Monday, August 27, 2007

Web 2.0 Corollary: Email as Content Context

With IBM Launching Sametime and Microsoft getting ready for its OCS launch, we might note a corollary to the trend that has communications being embedded within the context of applications and content. One trend has communications (voice, video or audio conferencing, text messaging, instant messaging, email) being embedded within enterprise applications or portals.

At the same time, stand-alone communications tools such as email are morphing as well. Where today email is a stand-alone communications tool on the desktop, it seems to be pushing in a new direction. It seems to be becoming a tool to coordinate communications or content from RSS feeds, blogs, wikis, IMs, and voice.

Instead of using a document attachment, email might simply point a user to a link that displays a page, a document, a news feed, a site or client where a piece of information or content resides, rather than leading a user away from the message.

Zimbra, for example, pops up other information that embedded in a message. Zimbra retrieves the information and pulls it into the email, instead of opening a link that takes the user someplace else.

So it might not make sense, someday, to separate out a user's "communication" activities from a user's "information" or "content" activities. One will communicate when using or accessing information or content, and use or retrieve information or content from a "communications" application.

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