These are notes I took at a P2PCon2 session about email.

Jon: group formation, storage medium, CMS w/ human context [metadata]
Roku: Human-readable identities, namespace piggy-backed on DNS (Jon: like Jabber)
Roku: "I find excuses to email people URLs [so I can remember them]."
Roku: "It was a metaphor people could understand."
Popkin: just good enough, bearable ref implementations, anyone could gateway
Roku: Makes addressing groups as easy as a single person
Jon: Generates history
Thierry: Not biased to the content

[Aaron: Easy to generate, push medium, unification]

Jon: We're all drowning in email, we need filtering, specialized messages. combinatorial explosion in conversations, need semantics
Jon: primitive semantics, content delivery, versioning problems -- who has what,
Blue: pass by value, not reference
Popkin: difficult to merge, etc.
Jon: threading doesn't work
Popkin: organization is by sender, not topic/project or something meaningful
Jon: that's another metadata problem
Jon: no presence, real-time comm
Blue: overloaded -- it's the hammer. Uses:
 - Correspondence (original use)
 - Instant Messaging (what time are we meeting?)
 - Carrying Payload (sending files, etc.)
 [Aaron: notifications]
Roku: Need system-to-system email
Roku: isn't it just how we use it?
Popkin: we have different classes of mail in real world -- shows importance
Blue: IT says it only fails in one place: attachments
Jon: IT feels it in KR
Roku: again, metadata issue
Thierry: not structured, not organized, puts burden on user. Good thing: not needed to be connected -- that's why good pair for p2p
Roku: sender controlled: wait 45 min. for 5MB of pictures
Jon: notification and delivery are one atomic direction
(crowd: use eurdora/imap)
Popkin: Most people don't use rules, just ignore most mail
Blue: until they call to ask if you got it
Kearney (from audience): "My mail management technique is sort by attachment and delete."
Popkin: our product works in channels -- people working on a project -- and it's a file system w/ folders and stuff. people use filesystems for metadata [Aaron: bleeech]
Blue: three types of people: packrats, deleters and filers... solution is to:
 - make files addressable (link instead of attach)
 - pass by reference
 - cache things (for disconnected use)
our product does this and links in with outlook ("I personally use Eudora.")
Popkin: lots of good standards in cryptography, but people won't use it.
Blue: notes has it but hinds it -- you need to hide it completely

Jon: want to pbv instead of pbr and need protocols with metadata semantics. Do we retrofit email, protocols or come up with new application?
Thierry: need new app
Jon: people are living in outlook
Thierry: I hope there are more apps than word, excel, email and powerpoint
Popkin: we think attachments go better on normal file transfer protocols
Blue: use email as notifiaction, eveyrthing else out of band
Thierry: need offline mode, this is problem with groove [Aaron: Huh?]
Kearney: We did behavior modification by annoying people until they put their metadata in.
Roku: if we had more context at the client... (lots of nods from panel) it needs to know about projects with john, etc. and we need a question: "Do you need to let John know about updates to this attachment?"
Jon: client has no equivalent to HTML and javascript
Roku: unfortunately outlook does
Kearney: we need presence awareness, to ask people if they'll accept the email
Roku: machine-to-machine proxies to do mediation, pull metadata out of incoming and stick metadata into outgoing.
Thierry: exactly, you don't need to change the client. people don't want to do that. [Aaron: people did it for IM], need to be able to send things thru different pipes
Audience: can't loose that this is person-to-person. user won't do the work. metadata has to be behind-the-scenes
Roku: client can do it in retrospect
Kearney: goal is not to annoy the user, but to encourage them to use rules in client... some of the "tell me more" and "tell me next week" kind of stuff.
Popkin: people won't do things outside of their real goal, which is not giving you metadata. there's useful stuff you can get by looking at the fs and naming things
Kearney: We're not all employees all the time.
Popkin: Some of us never!
(many laughs)
Aaron: a lot of categorization informaiton never gets transferred -- users who categorize files / add metadata should share w/ others who got the same message.
(many nods, agreement)