3 thoughts on “Email Thread Visualization

  1. It has always annoyed me that programs try to make me treat email conersations as a graph, while I think of them as a DAG (directed acyclic graph). I am not just replying to a message, I am replying to several thoughts, possibly in different parts of the tree.

  2. Josh: yes.
    Actually, this is why I now think that such complex visualizations of threads are a red herring. Instead, the Gmail model of a “conversation” is more useful, if you ask me… it’s all one conversation proceeding through time.
    BTW I think one list-archival website uses a visualisation something like that…

  3. This is from IBM labs – reinventing mail:
    http://www.research.ibm.com/remail/
    Worth reading some of their publications! Some of this kind of stuff has been implemented by GMAIL among others.
    There are a ton of interesting email visualization projects created in the past 3-4 years:
    Marumushi has many impressive applications (including Newsmap and a Carnivore PE frontend)
    http://www.marumushi.com/apps/socialcircles/
    Danah’s work was recently featured on the TV show Numbers:
    http://jheer.org/vizster/
    Themail project:
    http://alumni.media.mit.edu/%7Efviegas/projects/themail/study/index.htm
    Just to name a few – there are so many others. Obviously there are implications for the security and privacy fields and no doubt national security folks are all over this stuff (they have a lot of our e-mail and other communications to process!).

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