US20130031183A1 - Electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments - Google Patents

Electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments Download PDF

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Publication number
US20130031183A1
US20130031183A1 US13/191,412 US201113191412A US2013031183A1 US 20130031183 A1 US20130031183 A1 US 20130031183A1 US 201113191412 A US201113191412 A US 201113191412A US 2013031183 A1 US2013031183 A1 US 2013031183A1
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Prior art keywords
electronic message
shared
email
processed
message
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US13/191,412
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Ankesh Kumar
Yogesh Gowdra
James Ioannidis
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Socialmail LLC
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Socialmail LLC
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Priority to US13/191,412 priority Critical patent/US20130031183A1/en
Assigned to Socialmail LLC reassignment Socialmail LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GOWDRA, YOGESH, IOANNIDIS, JAMES, KUMAR, ANKESH
Publication of US20130031183A1 publication Critical patent/US20130031183A1/en
Priority claimed from US15/169,707 external-priority patent/US20170032408A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/22Mailbox-related details
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/048Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI]
    • G06F3/0481Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance
    • G06F3/0482Interaction techniques based on graphical user interfaces [GUI] based on specific properties of the displayed interaction object or a metaphor-based environment, e.g. interaction with desktop elements like windows or icons, or assisted by a cursor's changing behaviour or appearance interaction with lists of selectable items, e.g. menus
    • GPHYSICS
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    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/02Marketing, e.g. market research and analysis, surveying, promotions, advertising, buyer profiling, customer management or rewards; Price estimation or determination
    • G06Q30/0241Advertisement
    • G06Q30/0251Targeted advertisement
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/04Real-time or near real-time messaging, e.g. instant messaging [IM]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/06Message adaptation based on network or terminal capabilities
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L51/00Arrangements for user-to-user messaging in packet-switching networks, e.g. e-mail or instant messages
    • H04L51/32Messaging within social networks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L65/00Network arrangements or protocols for real-time communications
    • H04L65/40Services or applications
    • H04L65/403Arrangements for multiparty communication, e.g. conference
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/22Tracking the activity of the user
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/20Handling natural language data
    • G06F17/27Automatic analysis, e.g. parsing
    • G06F17/2705Parsing
    • G06F17/272Parsing markup language streams
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F2203/00Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/00 - G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/048Indexing scheme relating to G06F3/048
    • G06F2203/04803Split screen, i.e. subdividing the display area or the window area into separate subareas
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/02Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving the use of web-based technology, e.g. hyper text transfer protocol [HTTP]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/26Push based network services

Abstract

Techniques for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments are described, including evaluating a data packet indicating receipt of an electronic message at a shared destination, retrieving the electronic message from the shared destination, processing the electronic message to generate a processed message configured to be posted to a shared environment, and posting the processed message to the shared environment.

Description

    FIELD
  • The present invention relates generally to computer software, computer program architecture, data and database management, social media, and web applications. More specifically, techniques for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments are described.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Electronic messaging is an important function for sharing data with other individuals, organizations, or entities. Conventional electronic messaging solutions such as electronic mail (hereafter “email”) applications, servers, and platforms allow users to forward, send, and receive emails. However, due to large amounts of information and data transferred using email, there are significant problems associated with conventional solutions that create substantial time and cost inefficiencies.
  • Some problems associated with conventional solutions do not facilitate searching of emails to locate specific messages or groups of related messages (i.e., “threads”) by a particular topic, but instead rely upon general search or indexing facilities built into conventional electronic messaging solutions, which can be very time consuming for users. Inaccurate and difficult to use, general search or indexing facilities are typically keyword-based and fail to provide for chronologically-ordered and relevant groupings of emails. In a corporate or business context, finding timely specific emails is often important for uses such as auditing, but can be expensive and require specialized computer programs, software, or applications (hereafter “applications”) in order to sift through large volumes of email data. For individuals, finding emails is also difficult, but for various types of users, sharing emails is typically reliant upon manual forwarding or sending operations. In other words, conventional solutions are limited in their ability to provide for collaborative tools to share emails, which often acts as a primary form of communication for individuals and organizations. Some conventional forms of social media allow for users to share data with each other, including manually posting emails and included content. However, these conventional solutions do not allow for the protection of user privacy nor provide for collaborative actions such as commenting or forwarding to yet other users.
