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Use summarization technology in email clients
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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.

theircompetitor, Mar 03 2004

Threading facilities in email http://www.groupsen...nz/howtothread.html
A better solution that's actually already in many email clients. [kropotkin, Oct 04 2004]

There's an app for that http://techcrunch.c...ake-of-your-iphone/
[theircompetitor, Jul 16 2011]

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       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, Mar 03 2004

       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.
theircompetitor, Mar 03 2004

       The naive criticism: the summaries will be inaccurate.   

       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, increased efficiency.   

       [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.
mouseposture, Jul 16 2011


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