Wiki Mail?

Dorai is a bright guy. I ping his site from time to time and he always has some nifty idea brewing. Tofay I was reading his story about using a wiki for email storage and it makes a lot of sense. I’m one of those types that keeps a slew of email floating around several subfolders in my mail client. I use Kontact/KMail and it’s an unorganized mess that I attempt to make sense of with sub folders, sub-sub folders, filters, custom audio chimes and all. No matter what I do it just looks horrible! I have about 20+ top level folders all different colors, three configured mail accounts (there used to be two more but glitches on both the server and my client forced my list down to 3.) and more filters than you can stick a shake at. Everytime I look at it all I can say is, “this needs help!” Now I’m thinking wiki. A wiki would be perfect for managing emails and such. I could configure KMail to automatically post to an instance of SnipSnap or something like that where I could later go in and manage mail, link related items and such. It’s be real cool if I could get email replies to fall as replies under the original email posted in the wiki.

Then again, what’s wrong with regular KMail searching filtering and organization? The search feature is powerful. I can create custom searches that work like database views. I can expire messages from folders after x number of days. I can play the name of the person sending the email over my speakers as it arrives. (I’ve done most of these things and I still have a mess!) Maybe I’m just looking for something different. I use SnipSnap as our office bliki all the time and I find it a fun way to organize data, code, and other misc. docs. I’m thinking I could create a private wiki instance for my email and suck it into Kontact via RSS and maintain tight integration. I’d use the wiki to read and organize mail and I’d keep a temporary archive in a folder in Kmail that would expire mail after a week. Spam would still of course get filed into the spam buckets and life would be good. Just a thought.

4 thoughts on “Wiki Mail?

  1. I have my office setup with MindTouch Deki (software virtual appliance) and since everyone is using Outlook they have the MindTouch Outlook Connector. This allows them to publish emails in a click to the MindTouch wiki, which imo is the best there is. This is better than catching _all_ emails because not all are worth saving. I pushed MindTouch recently about doing a Thunderbird plugin because I’m on Linux. I didn’t get anywhere. But I’m hoping someone from their open source community ( steps up and writes one. I’m not much of programmer (IT dude).

  2. Mindtouch eh? Looks interesting but of course I suffer from NIH (Not Invented Here). I can’t see spending money on something that I could put together using the old washing machine hose in my garage with the dusty tarp out in my shed and the rusty ratchet by the kitchen sink and the old bedsheets from my daughter’s younger days. My custom approach wouldn’t be nearly as flashy or attractive as the comercial product but it would work and it would be my creation. Something I would brag about at cocktail parties and attempt to sell to my in-laws for that killer price. Then of course if the MindTouch solution were open source it would offer that same familiar fragrence of old bedsheet and oil stained tarp that any homegrown solution would provide making me feel at home. Something must be wrong with me.

  3. You know that statement “when you only have a hammer, the entire world looks like a nail”? Looking at the original post, it looks like Dorai’s real problem is Outlook (and I assume Exchange). I don’t see a Wiki being the way forward for mail or mail storage, in the same way that you wouldn’t store your mail in a bunch of Word docs.

    Never underestimate an IMAP server and a half decent mail client. šŸ™‚

  4. Scott,
    My problem is not really Outlook. I tried Thurderbird and, Yahoo webmail client and Gmail client.

    My need is to organize annotate information on my desktop. Mail is just one of the entry points.

    You may be right about the hammer stuff šŸ™‚ I use wiki as a hammer and make it a destination for most of the text so that they can all be crosslinked and easily searchable.

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