  • Further, large quantities of emails and data stored or attached to these emails can lead to inefficient techniques for organizing electronic messaging data. As a conventional example, users are often reliant upon the use of internal file folders or structures that must be created manually into which emails (and attachments) can be classified. Further, once classified or stored, it is time consuming to retrieve an email or share it with other users who may find the data contained within a particular message to be useful or valuable, requiring a user to manually forward the email.
  • Thus, what is needed is a solution for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments without the limitations of conventional techniques.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Various embodiments or examples (“examples”) are disclosed in the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings:
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary system for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments;
  • FIG. 2 an exemplary application architecture for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages;
  • FIG. 4A illustrates a further exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages;
  • FIG. 4B illustrates an alternative exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates another exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages;
  • FIG. 6A illustrates an exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments;
  • FIG. 6B illustrates an alternative exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a further exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments;
  • FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary process for transforming email addresses for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments; and
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary computer system suitable for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Various embodiments or examples may be implemented in numerous ways, including as a system, a process, an apparatus, a user interface, or a series of program instructions on a computer readable medium such as a computer readable storage medium or a computer network where the program instructions are sent over optical, electronic, or wireless communication links. In general, operations of disclosed processes may be performed in an arbitrary order, unless otherwise provided in the claims.
  • A detailed description of one or more examples is provided below along with accompanying figures. The detailed description is provided in connection with such examples, but is not limited to any particular example. The scope is limited only by the claims and numerous alternatives, modifications, and equivalents are encompassed. Numerous specific details are set forth in the following description in order to provide a thorough understanding. These details are provided for the purpose of example and the described techniques may be practiced according to the claims without some or all of these specific details. For clarity, technical material that is known in the technical fields related to the examples has not been described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the description.
  • In some examples, the described techniques may be implemented as a computer program or application (“application”) or as a plug-in, module, or sub-component of another application. The described techniques may be implemented as software, hardware, firmware, circuitry, or a combination thereof. If implemented as software, the described techniques may be implemented using various types of programming, development, scripting, or formatting languages, frameworks, syntax, applications, protocols, objects, or techniques, including ASP, ASP.net, .Net framework, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, C, Objective C, C++, C#, Adobe® Integrated Runtime™ (Adobe® AIRT™), ActionScript™, FIex™, Lingo™, Java™, Javascript™, Ajax, Perl, COBOL, Fortran, ADA, XML, MXML. HTML, DHTML, XHTML, HTTP, XMPP, PHP, and others. Design, publishing, and other types of applications such as Drcamweaver®, Shockwave®, Flash®, Drupal and Fireworks® may also be used to implement the described techniques. Database management systems (i.e., “DBMS”), search facilities and platforms, web crawlers (i.e., computer programs that automatically or semi-automatically visit, index, archive or copy content from, various websites (hereafter referred to as “crawlers”)), and other features may be implemented using various types of proprietary or open source technologies, including MySQL, Oracle (from Oracle of Redwood Shores, Calif.), Solr and Nutch from The Apache Software Foundation of Forest Hill, Md., among others and without limitation. The described techniques may be varied and are not limited to the examples or descriptions provided.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary system for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. Here, system 100 includes network 102, clients 104-110, server 112, databases 114-116, and website 118. “Elements” may refer to one or more of network 102, clients 104-110, server 112, databases 114-116, and website 118 shown in association with system 100. As shown, the type, quantity, configuration, topology, and other characteristics are provided for purposes of illustration only and may be varied beyond the examples shown and provided. In some examples, network 102 may be any type of data network including, without limitation, a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), municipal area network (MAN), wireless local area network (WLAN), computing cloud, or any other type of aggregation of computing, networking, storage, or processing resources. As shown, clients 104-110 may be implemented as a desktop computer (e.g. client 104), mobile communication (i.e., voice and data) device (e.g., client 106), mobile computing device (e.g., client 108), or notebook or laptop (i.e. portable) computing device (client 110). Each of clients 104-110 may be in data communication with server 112 using network 102. In some examples, server 112 may be a web, application, email, or other type of server, without limitation.
