Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Semantic E-mail Delivery: The Future of E-mail?

Smart email figures out who should get messages...!!!

--> New cutting edge technology? or just another waste of time? Perhaps you might discover a life-changing potential so stay tuned.

A prototype e-mail system being tested at Stanford University later this year will radically change how users specify where their messages are supposed to be delivered. Called SEAmail, for “semantic e-mail addressing,” the system allows users to direct a message to people who fulfill certain criteria without necessarily knowing recipients’ e-mail addresses, or even their names.

seamailIn SEAmail, a user selects recipients for a message in much the way that he would set up a search query. The parameters can be as simple as a person’s name, or as complex as sets of logical requirements.

Yes, a user could also send a message to a group such as “say … all girls who graduated from Xyz School in 2000″ ;) or I can see it working within companies i.e. “email all people working on SSAS.” SEAmail can handle that without requiring the user to spend time doing research or keeping an address book up to date.

But the system is limited by how much information it has about potential recipients. Within an organization, there’s usually a lot of available data. The technical challenge is setting up an integrated version of the data that SEAmail can access easily.

First thing that came to my mind about this technology is “spammer’s heaven” :) . You can target the exact group of people without even knowing their email IDs, bringing accuracy to junk. Is it ripe for misuse? Will there be more time spent patching than progressing? On first look, “Yes”.

Assuming that worries about spam could be properly resolved, still getting good data for SEAmail becomes a much harder problem on the broader Internet.

Also outdated information could degrade the quality of the system.

Still I think there is a lot of potential for internal use by large businesses, for which its benefits far outweigh the potential for abuse.

Even with issues, more of social than technological, SEAmail is ready to impact the way we mail and this may be something you’ll hear more about....!!!

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