Mozilla Raindrop to absorb Web conversations

Ronny Kerr · October 23, 2009 · Short URL:

From the team that developed Thunderbird comes a new messaging application designed for an open Web

Mozilla Raindrop"Raindrop is not another email client."

If you watch this video, in which Mozilla Labs design lead Bryan Clark introduces Raindrop, the above statement will stick out the most boldly.

Developed by the same team that created the open-source mail client Mozilla Thunderbird, Raindrop is an experiment in condensing the multifarious conversations happening across the Web at any given time.

Everyone on the Internet uses email. That's basic. Beyond that, however, most users share and view content via multiple extra venues. In instant messaging applications, conversations are constantly happening and files are being shared. Bloggers update their sites with new content daily. On Flickr and Youtube, tons of users share massive amounts of photos and videos. Twitter users tweet links, photos, videos, and any other imaginable Web content all day and all night. Finally, on Facebook's enormously popular network, users share everything already mentioned, while also having conversations, playing games, and taking advantage of all sorts of different apps.

Wouldn't it be nice to collect all those various forms of communication under one hood?

Essentially, that's Raindrop's endeavor:

Raindrop uses a mini web server to fetch your conversations from different sources (mail, twitter, RSS feeds), intelligently pulls out the important parts, and allows you to interact with them using your favorite modern web browser (Firefox, Safari or Chrome).

On top of that, Clark says one of the development team's priorities for Raindrop is creating a system that separates the personal (email from Mom) from the bulk (email from an airline company).

The best part about Raindrop, like all Mozilla projects, is that it's open-source. That means anyone--you, me, or highly experienced programmers--can supplement the application with new ideas and add-ons that could possibly improve the program's functionality.

Interestingly, Raindrop seems to have much in common with Google Wave, one of the most hyped upcoming programs of the last year. While Google hopes that Wave will drastically alter the way we work with email and other communication systems on the Web, Wave may have some competition in Mozilla Raindrop.

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