  • Databases 114-116, in some examples, may be directly or indirectly in data communication with server 112, which may be implemented as described above to perform one or more applications, deliver services or resources to clients 104-110, execute or compile applications, or otherwise provide any type of processing capability or facility, without limitation. Data associated with the techniques described herein may be stored in one or both of databases 114-116. In other examples, data may also be stored in embedded memory, of any type, with server 112 or any of clients 104-110. Still further, data may be stored and retrieved by server 112 or any of clients 104-110 from any of databases 114-116 without limitation as to any given database schema or structure. For example, an email may be transmitted to a “shared destination,” which may be an email server (e.g., server 112), email account, or other resource that is configured to accept email messages sent using messaging protocols such as Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (hereafter “SMTP”) and received using other protocols such as Internet Message Access Protocol (hereafter “IMAP”) or Post Office Protocol (hereafter “POP”), among others. In some examples, email receipt may be indicated automatically or semi-automatically to server 112. In other examples, received emails sent to an email account or client may be retrieved periodically based on a set or irregular schedule. For example, an application hosted and running on server 112 may be configured to retrieve emails for further processing, as described below, on a set schedule (e.g., every 1, 5, 30, 60 minutes, or the like). Using various types of email receipt protocols (e.g., IMAP, POP, or others), emails may be retrieved from an email account or shared destination. Once retrieved by server 112, emails may be stored in database 114 and/or 116 and processed further to generated processed messages for posting to a shared environment (e.g., website 118). As used herein, an email account to which emails are sent for posting in a shared environment may be referred to as a “shared destination.”
  • A shared destination may be, in some examples, an email account hosted on server 112 that is configured to receive emails sent from various sources and intended for posting to a given website (e.g., website 118). Data associated with emails sent to a shared destination may be stored in database 114 or, in other examples, remotely stored in database 116.
  • As shown here, website 118 may be described as a “shared environment” or facility to which data, information, or other content may be posted or published. As used herein, “posting” or “publication” may be used interchangeably and are intended to refer to the format, transmission, upload, design, layout, and other parameters of content manipulated relative to a given environment (e.g. website 118, among others). In some examples, website 118 may be a website at which emails, attachments, data, information, or other types of content may be viewed, retrieved, posted, or deleted, without limitation. In other examples, system 100 and the above-described elements may be varied in function, structure, configuration, topology, quantity, type, or other aspects and are not limited to the examples shown.
  • FIG. 2 an exemplary application architecture for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. Here, application 200 includes bus 202, logic module 204, database 206, retrieval module 208, XML engine 210, email processing engine 212, security module 214, and posting module 216. In some examples, bus 202 may be implemented as any type of data communication bus for transferring data between any of logic module 204, database 206, retrieval module 208. XML engine 210, email processing engine 212, security module 214, and posting module 216, without limitation to any given type, configuration, capacity, rating, or other characteristic. As shown, application 200 and the elements described herein (i.e., logic module 204, database 206, retrieval module 208, XML engine 210, email processing engine 212, security module 214, and posting module 216) may be implemented as hardware, software, firmware, circuitry, or a combination thereof and are not limited to any specific application structure or formatting, scripting, or programming language.
