What we are talking about — Seemingly endless discussion about the acquisition and demise of an email client. Yes, an email client.
What we should be talking about — Short of world peace, true bi-partisan cooperation, the vast global social-economic divide, or the many other far more pressing issues? How about something other than an email client.
But, since you all insist…
Sparrow was just another email client. Same as just about every email client that has existed since, well, email itself. In my opinion, email clients are one of the few technologies that, on the front end, have seen little-to-no innovation since the beginning. Sure, Sparrow, in some opinions, might have put a prettier face on it but it was the same basic layout and provided the same basic functions as every other email client.
I have some ideas about how to change email. I will state, for the record, that many of these may not make sense to or be right for everyone. That said, at least it is a start in the direction of trying to think different about it. Here are two of them…
First, let’s talk about what happens when I first open up an email client. Why do I need to see an inbox? Why can’t an inbox be a destination to decide to go to as opposed to having it immediately presented to you? By being the first thing presented, one is compelled to read as opposed to compose. To react as opposed to act.
In my perfect email client, I would be presented with a choice of actions first. The first choice would be to compose an email, the next choice would be to check for and read incoming messages (inbox), the third choice would be to search for an older message in the Archive. If I choose to compose a new message, I would not even see my inbox or any existing email. I would have a compose window and nothing more.
Oh, and let’s talk about that compose window, because it would be different too…
I want to write my email like I write my letters. I want to compose it first, then address it, and then come up with an appropriate subject. I’ve never understood why the question of subject comes before that of composition. In my opinion, it should come last. One should make the subject the last and most important decision based contextually on the content and the recipient. In fact, one should not be able to send the email until the subject box is filled out.
The bottom line, let’s all stop kvetching over the demise of an email client and its meaning regarding the state of independent development as a whole. All of this attention and angst should be proof that it is an area ripe and waiting for real innovation. So, instead, let’s get out there and really shake things up by rebooting the whole thing. Let’s make a real dent in the universe by changing it.
Then, when the people that make that thing get bought by some mega-info-techno-conglomerate, it wont matter, because they will have fundamentally changed the whole idea for the better and for good.