Shortmailers say the nicest things…

We wanted to thank all the Shortmail early-adopters for their kind words and enthusiasm throughout our early days. Here are a few quotes from our collection:

 

Arturo Vergara

@shortmail Your service is genius! I love it! I also especially love IMAP and POP, very handy with the iDevices

 

Yossi Gofman

As of the publication of this tweet I strongly, but strongly prefer mail items sent to me over shortmail. They will be on the top of my read

 

Cole Lyman

@shortmail is to poetry as email is to prose

 

Donald iljazi

@shortmail I am a Web Designer and I am really into the UI. The features and the idea are both the best. Keep on rocking. :) #bestemailever

 

Jaison De Montalegre

Just installed the @shortmail widget on my site! Great little add-on, got rid of the contact page entirely.

 

Vijayendra Mohanty

No more contact page. Just add the “Shortmail Me!” widget to your blog sidebar. See it in action on my blog. http://bit.ly/oOYFbE

 

Dr.W

Shortmail is the perfect addition to my minimalistic tools of communication.

“Shortmail is the perfect SMS substitute” (private communication).

See also Dr.W’s GOODBYE SMS — HELLO SHORTMAIL

 

Vaneeesa Blaylock

@ijustine YOU aren’t on @shortmail yet??? Oh my! This IS a great disturbance in the cloud! 

 

Clay Cauley

Ahh @shortmail… how I love your simplicity. Prospective client emails are much easier to handle now!

 

Amit Chopra

@shortmail is freakin awesome . .

 

Josh Crain

Last night I had a dream @shortmail could be embedded in a website. Son of a gunhttp://getsatisfaction.com/shortmail/topics/add_the_shortmail_me_widget_to_your_site

 

Akar Gosrani

@shortmail thats why they are awesome.

Anything simple always catches my mind. For egs: Tumblr, Twitter, Evernote, Shortmail, Stumbleupon. Simplicity. It always works.

 

Nick Rovisa

Totally in love with @Shortmail. Want to get in touch with me? Shortmail me: nickrovisa@shortmail.com

 

Paul Papadimitriou 

“The shortmail app has been upgraded to my first iPhone screen a minute ago ;-) ”  (private communication)

 

10 reasons why Shortmail is better than texting

1. No phone numbers

Texting requires phone numbers. You need their number, and they need yours. Thankfully, Shormtail doesn’t work that way. With Shortmail, all either party needs is a Twitter username. And unlike Direct Messaging, you can send a Shortmail to someone who is not following you. You can think of Shortmail as DM done right!

2. A public address

To publish your texting-address is to publish your phone number. That’s a lot to ask.

Your Shortmail address is your Twitter username (@shortmail.com), which is already public. Many Shortmailers add their Shortmail addresses directly into their Twitter bios and replace their blogs’ Contact Me pages with a Shortmail Me widget.

3. A searchable archive

Mobile services often treat your texts as disposable. Not only is there a cap on how big your archive can be, but it’s difficult, if not impossible, to search. By contrast, Shortmail keeps your shortmails in a limitless, searchable archive at Shortmail.com.

4. Public conversations

You can’t text publicly. SMS simply doesn’t operate as a public platform. Shortmail, on the other hand, lets you hold a public conversation for the world and Web to view.

5. Open conversations

What we just said in #4, plus the ability to open up your public conversation for anyone on the Web to participate in. The forum-like atmosphere that a Shortmail open conversation provides is unheard of in the realm of SMS.

6. More asynchronous than SMS, more synchronous than email

Texting tends to imply urgency, while email tends to imply delay. Shortmail stands between these two extremes as a happy (messaging) medium. Use it as needed for real-time messaging or for longer-term interaction.

7. Better support for groups than SMS

Group texting is a pain. Holding group conversations in Shortmail, by contrast, is simple. When starting a new conversation, just enter multiple emails or Twitter usernames into the “To” field. All replies go to the group.

8. Free!

Texting costs money. You pay per message, or you pay for a usage plan. Either way, you pay. Shortmail, on the other hand, is free.

9. Email: the world’s largest messaging network

While the reach of SMS is great, the reach of email is even greater. Email is the world’s largest messaging network. You can send a shortmail to absolutely anyone with an email address.

10. An extra 340 characters

In the words of Shortmail user Dr.W:

Shortmail is the perfect SMS substitute. Instead of having a limit of 160 characters, you will instead be able to send longer messages, with a 500 character limit. And who wants to type more than 500 characters on a mobile phone?

Breaking out of the inbox

Shortmailers are using open conversations to break free of the inbox. It’s a new animal that was bound to emerge: an email-forum hybrid. You get to post globally and track locally. You can have your forum and keep your email too. Exploring the essence of email, we realized that beyond the public-private distinction there is little difference between an email conversation and a forum thread. Think:

  • Inbox = forum
  • Email conversation = forum thread
  • New message = new topic
  • Sender = Poster
  • Recipients = participants

And so on…

Of course, the one difference — privacy — matters enormously. So while letting users go public with their email conversations, we also added prominent tools and loud-and-clear indicators to keep the divide between public and private crystal clear.

Here is a striking example of someone using Shortmail open conversations to break free of the inbox. oVan wanted Suggestions to improve CSS support in @mkristensen’s WebEssentials for VS2010. By using Shortmail open conversations to gather those suggestions, he could not only reach out to specific people, but to the Web as a whole. Better still, he could publish the conversation for posterity, while also tracking it in his inbox.

 

Make no mistake, this is an actual, card-carrying email, with sender, recipients and email addresses for all of them. oVan sent it from his inbox and its showing up in his recipients’ inboxes. But it’s also a real, bona fide forum thread, with a URL, a public stream, a social menu and a reply box that anyone can use. oVan can find it in his inbox, and he can also find it on Google. Here’s his take on it:

I like the fact that you can have an open discussion without resorting to forums and their dreaded registration process. It’s also much better than doing this on Twitter where replies are full of @usernames instead of meaningful content.

So next time you’re about to have an email conversation where nothing private is at stake, don’t confine it to your inbox. Set it free. Let it be a snowball gathering up new replies from around the Web. Choose “public” or “open” and publish it for posterity!