A couple of years ago, the new launch from Webwalks, a universal inbox, news aggregator, password manager and kitchen sink-type application would have caught my eye. I'd rush out to try it, merging my multiple accounts under its one roof then wait to see how well my life improved, how much time I saved.
But today, I'm more ambivalent about these sorts of applications. The concept of a universal inbox for tracking everything under the sun now leaves me cold. That's not to say that merging of social networks with the inbox in and of itself is a bad idea - Google Buzz, Xobni, and Outlook's new social connector all offer innovative ways to augment the inbox experience. But there's a key difference between these apps and those promising a universal inbox" - they come to you, in the inbox you already know and love.
The Sad State of the Universal Inbox
The idea of a universal inbox is smart. On paper, that is. In our information overloaded" modern age, messages come at us left and right from multiple email accounts, instant messaging programs, SMS on our mobile phones and from social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And yet, none of the universal inbox" applications have ever really taken off.