  • In some examples, logic module 204 may be configured to provide command and/or control signals, instructions, and functions to direct one or more of database 206, retrieval module 208, XML engine 210, email processing engine 212, security module 214, and posting module 216. Logic module 204, for example, may direct retrieval module 208 to identify, locate, and retrieve emails sent to a shared destination (e.g., IMAP or POP email account). Logic module 204 may also be configured to process retrieved emails to generate processed messages (i.e., retrieved emails that have been processed by email processing engine 212) for posting or publication in a shared environment (e.g., website 118 (FIG. 1)) prior to being directed to posting module 216 for posting to the shared environment (e.g., website 118). Further, logic module 204 may be configured to evaluate retrieved emails to determine whether a security threat (e.g., malicious software (hereafter “malware”), spyware (i.e., malware intended to passively gather data and information from a host operating system, computer, or application), cross site scripting, and others. Security module 214 may be implemented using various types of security software, firmware, or hardware, such as intrusion detection and prevention systems, anti-virus, or others, without limitation, that are intended to detect whether an email to be processed by email processing engine 212 is a security threat that, once posted to a shared environment (e.g., website 118) may be accessible and pose a security risk to other clients.
  • As shown, data may be stored in database 206 using any type of database, database schema, or storage mechanism, without limitation, including storage area networks (hereafter “SAN”), network attached storage (hereafter “NAS”), cloud storage, or the like. Further, retrieved emails may be stored using various types of markup and formatting languages such as XML and others. XML engine 210 is an example of a type of facility or resource that may be used to evaluate, format, and generate XML-formatted data to be stored, for example, in database 206 or, as another example, to be processed for posting to a shared environment (e.g., website 118) by email processing engine 212 and posting module 216. In other examples, application 200 may be implemented in any type of application environment, distributed or otherwise, using one or more application servers, computers, or computing platforms from which to host. Apart from the examples shown and described, application 200 and the above-described elements may be varied in function, structure, format, language, configuration, or other aspects and are not limited to any specific implementation.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages. Here, window 300 includes shared environment 302, title tag 304, process messages 306, sitemap link 308, sort window 310, pulldown menu 312, and search field 314. In some examples, window 300 may be representative of a graphical user interface display that is presented by website 118 (FIG. 1). As shown, shared environment 302 may be a graphical display environment in which processed messages may be displayed and reviewed. Based on title tag 304, emails may be listed and displayed based on, for example, popularity (e.g. the number of comments posted in response to a given email posting, most popular today, most popular in past week, most popular in past month, and the like), age (i.e., newest-to-oldest, oldest-to-newest, and the like), trends of immediate interest (i.e., emails that are of immediate interest to the overall user or viewer population), or other factors apart from those described. As used herein, title tag 304 may be a descriptive title or categorical reference associated with a given email and other emails that are contextually or thematically related. In some examples, title tag 305 may use a format such as “<subject line of email>|SocialMail” in order to aid in search engine optimization (hereafter “SEO”). By using the subject line of an email as part of a header tag (e.g., H1 tag), the content, data, or information contained may be used to enhance search engine optimization to allow other users to find and retrieve processed messages 306. By using modifying the header tags of retrieved emails, processed messages 306 can be improved for SEO, facilitating searches performed for various topics, themes, keywords, or emails.
  • In some examples, the quantity of processed messages may be set to a discrete number per page (e.g., 10 per page, 100, 1000, customizable, user-specified, system-specified, rules-based, and others). Further, when a user navigates to a given page using, for example, a web (i.e., the World Wide Web (hereafter “web”)) browsing application processed messages 306 may be sorted based on criteria specified in sort window 310 by using pulldown menu 312. In this example, criteria such as “Newest,” “Trending Now,” “Most Popular Today,” “Most Popular Past Week,” and “Most Popular Past Month” may be chosen in order to sort processed messages 306. When selected, a criterion may cause processed shared environment 302 to be rendered such that the order is determined based on the selected criteria. In other examples, posted emails may be ranked using various techniques and, as an example, identified using the “Trending Now” feature. For example, posted emails may be ranked based on determining the number of users to which the posted email has been forwarded (e.g., if a posted email has been forwarded previously multiple times to an aggregate pool of 20 recipients, a quantitative rank may be assigned using various techniques, including assigning a weighted or unweighted ranking value based on the number of recipients (e.g., in the example above, 20)). In other examples, rankings may be performed differently using various techniques or algorithms, without limitation. As an indicator of activity within a service providing window 300, an “activity stream” or other type of feed or data stream may be created in which one or more posted emails, replies, comments, votes, rankings, or other activities occurring may be posted generally for users to view (in some contexts such as within corporate enterprises, this and other features may be suppressed in order to confine the applicability of the described techniques to prescribed enterprise purposes). In some examples, users may opt-in and subscribe to an activity stream in order to ensure that those users who do not elect to receive updates as to activity are not receiving unwanted notifications. In other examples, processed messages 306 may be sorted or displayed differently and are not limited to those shown and described.
