The 2nd Inbox

I’ve been thinking about inboxes and obligation a lot lately. Email has a certain set of social conventions associated with it. Unread email is a burden. Email waiting for a response is a burden. That’s just the way the expectations have evolved for the medium.

But it ain’t necessarily so. What if everybody had two inboxes – email for essential communications, the must-reads; and something else, the inbox for non-essential information, for dipping into and serendipitously discovering something useful or entertaining.

I can think of multiple ways to implement this. I think, ultimately it will have to be built in a backwards compatible manner, on top of email (maybe Raindrop can lead here?). But since everybody’s on Twitter these days I thought I should poke them in the right direction.

From my Twitter bug report:

What I want to be able to do is to send a tweet that will only be seen by one user but which doesn’t cause them to receive an invasive notification. For example, imagine if my bank tweeted me every day about any credit card transactions on my account. That would give me the chance to spot fraudulent transactions but it wouldn’t overload my email inbox.

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