Email's special power

Email's special power.

Software that requires people to explicitly declare the formation of these groups, and to acknowledge their dissolution, is too blunt an instrument for such ephemeral social interaction. Like an operating-system thread, an e-mail thread is a lightweight construct, cheap to set up and tear down. Could a protocol other than SMTP, and an application other than e-mail, support such interaction? Sure, but any other communication medium that has e-mail's special power to convene groups will suffer the same diseases that afflict e-mail: spam, abuse, infoglut. [Full story at]

When I recently threw some cold water on the notion that RSS is ready to displace email, I failed to articulate what, exactly, is so special about email. This column makes the case. [Jon's Radio]

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