I was playing a bit with an application called Zoë which I first read about in an article last year by Jon Udell called “Googling Your Email”. It seemed like a neat idea, but I didn’t bother to download it and try it out. The Web site is enigmatic with a manifesto and a bare minimum of documentation. It was created originally by Raphaël Szwarc who now has other developers helping him with it. While “Google for email” is a good starting point, it’s a lot more than that. Under OS X the installation is incredibly simple and involves double-clicking on a Java application which starts it running and then clicking on more links to configure things. It sucked all of my mailboxes in… it took a while as over the past few years I’ve moved from Claris Emailer to Eudora to Mail.app and imported my mail from all of the accounts… so I’ve got several years of email stored in the mailboxes.
The greatest thing about Zoë is how everything shows up through a Web interface. You search and can click on links that sort and subdivide even more. In just a few minutes I was able to find all sorts of different connections that I hadn’t made before and surfed around through my old email. I often search through my email to find out what I’ve said or to find links that I’ve sent as well… with Zoë all of the links (and people) show up and can be used to find other connections. It runs as a Web server, smtp server, ftp server, etc, etc, etc. It lets you get attachments, messages and information from it. You can send and retrieve email through it and you can also keep using your regular email program. I think that I could end up using this a lot… I knew I was keeping my mail for a reason for all these years!