Random Access Messaging

Equal access to everyone that wants to be found

I am sure most of you have heard of RAM (Random-Access Memory), but most people probably don’t know (or care) what the ‘random’ means. The word random, when it comes to computer memory, means that accessing data in different locations in memory takes approximately the same amount of time, regardless of the location.

It is interesting to think about this phenomenon when you replace data, with humans: the ability to contact any human on the planet with equal ease. This is the reason we still use email: it takes the same amount of information to reach any person on Earth — just an address (what I call random access messaging).

Stolen image from Ionic (http://ionicframework.com/), I hope Max Lynch doesn’t mind.

The obvious problem is not that email lacks reach, but the tooling around it is antiquated and impersonal. Twitter has the reach, and some of the personability, but doesn’t have the features to make it a truly useful messaging replacement. The closest contender to replace email is obviously Slack, but it lacks the key ability — global person-to-person connection.

Slack offers all the functionality email provides, and more, like useful integrations, sub-threads, subtle syntax cues, and reactions. If you were to imagine Slack replacing your email, it seems like all the necessary infrastructure is already in place: supporting group and direct messages, organized by subject, with the option to remove and add people to a thread. Creating an email would probably look something like this:

@jake and @brian how is the new logo coming along?

Looks even easier than email in my opinion, since only a handle is necessary instead of a typical email with both handle and domain (e.g. jake@gmail.com). It would be cool if anyone could reach me, with any sort of message, with just a handle like @fixitup2.

This is why I care about Twitter (and email for that matter). It lets me reach people easily when I otherwise could not. I have emailed Gary Vaynerchuk, a legend, and he responded like he knows me. I tweeted at Dessa and Lewis Howes and they have humbly replied. I have even gotten helpful dev advice (mid-hackathon) from both the Slack API and MailChimp API teams from simple tweets, at a moments notice. That kind of reach is incredible, and would be even more powerful if someone like Slack could mimic it.

In the meantime, feel free to reach me at mfix22.github.io, @fixitup2, or here, Mike Fix.

Thank you to each and every one of you for reading this post. Please reach out and lets chat if you are interested. Would love to hear from you guys.