  • Here, processed messages 306 may also be searched using a facility that has an interface such as search field 314 to permit the entry of keywords or other items that may be used to select the appearance of processed messages 306. A search of processed messages 306 may be used to find email content (i.e., content, data, information, media, rich media, text, or the like) from a given pool of emails posted to shared environment 302. When posted, emails may be made “anonymous” (i.e., remove identifying information such as email addresses) in order to protect user privacy, as described in greater detail below in connection with FIG. 5. In some examples, each of processed messages 306 may be treated like an individual post that, when selected, is hyperlinked to another page where related emails of the same topic may be listed, as described below in connection with FIGS. 4A-4B.
  • Referring back to FIG. 3, shared environment 302 can be provided as a destination website (e.g. website 118) that enables the entry or submission of email content for various types of purposes (e.g., interest, humor, amusement, fun, business, enterprise/corporate, collaborative work sharing, and others, without limitation). Email content may be submitted using shared environment 302 to permit other users to enter comments or submit other emails related to a given topic or original email (i.e., threading), as indicated by title topic 304. Each email submitted may be processed by email processing engine 212 (FIG. 2) to be generated into a processed message and posted as part of a thread.
  • In other examples, users can view emails associated with topics of various types of interests. Within a corporate organization or enterprise (including for-profit, non-profit, governmental organizations), emails may be submitted for collective sharing and collaborative input by other members of the same organization. Likewise, security module 214 (FIG. 2) may be configured to provide additional security to permit authenticated use by members of a given organization as opposed to enabling shared environment 302 to be publicly accessible. Generally, shared environment 302 may be used as a forum for the sharing of email content that does not require the manual formatting of email content for posting. In other words, a user having an account recorded in one or both of databases 114-116 may forward or send emails to a service hosted by server 112, which may be processed by email processing engine 212 (as described in greater detail below in connection with FIG. 5) and posted to shared environment 302. Once made available to a community (e.g., public, closed, non-public, corporate, enterprise, and the like) of users, other emails may be posted directly to shared environment 302.
  • Additionally, sitemap link 308 may be used to hyperlink (i.e., linking (i.e. pointing a web browsing application to another address and retrieving and displaying content from that location) to another page of website 118) to another page of website 118 to retrieve and view information associated with posts (i.e. publications) of processed messages to shared environment 302. In some examples, by interacting with sitemap link 308, another web page is rendered that displays a list of processed messages classified by the month and year (i.e., posting date). Each entry of the list of processed messages (not shown) may be hyperlinked to another page that, when invoked, displays another page listing subject lines of individual posted processed messages and an excerpt of the related email. In some examples, the subject lines may also be hyperlinked to the complete post, which is displayed when the links are invoked. In other examples, the above-described examples may be varied in function, structure, format, language, configuration, or other aspects and are not limited to any specific implementation.
