I was looking at email and suddenly realised why it seemed to be so ridden with flaws. It is based on an analogue process of message delivery, that of a postman delivering letters into mailboxes, each mailbox belonging to a particular person. But the postman doesnt care who has “posted” a letter. He will happily forward anonymous mail from anybody. To anybody. That is simply why we have spam. It is anonymous and the delivery mechanism, our dumb postman, aids this.
But how to allow for delivery of messages without a mail server? And with authentication? RSS. And a simple bit of lateral thinking. For inbox, think weblog. For message, think comment. For delivery mechanism, think RSS. For reply, think comment/trackback. For autherntication, think of sign up at a target blog. To comment, please type the following words/numbers in the box below. To spam 1000 people, forget it. You cant and if you try we will find you. For emaill address, think blog address. A sub domain name, not too dissimilar to what we have now e.g. pete.peterhaus.co.uk. I am claiming copyright on all of the above – may start work on such a system myself…if I had the time…which I dont!