Why e-mail should be more like RSS

Why e-mail should be more like RSS: I’m one of those people who barely scratch the surface of using all the features software offers. Then, one day, I’m thinking, “I wish I could do this” and after poking around a little, I discover the feature was there all along.

For example, using (on my Mac) NetNewsWire, I have lots of RSS feeds organized in a hierarchy of folders (It looks a little like this screen shot on the Ranchero website, but mine is way more obsessively organized. When I travel, I usually spend some time pruning feeds from the list, or moving feeds from one folder to another.)

Long ago, I came to the conclusion that all feeds are not created equal. Some I want to be refreshed very often, and I want to check them as soon as they are refreshed. Others I want to check only in the evening. Some I like to see on the weekend. Some, I can wait until I “get around to it.”

So, duh, I just discovered (from the rockstar of organizational hacks like this, Merlin Mann) that NetNewsWire has my dream feature, one that’s probably been there forever – and one I wish I had on my e-mail. By choosing the “Info” option under the “Window” menu, I can set up custom refresh schedules for each feed, or for an entire folder of feeds. You can even set it up to opt out of a manual refresh of all feeds.

Can you do that with e-mail? Let mail from person A into my in-box immediately. Let mail from person B into my in-box only once every hour. Let mail from person C into my in-box every full-moon. Etc. If we had RSS-mail instead of e-mail, we could.

Update: Thanks to those power Mac mail users who have headed me into a higher state consciousness. As much as I thought I was a filtering fool, there apparently is much more I can do.

The Jarvis effect?

The Jarvis effect? After the market closed today, Dell said “BOO!” to its shareholders:

“Dell posted preliminary third-quarter earnings below expectations amid weaker sales to U.S. consumers and in Britain….Dell, whose shares fell as much as 5.1 percent in after-hours trade, also said it would take charges of about $450 million in the third quarter for costs of repairing some computer systems for customers…”

Observation: In hindsight, when he blogged his frustration with Dell last summer, Jeff Jarvis was experiencing something that the company is now admitting was taking place on a much broader scale. (However, I guess Forbes would call Dell a “victim” of a blogger attack.) Here, we have an example of a frustrated, then angry, articulate blogger serving as a leading indicator of underlying problems.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween: My friends, the Mathews, let a few of us have some fun painting the front of their home on one of Nashville’s best streets for trick-or-treating – Whitland Ave. Fortunately for the neighbors, the house is undergoing major renovations and is about to be painted by some pros. (I helped paint the jack-o-lantern.) Stay safe tonight.

All the news fit to blog

All the news fit to blog: The NY Times is aggregating blogger-reaction to the nomination of Alito to the Supreme Court.

Observation: Nice to see the editors at the NY Times recognize bloggers are more than “attack” dogs. However (and with some irony), sites like Memeorandum are doing a better job following bloggers commenting on NY Times stories than the NY Times is doing itself.

Tracking these conversations is beginning to look like an Escher staircase.

(via: Nashville is Talking)