  • FIG. 4A illustrates a further exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages. Here, window 400 includes shared environment 402, title tag 404, processed messages 406, attachment icon 408, and threaded messages 410. As shown, if a hyperlink associated with one of processed messages 306 (FIG. 3) is invoked another web page may be rendered similarly to that presented in window 400. In some examples, a processed message and related processed messages may be presented in shared environment 402. A selected processed message may be indicated by title tag 404 and subsequent processed messages submitted in response or in relation to title tag 404 may be presented as a thread, as shown by processed messages 406. Further, one or more of processed messages 406 may have an attachment (i.e., an attached file, document, image, or other data or information), which may be indicated using, for example, attachment icon 408. In other examples, different types of icons, indicators, or indicia may be used to indicate visually or graphically whether an attachment is present. Further, attachment icon 408 may be hyperlinked to enable downloading, opening, viewing, or otherwise interacting with an attachment when a mouse pointer of other human computing interface (i.e., “HCI”) or input or input-output device is used to select (i.e., invoke) attachment icon 408. Still further, other emails may be submitted for generation of additional processed messages as extended threads, as shown by threaded messages 410.
  • As shown, each of processed messages 406 may be hyperlinked and, when invoked, may initiate the instantiation and rendering of another window that displays data, information, or other content associated with the selected processed message. As described in greater detail below in connection with FIG. 5, a selected processed message may be configured to direct a web browsing application (not shown) to an address that is associated with another web page that presents content such as the original email of the processed message selected. Some data, information, or content may also be modified in the new window (not shown) in order to provide data security, prevent unauthorized access, or perform other functions that would be beneficial to a collaborative data sharing environment such as shared environment 402. In still other examples, window and shared environment 402 may be implemented differently in layout, design, function, structure, features, or other aspects and are not limited to those shown and provided.
  • FIG. 4B illustrates an alternative exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages. Here, window 400 includes shared environment 402, sections 420-430, data 432-434, and button 436. In some examples, window 400 may be implemented as a graphical user interface such as that associated with a web browser or other web browsing application. As shown window 400 may be configured to present a page that displays several different functions or structures. For example, section 420 may be implemented to present the number of votes associated with a given email that is submitted and posted, as indicated by data 432 (e.g., “Subject of email,” which may be identified from a processed email), data 434 (e.g., “time of post,” which may also be posted from a processed email), section 422 (e.g., the body of the email, section 426 (e.g., identification of a posting user based on an “anonymized” email address or other user name (e.g., “user xyz,” which may be hyperlinked to another page that provides one or more details associated with a given user. Alternatively, when an email is posted, a user may “claim” ownership of a given email by creating a user account, such as that described herein, associated with the sending email address of the posted email.
  • Further, any email that is posted in window 400 may also include information associated with the number of votes received by other users (e.g., section 420), comments from one or more other users, which may also include replies to comments from the posting email sender (e.g., section 424), people indicating their “like” (or in some examples, dislike (not shown)) of the posted email (e.g., section 428), or related information or data (e.g., other posts that may be related contextually, thematically, by sender, by topic, and others, without limitation) associated with the given posted email (e.g., section 430). In some examples, users may vote for various purposes, including expressing their like, dislike, favor, disfavor, or other action or expression associated with a given posted email. Still further, if a given reader (i.e., user) likes the posted email, she may elect to share the post with another user by using an interactive feature or function such as button 436 that may open another window (not shown), field (not shown), interface (not shown), or the like that permits entry of another user's identifying information (e.g., email address, user name, or the like) in order to share the posted content. As an example, third party applications such as Facebook. Inc. of Menlo Park, Calif., may be coupled to an application implementing the described techniques (including, but not limited to window 400) enabling users (e.g., user xyz) to share the posted content with other users using the third party application (e.g., Facebook, Twitter (as developed by Twitter, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif.), blogs, and other online applications, social media, media, or the like, without limitation). In some examples, users may not have an account with other social media business, websites, or the like. However, the described techniques enable users to post content (e.g., mails) and share them with other users through, for example, an application programming interface (API) to these other websites using posting module 216 (FIG. 2). Referring back to FIG. 4B, users may also have accounts with third party websites and features may be included to enable these users to share content using the described techniques. In other words, the described techniques may be implemented as a service apart from various types of content or social media or entertainment websites, but enable users to share, send, forward, reply to, retrieve, or perform other functions associated with posted emails without requiring the creation of user accounts. As another example, the techniques described herein may be used by individual or organizations such as corporate enterprises.
