Tripit Ajaxworld V5

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Tripit Ajaxworld V5

  1. 1. Building Email Apps AJAXWorld October 20, 2008 San Jose, CA Andy Denmark TripIt, Co-Founder and VP Engineering
  2. 2. Email Bankruptcy “(He) just declared email bankruptcy. I've read those declarations enough to know it means our email tools aren't usable.” - garrickvanburen on Twitter “I routinely declare email bankruptcy and simply delete my entire inbox.” “Wondering if I can get a Bear - Michael Arrington, TechCrunch Sterns bailout for my email bankruptcy.” - willpate on Twitter So, why is email still around despite all the challenges and criticism… ?
  3. 3. Email Is Still The “Killer App”  Email is a natural extension of a metaphor for communication that humans have used forever  Everyone has email and is the overwhelming majority of person-to-person online communication  No matter what else people use to communicate, they use email too  Email contains an amazing amount of context and data about our lives  Our relationships  Our purchases  Our thoughts and the thoughts of people we know
  4. 4. What More Can We Do With Email?  Spam and mass email marketing may be contributing to the problems outlined earlier  But think of all the things we can do to make our applications better by making better use of email:  Broadcasting data  Query interfaces  Data transfer  Intelligent parsing of data  Mining of social connections (“Inbox 2.0”)  Email as an application platform
  5. 5. Does An Email App Make Sense? PROS CONS  Ubiquity – everyone has  May just not fit your service email  May be too complex for your  Exposure – email is on all day users to understand and captures a lot of  It’s challenging to properly attention support all email clients,  Simplicity – easy to send versions and formats email, everyone knows how  Building and supporting a to do it system that sends, receives,  Embedded identity and reads email is a pain
  6. 6. Prehistoric Email Apps
  7. 7. Domain Registration Email Sign-Up  Email to: hostmaster@internic.net  From address authentication for new sign-ups  Choose to receive your bill via email or USPS  Authentication schemes for modify/delete were CRYPT-PW and PGP
  8. 8. Archie File Query Email Interface Available Interfaces  Text-based client  Graphical client  Telnet client  Email
  9. 9. Browsing The Web Via Email “For personal reasons, I do not browse the web from my computer. (I also have no net connection much of the time.) To look at page I send mail to a demon which runs wget and mails the page back to me. It is very efficient use of my time, but it is slow in real time.” -- Richard Stallman (2007-12-15)
  10. 10. About TripIt ?
  11. 11. ***CONFIDENTIAL*** 13
  12. 12. Add Meetings, Activities, Forward Any Restaurants, etc. Confirmation Email Trip Sharing & Social Alerts Automated Online Master Itinerary iCal & Atom Support Automated Weather, Maps, Guides… Email & Mobile Access
  13. 13. Why Email Made Sense For TripIt  The native format of travel data is varied and unfriendly  The travel industry isn’t moving to expose that data  Partnering with big travel companies and building APIs would take too long  Users already have all their travel data in email, but that data is “dead”  Auto-account creation using the embedded identity of an email message  It has become an “instant delight” factor for users
  14. 14. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing ?
  15. 15. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing One Way • User requests email information to be sent to them • Typically triggered by an action or an alert Examples • Mailing Lists • Google Alerts
  16. 16. Example: Mailing Lists Searchable knowledge base built as a by- product of natural human communication
  17. 17. Example: Google Alerts  “Real time” alerts delivered right to my desktop  Useful way to asynchronously broadcast data I’ve requested as it’s available  With linkage to the web, alerts are actionable and controllable
  18. 18. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing CLI • Users emails a command and Email App replies with a response • Typically a standard list of commands and responses Examples • I Want Sandy • TripIt
  19. 19. Example: I Want Sandy http://iwantsandy.com/
  20. 20. Example: TripIt
  21. 21. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing Email Forwarding • Users forward emails and Email App recognizes and parses them • Typically converts “unstructured” data into “structured” data making it more usable to the app and user Examples • Flickr • Blogger
  22. 22. Example: Flickr
  23. 23. Example: Blogger
  24. 24. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing Intelligent Agent • Structured data from email is enriched by the Email App by retrieving related information from other sites • Typically leverages “keys” such as geo- coding to capture relevant data Examples • TrackMyShipments • TripIt
  25. 25. Example: TrackMyShipments
  26. 26. Example: TripIt Timezone Weather Flight Details Online Checkin Flight Status Seat Advice
  27. 27. Types Of Email App Services Command Line Data Semantic Broadcast Interface Transfer Parsing One Way CLI Email Forwarding Intelligent Agent • User requests email • Users emails a • Users forward emails • Structured data from information to be sent command and Email and Email App email is enriched by to them App replies with a recognizes and parses the Email App by response them retrieving related • Typically triggered by information from other an action or an alert • Typically a standard • Typically converts sites list of commands and “unstructured” data into responses “structured” data • Typically leverages making it more usable “keys” such as geo- to the app and user coding to capture relevant data Examples Examples Examples Examples Listserv I Want Sandy Flickr TrackMyShipments Google Alerts TripIt Blogger TripIt
  28. 28. Email Systems as Platforms  Why turn an email system into a platform for running applications?  Natural personal productivity integration point with other tools such as calendar, contact list, etc…  All the data is already there  Done right, the UI is a natural extension of what hundreds of millions of people use everyday, small learning curve  Examples  Outlook/Xobni  GMail w/ GreaseMonkey  GMail Labs  Yahoo! Open Mail
  29. 29. Outlook/Xobni  Search your Inbox  People-focused analytics and semantic analysis (e.g., phone numbers)  Implicit social graph discovery (i.e., who talks to whom?)  Related conversations  http://www.xobni.com/
  30. 30. TripIt for GMail Drives the UI to “forward” the email No access to the data in the message (e.g. headers, attachments, etc…) “Brittle” solution that relies on a UI that doesn’t change No feedback loop or error handling with TripIt’s backend http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/25778
  31. 31. GMail Labs  Features on top of GMail, no mashups yet  Not available to non- Googlers  Huge un-fufilled potential
  32. 32. Yahoo! Mail Video: Yahoo! OpenMail/TripIt Integration
  33. 33. Key Takeaways  Email is not dead!  Treasure-trove of data waiting to be mined  At least four different types of apps  Broadcast, CLI, Data transfer, Semantic parsing  Emerging email platforms  New ways of delivering your applications via mail platforms are coming  If you get it right, huge payoff for you and your users
  34. 34. Questions Andy Denmark TripIt, Co-Founder and VP Engineering

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