Aside: I demand of friends that when they come back from holidays, they bring me back the tackiest thing they can.) is filled with receipts for all types of purchases. Every now and then when I do a spring clean I go through the cup and sort out the receipts and throw many of them out.
I’ve also been thinking about email for a while as I use GMail to sort out more and more of my other email accounts. I now seem to have an email account that I just use for notifications of all sorts. Booking details from Aer Lingus, Ryanair, notifications from Bebo and Facebook and offers now and then from Hotels and Threadless. Newsletters and the like. That account used to be my main account for a while and now it’s pretty useless and to be honest I think a lot of the stuff that comes in could easily be replaced with feeds, either public or private ones. So one account is now becoming my receipt cup in a way but GMail is also like a container of all these receipt cups. I currently have three accounts inside GMail. At any time I can just remove any one of these and still have my container.
I seem to find I’m using email now as a jumping point to other places, blogs to reply to comments, Facebook to read messages on that or Bebo or LinkedIn. Isn’t that what feed readers are too? My GMail notification container and my feed reader are becoming blurred. I really wonder/despair why there isn’t any innovation in this whole area and why feeds are still used by a tiny subculture of people for notifications. I thought the latest version of Microsoft Office with this feed support would have kicked off something where people started using feeds more and saw Outlook as a communications application not just an email application but this hasn’t happened. GMail too, while having support for feeds is not pushing it at all and there isn’t a push by the overall tech industry to replace email notifications with feeds. Why is that?
It seems now that email is like the underpinnings of other platforms, like the stilts holding up a house, dealing with the slime and grime that builds up under homes during damp seasons and termites during dry seasons.
Is email dead?