Messaging, not email

Coming out of our ‘smtp is dead, long live smtp’ brainstorming session I am thinking that we need to be talking about messaging, not email.

Email is a subset of a much larger messaging market. What we’ve seen over the past 10 years is that internet messaging (primarily text but let’s not make that distinction) has evolved from predominantly email to a host of other systems;

Instant Messaging
Blogging (each post is a message)
Skyping (text+voice)
Voice Mail Transcription (voice to text)
Twittering/FB status update
Web mail
Web site messaging (FB messages)
Comments on social media
Social gestures (actions in the news feed)
Text messaging (sms)

Its protocol soup. smtp, rss, http, udp, http, sms and stuff beyond that which is also beyond me. The protocol matters in terms of how the messaging system works but at the level of the end user, its immaterial.

Messaging is messaging and we all do it in different ways. But the massive evolution of messaging services is creating a big opportunity to rationalize it.

None of the peopele who attended our little messaging session thinks that unified messaging is the answer. But open messaging platforms and new messaging interfaces which can sit on top of those open platforms is.

So I’d like to see every messaging system that I mentioned and all the ones I left out of my list open up their systems via APIs or other techniques and let new platforms/interfaces sit on top of them.

Next up – how the social graph fits into all of this.