Email turned 40 last month.
I got my first email account during the reign of AOL and have loved it ever since—except for the spam, phishing scams, chain letters, and unnecessary CC emails.
In an attempt to keep everything sorted over the years, I’ve had email accounts for work, school, friends, and promotional offers. Instead of wrangling my inboxes, I’ve left Google, Yahoo, and AOL littered with forgotten accounts.
Chris Anderson, the curator for TED, and Dave Troy, the CEO of 410 Labs, are working to reform email. Anderson has come up with an email charter to tackle problems with traditional email, and Troy’s company just released Shortmail
, a simplified emailing service.
On June 9, Anderson announced, “We have a problem.” He went on to detail the various ways that people get stuck spending all day checking and responding to emails. To address the problem, he suggested creating an email charter and laid out some initial guidelines. The charter is now live at www.emailcharter.org
with 10 rules for cutting down on needless emails. You can sign the charter or attach it as a link to your email signature.
Troy’s Shortmail is a redesigned email service. At Shortmail, all messages are limited to 500 characters, and anything over will get bounced back to the sender to shorten. Anyone with a Twitter handle already has a Shortmail address and can easily claim it at www.shortmail.com
. Thanks to the 500-character limit, spam gets automatically filtered out and no attachments are allowed.