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There’s a project in my mind I keep coming back to that I’ve never been able to explain either fully or succinctly, so I’m going to start blogging about it. I’m naming it “The Pipeline” for now because I need a name for it. I’m going to present it in different ways and at some point, I’ll have enough material that I can go back and synthesize it all into something clear and concise. In the meantime, here we go!

We live in a world where we’re surrounded by emails, text messages, notifications, and chats. It’s overwhelming. The tools we are given to stem this tidal wave of distraction are often insufficient, leaving us with the choice between accepting the noise and disconnecting completely.

What if we had a way of deciding the types of messages we receive and who we receive them from? Introducing: The Pipeline. The Pipeline is a personal message buffer where all of the messages you receive are held and sorted. You invite other people, organizations, and companies to send messages into The Pipeline, then you decide how and when to receive those messages.

Messages sent to The Pipeline have defined types. These types allow you to tell your devices when to notify you of a message, if at all.

For example, if you invite a juice shop to The Pipeline, it can send you point balances, coupons, and event announcements. You might only want to ever hear about your point balances because you go every day and get the same drink (and they never offer a coupon for it.) You only care about your point balance to know when you’re getting close to a free drink.

Alternatively, going to the juice shop is a special treat you enjoy on occasion. You don’t go often enough that the point balance really matters, but you like to go when it’s less expensive or when there’s a trivia night going on. You silence the point balance notifications, but keep the coupons and event announcements coming.

You can also search The Pipeline for all unexpired coupons from all sources, without necessarily receiving notifications for them. Since The Pipeline is not controlled by any one company, you can use whatever software you wish to search and sort those coupons.

And this is all the beginning. You can use The Pipeline to run an organization or business without hiring a software engineer to set up a bunch of complicated software. Just like you do with The Pipeline for your personal use, you can read, ignore, sort, and redirect incoming messages with any software you like.

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Joe LeBlanc


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Joe in Austin

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