Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive for the 'Email discoveries' Category | back to home

2 July 2004
Filed under:Email discoveries,Personal at3:35 pm

Having come back home from holiday to an in-box which I have now managed to reduce to ‘only’ 500 messages I have some sympathy for “Lawrence Lessig”:http://www.lessig.org/blog/’s novel ‘solution’ to email overload. He emailed all the people he had yet to respond to and told them he was declaring email bankruptcy and wasn’t going to reply to any of the messages unless those who had emailed him before felt it was important enough to email him again.

It is certainly hard to know what to do with those emails that don’t have to be dealt with immediately but don’t seem unimportant enough to throw away at once. I believe you should take time once a week to ruthlessly scour your inbox of email that is now outdated on the grounds that if you didn’t answer it within a week you probably won’t. But I confess I haven’t done it. In fact I have email in my inbasket from the start of 2003 (and rough blog postings I have stored but not posted dating back to June 2003). Do as I say not as I do!

18 June 2004
Filed under:Email discoveries at9:47 am

I like Seb’s idea of giving Gmail in exchange for “random acts of benevolence”:http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-001169/ but I would not be averse to receiving payment for my invitation either – I haven’t earned a penny from four years of producing this blog (though it was not produced for profit). If you can provide installation and hosting of a WordPress weblog that would be particularly interesting to me.

(Cartoon notwithstanding I am not looking for a date!)

10 June 2004

Want to check up on yourself? FutureMe.org will send you an email with whatever text you want at some future date. So you can remind yourself not to eat that chocolate bar or to start studying for that test or whatever.

21 May 2004

Regular readers will know (archive item 1, “archive item 2”:https://blog.org/archives/001061.html) that I am keen to find search tools for the files on my own hard disk (and email). So far I have been dissatisfied but it seems Google is about to enter this market if you believe the rumours about Project Puffin. “According to the New York Times”:http://news.com.com/2100-1011_3-5215707.html Google’s desktop search software has been in use within the company for about a year.

Don’t expect Googling your hard disk to be as effective as Googling the web though – Google’s web searching relies heavily on the ubiquitous cross-linking in web pages to indicate the importance of one page over another for a given search and most people’s hard disks don’t contain that kind of handy cross-referencing.

Microsoft is also looking at this kind of thing of course but I’m not sure I want to wait for the next version of MS’s operating system and upgrade to it in order to take advantage of their new search features.

1 May 2004
Filed under:Email discoveries at1:16 pm

Having trouble with your email software or the email service you use? Check out EmailDiscussions.com which basically does what it says in the address. Could be very handy for ad hoc advice….

24 March 2004

I continue to look for a good cheap way of searching my local hard disk as easily as I search the web. Jeremy Wagstaff has just produced a handly master list of hard disk indexers. I am still toying with all of them. All I want is decent Boolean search and Acrobat support. DTSearch has this but it also has a crappy interface and costs too much for consumer use.

80-20 doesn’t integrate with non-Outlook email (I use Eudora) – indeed if you don’t use Outlook it really really doesn’t want to install at all. X1’s price seems to have gone up from free to $50 to $100 and it doesn’t offer Boolean search. The latest entry, “HotBot Desktop”:http://www.infotoday.com/newsbreaks/nb040322-1.shtml doesn’t offer Boolean search either though they say they are using DTSearch’s technology which should have been able to provide this function. I’ll still be taking a good look at it though.

23 March 2004

I just discovered that Amazon US is selling my book Dealing with E-Mail for 60% off – it’s $2.80! At that price you’d be crazy not to buy a copy. Here’s an overview of the book:

This book was designed to be a simple non-technical guide, inexpensive enough to give to everyone in an organization, that would nonetheless introduce workers at all levels to many of the key techniques they can use to manage email more effectively and the key security and legal issues they may face. These include:

  • Filing your email automatically
  • Managing email address books
  • Making sure your address does not get picked up by spammers and…
  • Removing spam automatically when it arrives.
  • Dealing with email-borne viruses
  • Writing clear and culturally-sensitive email
  • Preventing confidential email from being intercepted and read and
  • Being aware of legal issues that may arise including sexual harassment, commercial confidentiality and breach of contract.

The book has been written to be broadly applicable to users of any e-mail system and from any country.

As organizations increasingly use email as a business-critical tool they will become vulnerable to email-borne viruses, spam, legal problems and un-manageable volumes of unnecessary messages unless they ensure that everyone – not just the IT staff and HR managers – learns some of the basic techniques outlined in this book.

There is also a “companion site”:http://www.well.com/user/derb/dealingwithemail/ for the book containing more detailed information and up to date tips.

29 February 2004

some kind soul has set up dropload – you upload a single file (up to 50Mb) then an email is sent to the recipient telling them how to pick it up. Much better than trying to email it…

18 February 2004

New Scientist “briefly describes”:http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994663 research that compares lying behaviour on the phone, by email and in face to face communication. Turns out it’s not email – it’s the telephone where most lying occurs (at least in this experiment). Who would have thought? The researchers suggest a reason we don’t lie as much by email is that it leaves a trail and we can be called to account for it later.

9 February 2004

dodgeit lets you set up one-time-use email addresses for when you have to register for something but don’t want to get spammed – and it lets you read those emails via “RSS”:https://blog.org/archives/000880.html instead of having them delivered to you (if you are really addicted to using RSS for everything).

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