This is a description of my passion project. I plan to publish more detail and motivation when I get to a minimum viable product.
I want to make social collaboration software without walls. A company can have its private discussions and documents - but people in a company should be able to include clients or contractors in discussions seamlessly. It should not be necessary to require people to join a private account on service X just to have a conversation.
The idea is to make a decentralized protocol - there is no central server, and no one company that controls everything. This has been attempted before by Identi.ca, Diaspora, Google Wave, and others. I thought that a decentralized protocol could have more success if it takes a different approach: reinvent as little as possible, and build on top of an existing protocol with a large user base. I’m working on a reference client (called Poodle) that implements a new protocol that builds on email.
Email is one of the few decentralized social protocols that has broad adoption (2.6 billion users); and it has stood the test of time. Email is not perfect - but over the years email systems have evolved to address many subtle problems; and we have deployed a great deal of email infrastructure and supporting software. A protocol that builds on email instead of attempting to replace it will have a massive head start thanks to all of that work.