Web browsers have done a ton of work over the last few years to jump on the privacy bandwagon including all three of the big players Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Email on the other hand hasn’t had as much attention in this regard and its a real shame. Email tracking is sometimes treated as just the cost of doing business but it really doesnt have to be that way. We opened the rich text rapid hole with email and its ruined it by turning every email into crappy little webpages.
I remember when the basecamp guys released hey.com and I thought, oh finally someone is addressing this issue and trying to think about email a little differently. I was hesitant because it was a bit of a walled garden and $99 felt like a lot for an email IMBOX but I gave it an honest shot for a few months. I liked it but I had a hard time adapting it for my needs.
The feed and the paper trail were good ideas but in practice they felt like second and third inboxes to check all the time because i never felt like i could trust that things would end up in the right place. Similarly I was forwarding my gmail over but it created strange threads and some double messages when I’d reply back to folks or try and share my address.
They also had this screening area where you had to thumbs up or down new senders and It really just felt like extra work. From that screen you also couldnt easily mark it as something that should go in the feed or paper trail and on top of that it was never 100% clear what made something a good candidate for either spot.
the thing that ends up killing it for me tho was the lack of a way to archive messages. Maybe I’m just way to addicted to this idea of clearing out my inbox but I just kept feeling like I was being stupid or I was doing something wrong. There must be a keyboard shortcut or something that lets me archive these messages right? It wasn’t meant to just have this one endless scrolling list right?
Maybe its worth trying it again for a little while. They added this feature that seems pretty interesting called hey world. It lets you write a blog post just by writing an email to firstname.lastname@example.org thats interesting but does it really solve any of my problems well enough that its worth giving it a shot?
If there ever was a post to become my first hey world this is it, so why not give it a shot. There’s no tracking on it so I can tell myself that thousands of people are reading it and I’ll never be able to prove otherwise.