Earlier today... err, yesterday since it's well after midnight (again), I had lunch with Patrick Hunt and Raymie Stata. That last name may sound familiar because Raymie's company, Stata Labs, was acquired by Yahoo earlier this year. Like Oddpost, another smaller company we acquired, they built an e-mail client. Stata's client is called Bloomba and I got a brief demo of it from Patrick (also from Stata Labs) before we headed over to URL's for lunch.
Boomba is an interesting product. Unlike Oddpost, which is a rich web-based e-mail client, Boomba is more of a traditional desktop application. Bloomba is designed to manage a large volume of both e-mail and RSS feeds. It has both folders and tagging for messages, which I'm now convinced is mandatory for anyone that deals with a lot of e-mail, and it provides a mechanism for "saved searches" or views if you're thinking of it from a database mindset.
The more we talked about Bloomba after the quick demo, the more I realized that it really is a good combination of ideas. Like Oddpost or NewsGator, it assumes that you want to use a single program and interface to handle incoming e-mail as well as news (RSS/Atom) feeds. The "saved search" feature is quite similar to the Smart Feeds that NetNewsWire offers for news feeds. (I happen to use have several smart feeds in my NNW setup.)
Bloomba also has something that I haven't seen in many other places: automatic aging. The idea is that items should no longer appear as "new" after they reach a certain age, regardless of whether or not you've read them. For many news feeds and e-mail lists, this makes a ton of sense. There's a whole collection of feeds I subscribe to mainly for the purpose of being able to include them in the universe of feeds that my smart groups cover. It's rare that I actually read those feeds directly.
The same was true of some mailing lists that I've since unsubscribed from. The SpamAssassin list, Linux Kernel, and several others were very high volume but only produced truly interesting information for me once or twice a month.
The result of the demo, subsequent discussion, and thinking is that I want a Mac version of Bloomba. Or maybe I just want NetNewsWire to grow until it acquires the ability to send and receive e-mail, as all software eventually does. :-)
Posted by jzawodn at December 02, 2004 01:14 AM