There’s a lot of discussion going on around them. Eg. on Quora.

I started writing a comment on a comment where Tim Bushell asks :

why shouldn’t they be “red”, “green”, “blue”?

ie. user-defined or neutral.

But then felt it would be better here :

Probably because Google have a database of thousands of email addresses and patterns that they’ve classified into these categories of “social”, “promotion” etc., and with this move they’re basically giving you, the customer, the benefit of that classification scheme.

They assume that if you just want to program your own categories and sort accordingly you’re already doing it via filters.

What probably didn’t occur to Google was that the world is full of people who WANT to be able to define their own categories and filters but never realized that GMail (like every email client in the 20+ years) already HAS this feature.

What’s happening is that just by showing people tabbed email, they’ve suddenly woken everyone up to the fact that your email client can be programmed to filter emails. (Who knew?)

What happens now is going to be interesting.

If Google know how to listen, they’ll take advantage of it, add the ability to define your own tabs, integrate it seemlessly with the existing filter architecture of GMail (maybe improve the UI of that a bit, eg. drag / dropping between tabs) and get to bask in the adoration of having “reinvented email”.

If not, they’ll keep the two systems separate (ie. filter-definition hidden away where most people can’t find or understand it) and not only will the opportunity be squandered, but many people will continue to hate the tabs.

Haven’t written here for a long time. A couple of notes and catch-ups.

Chandler 1.0 is out.

I was struck by these features :

Chandler aims to provide a more integrated approach to managing information with:

* A Quick Entry Bar to enter everything from ideas to reminders and appointments.
* NOW-LATER-DONE Triage List to collect, process and track everything from deadlines and meetings to drafts and ideas.
* Tickler Alarms to auto-re-focus deferred (LATER) items to NOW

Something like this experience is already available in Mind Traffic Control if you want to experiment with it. 🙂

I’m getting into two further things :

Zbigniew Lukasiak has got me thinking about email again. It’s still the most commonly used social software, and there is still room for improvement. Zby and I are thinking of doing something about this … watch this space for more.

Meanwhile, I’m also back into feeds, in particular, creating and reading Yahoo Pipes. I’ll talk more about this soon too.

Finally, a couple of good posts from Stowe Boyd about the shift to the flow internet. Or rather, the ongoing need for recombiners for the small pieces (eg. comments, replies etc.) that are scattered across dozens of different feed services like Friendfeed etc.