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Searching through the emails of experts would be very useful. A large body of relevant and useful information would be made publically available if such experts posted these emails to the web. This is, unfortunately, a great deal of trouble.
I propose an infrastructure (I leave the technical specifics
to those with more knowledge than I) that publishes email to the web if "public" is one of the recipiants. This system would usually be set up on a local scale by universities, companies, etc, so that professional emails could easily be added to the university's or company's website. Geeks could probably set it up on a personal scale.
That is, when an email about new research in brimstone is sent to or from "firstname.lastname@example.org" (professor emeritus of damnation at Underworld University), *and* to "public", that email is picked up by the underworld.edu servers and posted to damnation.underworld.edu/beelzebub/email.
It seems at first there might be privacy issues, but none that don't currently exist; if you send a confidential email, your friend *can* currently post it to the web. This system simply makes it easier to do so.
"Searching through the emails of experts would be very useful"
crispy. [yamahito, Oct 04 2004]
||I was thinking the other day of a similar archive. Your idea is more developed than I took mine, although I've not decided for myself yet whether either is a good idea.
||I like the idea of having a public address that automatically posts a mail to a Web resource. It'd be nice if the Web resource respected DRM schemes so that people could protect their e-mails to some degree.
||[yamahito] that's usenet, which provides a good deal of the functionality required here.
[nils] I think I like this idea, the only problem being people accidently emailing "public".