Browse Prior Art Database

The non-sticky e-mail addressees list

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000138728D
Original Publication Date: 2006-Jul-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2006-Jul-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 80K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The core idea presented here is to implement a special option for sending an email – using a non-sticky, dynamic and e-mail-specific addressees list.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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The non-sticky e-mail addressees list

The problem:

E-mail users often get emails that are sent to a group of people. It happens that, after reading the message, a user decides he or she is not interested in that subject. However, other recipients do respond to the mail, with a "reply to all" (practical and also considered good e-manners). The user then receives the entire evolving thread of the discussion, even though he or she really does not wish to. The result is additional burden on the tedious task of processing one's in-box queue. A user has no easy way to avoid receiving this thread.

Known solutions and their limitations:

A related solution is mailing lists (AKA distribution lists). Each mail being sent to the distribution list is forwarded to all the subscribers of that list. One can subscribe to a mailing list and may also unsubscribe (and stop getting any mail from that list). However, mailing lists do not solve the problem described above, for two reasons. The major one is that mailing lists are usually formed per Community of Interest (CoI). Within the domain of that CoI, there is no way to distinguish between interesting and uninteresting subjects and their threads of discussions. If you unsubscribe, you may miss a new correspondence that is of value for you. The second reason is that establishing a distribution list is still too complicated for the average e-mail user, and so such lists are not used for ad hoc issues with limited distribution.

Why an additional solution is required:

There is a need for a solution that is easy to activate, is tightly coupled with each specific e-mail, and allows people included in the addressee list of that e-mail to remove themselves from the circulation of the thread of responses evolving from that original email. This does not exist nowadays, as a person cannot remove his/her name from the copies of an email that were received by the other recipients of that email.

    The core idea is to implement a special option for sending an email - using a non-sticky dynamic and email-specific addressees list.

    A new mail will not have a list of addressees in the "to:" field, but rather a reference to that list, which resides on some mail server and is unique to the sender/email combination. All "reply to all" mails will be sent to all people included in the referenced list, at the time of the actual replying.

    A recipient may send an "unsubscribe" instruction to the referenced list, which will remove him from the list, and therefore block any further mails (from the thread created from the original mail) from reaching him. Additional directives may be: re-subscribe (send me the part of the thread that I missed and future mail of this thread); forward to (replace my address with another), List subscribers (see who is currently still subscribed to this thread), and so on.

Advantages

Using this invention will allow people to cont...

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