Raindrop: Mozilla’s Idea for a Personal E-Mail Gopher
The world’s e-mailing systems were on full throttle even before social networking exploded. At some point, everyone realizes this: that there are more niche social networking presences they subscribe to, than there is room in their generous e-mail capacities for. Here then Mozilla’s new online application for those overwhelmed by social networking, the newly launched Mozilla Raindrop. Raindrop aims to help the socially-networked maintain better control over their e-mail messages, getting to see their personal e-mail, their work e-mail, and other important correspondence apart from the tons of Facebook notifications, RSS feeds, and so on descending on their Inbox. Raindrop is supposed to be installed on your computer, where it will run as a personal web server that compiles all the different messages from all your subscriptions in one place, and shows them to you in a way you can actually use.
Raindrop is an open source API that is intended to be built upon by other third-party developers for better sorting, and better features. To begin with, the application functions through any browser you choose at all: any browser that is compatible with Open Web Foundation projects. There are so far two different versions of Raindrop, and there are more on the way. It isn’t that easy to install it and run it though, as there isn’t a readily available installer yet to make it actually sit on your computer and act like program. There is one on the way though.
Raindrop is not a Firefox extension or add-on; it is a standalone application that can one day hold its own add-ons. Seen one way, Raindrop seems to take a cue from the kind of direction that Google and Gmail have been taking off late, where users bring in widgets for RSS, or chat. If it lives up to what is promised, Raindrop seems to be a great idea by the sound of it: a program that not only brings all of your online messages to one place, but also sorts the personal ones that really need your attention from masses of automated ones. Lets see how well it goes.