Les Carr covers an interesting angle in his post, ‘Repositories should be more like email (apparently)‘.
Personally, I have always used email as a kind of personal repository, sending myself a copy of any document I’m working on as a backup or ‘work in progress’, while also being useful if I’m ever working at home. Now, I know that really what I’m talking about is just a bunch of messages with documents as attachments, but a Firefox extension called Xoopit changes that somewhat. Xoopit sucks all the multimedia content (including links to YouTube videos, etc) from your Google Mail account and displays each item as a collective sideshow within your mail window. Alternatively, users can login to the Xoopit site and see the items in a list, categorised by type (images, videos and files).
With a recent Australian school’s move to Gmail considered “the largest private deployment of Gmail [known as Google Mail in the UK] in the world” (thanks, Andy), commonplace features like this would enable pupils and students to better locate documents, presentations, PDFs, etc.
Still in a private beta (check this article for an in-depth look and sign-up code), the application’s massive drawback is the need for it to take your password to access your inbox. Hardly security-conscious, I still think it’s worth a look, as you can always contact Xoopit to delete your account (and change your mail password) after having a peek. Will this kind of multimedia idea become a mainstream part of mail in future?