In this third installment we have conducted an email interview with Cameron Adams of Fluent, a new workflow style email client. If you haven’t given the demo a try yet, do so here.
Meet the team, from left to right: Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna and Jochen Bekmann:
Here’s the interview:
Remy: How did the Fluent project get started? I know you guys are former Google engineers who have worked on the Wave project – did you already have some ideas for Fluent back then, or has it formed in more recent times?
Cameron: Fluent got started, essentially, as soon as we left Google. We had some idea that we wanted to improve communications, but it took a few months of bouncing around thoughts before we felt like we’d nailed a good idea. Wave, of course, influenced our thinking and we’re keen to take learnings from it, but those lessons tend to be more in the vein of how to run a project, when to listen to users, and to always stay quick & nimble in execution. Read more
Heads up! This post is not just for email marketers but for every single one of you sending email. That means all of you! Every time you send an email, you should decide whether you should send it…or not. Until Fluent gets accessible to all (Gmail only and beta-invite for now), this is necessary.
Should I send this email? The question isn’t odd, as many people are swamped in email these days. It goes back quite a few years actually, the trend of declaring email bankruptcy. This Gawker page notes cases of people way back in 2004 (that’s 8 years ago everyone! Facebook, Twitter and such didn’t exist yet!) declaring email bankruptcy.
Here’s the top part of the walkthrough:
Click the above image to view the full image. The image includes the story of Atos (read it here), and the outcome: 20% less email. That’s quite the decrease! Read more
Three former Google employees from Sydney, Australia have been working on a solution called Fluent for the inbox overload many people are facing these days.
Key features include:
- New service displays email as a “stream” like Facebook
- Shows attachments like photos as a slide show
-Multiple account support for a single login
- Allows instant searching through emails as you type
The team consists of Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna and Jochen Bekmann. After Google halted development on Google Wave, Adams and Prasanna quit (with Bekmann following later) to work on Fluent.
One of the key goals of the new email handling platform is to have people take action on messages received right away, instead of reading into all the details. This should make working with email about 20% more efficient.
Here’s what the interface looks like:
In a report by BBC News, Volkswagen notes that all Blackberry work email will be turned off outside office hours. This move has been executed by Volkswagen Germany earlier this year, following complaints about the division between work life and private life fading.
Quoting the report:
Under the arrangement servers stop routing emails 30 minutes after the end of employees’ shifts, and then start again 30 minutes before they return to work.
The staff can still use their devices to make calls and the rule does not apply to senior management.
“We wanted to take a preventative approach to tackling the issue,” said Gunnar Killian, VW’s works council spokesman.
I’m actually interested why the rule would not apply to senior management of VW: do they receive so little work email it’s not a problem as such? Are they not a member of the trade union? Or are they ‘always on’ anyway and have no separation between work life and private life?
The report goes on telling about the Atos campaign completely banning internal email: a more rigorous move towards taming the flood of electronic messages.
Is your company actively managing the email load for you to give you ample time to enjoy your private life? If you don’t have a Blackberry or other company smartphone, are you obliged by job function / task description to handle email outside office hours? Let us know in the comments.