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Emails and bulletin messages frequently grow unwieldy as the chain grows. This problem affects work email chains especially, as you'll be forwarded a chain of 50 messages where some key piece of information is buried 49 posts down, with the typical subject of FW:can you handle this?
Stop the insanity
and reduce net traffic to boot by using autosummarization technology similar to that used in MS Word. Then, key concepts from the emails below would flow with the message as necessary but all the fluff and extra formatting would be stripped.
Apologies if this is already here -- lots of email related ideas, I didn't immediately see it.
Threading facilities in email
A better solution that's actually already in many email clients. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]
There's an app for that
[theircompetitor, Jul 16 2011]
||I think this is in general the wrong solution to the problem. Partly this is because autosummarizing technology isn't very good. Partly this is because people can manually edit emails. But mainly because there is no reason to trim content if instead we can file and index it properly.
||There are solutions which allow emails to be viewed as a threaded discussion. This has the advantage that none of the content of the email discussion is lost, but at the same time viewing of emails is far more straightforward without all the multiple indents and garbled headers.
||kropotkin -- agreed on most counts if you were talking about typical non-indexable text. However, frequently large work related email chains actually have specifics buried within them (say, a customer ID or account #) or other analysis that finally lands on the target -- and it's very hard for him to make any sense of it without reading the whole chain.
||That's what the post attempts to do -- I'll grant you it's hard.
||The naive criticism: the summaries will be
||The cynical response: already, people
multitasking on blackberries glance at an email
and fire off a response that completely misses the
point. So, an autosummarizer would increase
rate, without any (further) loss of quality: hence,
||[theircompetitor] A solution that seems
increasingly common is purpose-built electronic
records systems that combine the functions of
email and database. But doubtless too pricey
below a certain scale.