Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Email Tagging

I just listened to Clay Shirky's talk Ontology is Overrated in which he mentions the merit of collective tagging using as an example.

Hearing this, I had the idea that this could be useful for email. No wait, I'm mixing two talks up. Can't remember what the second one was.


  • An Apple Mail plugin lets you tag your mail.
  • Recipient(s) tag(1/s) it also.
  • The two plugins communicate and consolidate the tags (never mind how).


1. When you send mail to a lot of people (or even a mailing list), you may get that effect Mr. Shirky talked about, where you can say that a particular link (email in our case) is 90% blog, 17% internets, 9% cool and 1% bullshit (that being the percentages of people who applied those tags to the mail).

2. You can sort, classify, search and organize (redundancy redundancy) your mail by tags. I sure have a hell of a time finding years old email from "that dude at the university who always used his gmx address" (which means I can't find him by searching for

Think about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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2:52 PM  
Anonymous kabsi said...

I'd like to see the possibility of adding meta information (e.g. keywords) to every email. Maybe there will be a Thunderbird the future...?

3:27 PM  
Blogger Tobias Klüpfel said...

It would certainly be interesting to see.

I thought a little more on this, and I think it would need a veery comfortable interface (better than, say, the way flickr tags are handled), and also a way to automate tagging (although what escapes me right now is how)

7:09 PM  

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