Email Clients That Don't Consume and Produce Feeds are Doomed

For many years I've thought of email as both a communication & a publishing platform and the reason that I was so enamored with IMAP was because I thought it would provide an easy way for people to share some of their email and NNTP archives. For example, I have more than 15 years worth of useful messages that I've saved from public discussion groups, such as Usenet, and I would love to make these available to everyone. I used to think that IMAP-accessible mailboxes would be the best way to do this, but now I'm sure it's not. Now, as I've written about in Email in the Web 2.0 World and in Deflecting Feeds vs Deflecting Email, I'm pretty sure that feed protocols, not the IMAP protocol, are the best way to publish and share messages. Many others are thinking this way too, including Microsoft's Ray Ozzie who wrote the following in his blog item titled Wiring the Web:
"I believe RSS has the potential to be the “UNIX pipe of the internet”, and that one of the simplest and most pervasive “mesh” needs that many of us have is to provide connections for things such as contacts, calendar entries, messages, files and the like."
So, if you are a developer of an email client, please add in the ability to consume and produce feeds. I'm asking for this both because I personally want this and because I know that the big guys -- Google, Microsoft, & Yahoo -- are doing this and if the open-source and small-business communities don't get their act together and do this, they will be doomed. And then we will all be living in an Internet world where big-company tools and services are the only choice.

See Also: Universal Inbox in the WebSeitzWiki.
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to be honest, i don't like reading RSS feeds in mail clients... but perhaps you are right in the larger scale of things. i will personally continue to use email clients without regard to whether or not they consume feeds.


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