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March 24, 2010

More Relevant Communication

Yaakov Sabal writes:

Today, we have a binary definition of spam. [A message is either spam or not spam.] But it is not this way. Beside the die hard spam, there is a huge amount of irrelevant email I get on a daily basis, which is nice but not needed - not now, not in this context.

For some reason, Gmail didn't invest into relevancy of messages based on contacts. I have work contacts, I have close team contacts, I have friends, family, enemies etc. My contacts are just a reflection of my life, the society I am in contact with and I am not willing to communicate with the whole society at once. (...)

Buzz is the same: if I buzz about the last concert in town, why should people that I know and follow me - BUT don't live in the same town - should care about it? If I buzz about science, why people that don't like science should care about it? (...)

People should not need to have a black belt in Inbox Zero to [communicate efficiently] - instead Google should provide a cool way to deal with irrelevant bulk things from people.

Yaakov suggests that Google should rank email messages, Buzz messages based on their relevance. Messages from contacts you frequently communicate with are more important than newsletters, Buzz messages related to your interests are more relevant than random blurbs.

Last month, Google acquired Aardvark, a service that connects questions with people that are likely to answer them. A similar technology could rank the messages from your inbox, Buzz messages or Google Reader items.

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