Write 100 times: email is a terrible collaboration tool

by Volker Weber

And it happens again. An email in my inbox sent to 39 people, asking them:

Any suggestions on theme would be gratefully received. And please forward this onto any other blogger you can think of.

This from a person who knows that email is a terrible way of collaboration. If you ever get this idea, then please, puleeeze use Quicktopic. It's free, and you can subscribe to receive updates when somebody else posts. Much better than hundreds of mails in your inbox.


And again I have to apologise for this annual spamfest...

---* Bill

Bill Buchan, 2007-08-01


Step 1. Think of any suggestions on theme - they needn't be good ones.

Step 2. Hit reply to all and let everyone know your suggestions.

At any rate, that seems to be what most people do 'round here ;-)

Chris Linfoot, 2007-08-01

You know, there are a few people I still do this with all the time -- have incredibly long e-mail threads where we are all replying-all for everything. However, the people I tend to do this with are all on GMail (like me), which ends up being equivalent to posting to a private forum.

I've become so spoiled by the GMail thread interface...

Julian Robichaux, 2007-08-02

Ok Julian, I'll take the bait! :-) And what do you think of the thread interface in Notes 8?

Alan Lepofsky, 2007-08-02

Alan, how well does it work with threads spanning outside of the Notes realm, and can it show all messages in one window?

Volker Weber, 2007-08-02

I agree with Julian. The Gmail interface is just amazing. I used to think e-mail was a horrible chore when multiple replies were involved, especially since I am on several old school style mailing lists. However, Gmail changed that perception. I couldn't really think of a more logical way to organize messages. Using Gmail has been an incredible productivity upgrade for my life!

And don't get me started on Google calendar...WOW! ;-)

Chris Blatnick, 2007-08-02

Vowe, good question. I'm skimming my inbox atm, and I don't have a thread that involves people inside and outside Notes, but I will keep a look out. I am not sure what you mean by all in one window. The way it works is when you select a thread (from the view) whichever email is highlighted is shown in the preview pane, so you can navigate from email to email. It would be similar to clicking on one Gmail message at a time, and expanding it so you can read it. It does not have an "expand all" the way gmail does. (is that what you mean by in one window?) BTW, I really like the way Gmail handles threads, I am not criticizing them at all.

Alan Lepofsky, 2007-08-02

Yes, Alan, that is what I mean. See the message and all replies in one text area.

Volker Weber, 2007-08-02

Alan: I really like the threading of internal messages in the Notes 8 client (from what little I've seen on my test server), although like you I haven't done any testing at all with external mail threads. I use Gmail for everything...

Julian Robichaux, 2007-08-03

Domino 8 mail servers support this. Your mail will have to be on a Domino 8 server for this to work.

Technically speaking, Domino 8 adds support for the 'References' and 'In-Reply-To' RFC2822 header fields to support threading when sending/receiving internet mail.

This header info would of course have to be preserved on the other mail system for the thread to remain intact. From our informal testing some but not all email systems support these headers. Gmail appears to support thema as does Thuderbird. Outlook seems to work in some connection modes but not in others.

This is yet another good reason to upgrade to Domino 8 when using Notes 8.

Rob Ingram
Domino Product Manager

Rob Ingram, 2007-08-06

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