303 words — 2 minutes read

The answer to Doc Searls

I stumbled over Doc Searls “re-mail” entry, where he reflects on an earlier entry, about RSS is opt-in authenticated Email and the answer he’s gotten on that.

Interesting! ZAPPATA started out as a collaboration tool that would use the technologies from the syndication world ( RSS/Atom, polling ) to build a decentralised collaboration tool. And we built it and it worked.

Doc Searls says:

Can those three verbs (notify, subscribe, syndicate) from RSS give us the relationship-support tools we need to solve both the identity problem and the email problem along with it? Is Really Simple Email someting RSS can make possible? I dunno. It just has me thinking.

We found, that it can’t. Well maybe it can, but not with todays tools. The problem being, that there are no client programs available that really allow you to get work done in the syndication world. And we didn’t believe that ZAPPATA could provide the world with the client to do the work.

People have learnt to work with tools (notably email) and forcing them to use something else just doesn’t make sense.

Therefore we have redesigned ZAPPATA completely. Actually, no - we just changed the plumbing from RSS/Atom to SMTP/POP/IMAP. We still believe in peer to peer collaboration. But we aren’t going to force anything new on you. What we are proposing is the following:

ZAPPATA is providing a seamless infrastructure for private collaboration
  • Seamless: Work with your existing applications. Zero administration
  • Infrastrucure: Based on industry standards and open protocols
  • Private: Public / Private key infrastructure allows for authenicated communication
  • collaboration: share messages and files in groups. Very easy to define those groups

In a nutshell, ZAPPATA gives you private, authenticated, peer-to-peer email. ZAPPATA Networks provides the infrastructure for doing this. And you use whatever tools you have been using as you were.

Jens-Christian Fischer

Maker. Musician