Why K-Logs and e-mail integration:
What does e-mail integration with K-Logs mean? Here are some thoughts on how e-mail would work as a:
1) K-Log authoring tool. E-mail can be used to publish to a K-Log. E-mail systems typically have spell checkers (most K-Log publishing tools do not) and the ability to format HTML through a simple point and click interface. It also has nearly ubiquitous (including PDAs and phones) availability. The downside is that it doesn't have the full feature functionality available in a K-Log publishing system: editing and deleting of posts, posting annotated news, the ability to rearrange posts, categorization, etc. At best e-mail K-Log authoring is merely an ad-hoc publishing extension for mobile K-Loggers.
2) Source of content for K-Logs. E-mail often contains great conversations and content that can gain value through use in a K-Log. The challenge is to get it to the K-Log tool so that it can be organized and published. Three options exist: a) forward the e-mail by hand, b) manually build rules that forward specific e-mails, or c) use automated systems that generate rules that forward related conent (I haven't seen many of these systems even though they are needed). Once published in a K-Log e-mail conversations and content gain value. They can now be searched by workgroup members via keywords in a semi-public archive, categorized and routed to specific user groups, and organized via an outliner.
3) Mechanism for K-Log alerts or to initiate K-Log workflow. E-mail, as well as instant messaging, can prompt subscribed workgroup members to visit newly posted content or participate in K-Log workflow. Also since most e-mail systems now support HTML and K-Logs are at core a Web publishing tool, it is possible for individuals to send HTML e-mails that initiate interaction with polls, surveys, ratings, forms (that populates a table or interactive database), image libraries (and resource directories of all sorts), etc. Within a permissive environment, like a corporate or university LAN, all two-way interaction (data entry) can be done directly with a desktop K-Log client via HTTP. In a non-permissive environment with firewalls, the recipient should be able to interact locally with their K-Log client software and relay data to the publisher via the K-Log cloud or P2P. Regardless of the mechanism, two-way interaction with a K-Log, initiated by e-mail, will be a useful addition to K-Logging. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]