  • For example, a corporate enterprise may use the described techniques in order to provide a closed or private (e.g., corporate or in-enterprise) forum or enterprise for its employees to share email content in a collaborative manner. In some examples, corporate employees may post emails using their corporate email addresses. In other examples, corporate employees may post emails using assigned or self-identified user names that mask an individual email address in order to prevent unwanted responsive email or comments to the posted content. In still other examples, by posting emails using the described techniques, various individuals or stakeholders within a corporate organization may be placed on a notice of a given user's posted email without requiring the user to individually and specifically identify various addressees. The described techniques aid in eliminating time and labor-intensive email creation efforts that corporate users often must undergo in order to notify supervisors, managers, executives, co-workers, project team members, and the like.
  • As shown, various types of purposes may motivate the described techniques for use within a corporate enterprise. In some examples, when a user is included as an addressee on a posted email, she may elect to stop or continue receiving notification of the posted emails, comments, votes, and other actions associated with these. In other examples, posted email subject lines may be used to initiate a discussion forum associated with the given subject. For example, if a subject line states “Sales Contract,” the subject line may render the posted email and associated content (e.g., FIG. 4B) available to a user when constructing an email, regardless of whether the user is the original author of the email. In other words, a user can use the described techniques to send an “inline” or in-thread reply or forward the email to another user who is separate and apart from the population having access to the posted email (in some examples, the user may be outside of the corporate enterprise or organization). In still other examples, window and shared environment 402 may be implemented differently in layout, design, function, structure, features, or other aspects and are not limited to those shown and provided.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates another exemplary shared environment for publication of processed electronic mail messages. Here, window 500 includes shared environment 502, title tag 504, processed message content 506, comment function 508, share function 510, flag function 512, like function 514, do not like function 516, and plug-in function 518. In some examples, the quantity, type, function, structure, or other aspects of window 500 and the elements shown may be varied and are not limited to those presented, which are provided for purposes of exemplary explanation. As shown, when one of processed messages 406 is selected, a web browsing application or other type of client interface may be opened in window 500, displaying processed message content 506 and indicating it is related to the selected processed message by title tag 504
  • Further, shared environment 502 may be designed and implemented to provide one or more functions that may be used in connection with processed message content 506. For example, a comment may be entered in association with processed message content 506 by interacting with comment function 508, which may be implemented as a button or link. When selected, comment function 508 may be configured to open a field, form, or altogether new web page in which a user may enter a subsequent comment using a variety of formats. Likewise, if selected, share function 510 may be used to share processed message content 506 with another user by, for example, mailing or using text-based messages via simple messaging service (i.e. “SMS”) or another format or protocol. Further, processed message content 506 may also be “flagged” or indicated as being inappropriate, undesirable, copied, or otherwise by invoking flag function 512. Other functions that may be invoked include like function 514 and do not like function 516.
  • In some examples, if a user “likes” or wishes to publicly indicate her favor for processed message content 506, she may place a tag or mark to indicate such by invoking like function 514. Likewise, she may also invoke do not like function 516 to indicate that processed message content 506 is undesirable to her. By invoking popularity-related functions such as these, ranking of published message content 506 may be performed. As yet another function, plug-in function 518 may be invoked to connect, couple, distribute, publish, send, re-send, or perform other functions associated with a third-party website or service. For example, social media websites that permit user posting of data may provide an application programming interface (“API”) that may be used to feed content in a given format for posting or publication. By invoking plug-in function 518, processed message content 506 may be posted to other shared environments such as Facebook (as developed by Facebook, Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif.), LinkedIn (as developed by LinkedIn, Inc. of Mountain View, Calif.), and many other social media-related services, sites, and destinations. In other examples, window 500 and the above-described elements may be implemented differently in layout, design, function, structure, features, or other aspects and are not limited to those shown and provided.
  • FIG. 6A illustrates an exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. Here, process 600 starts by evaluating one or more data packets associated with an email that is received at a shared destination such as an email account or server (602). Upon detecting, based upon the evaluation of data packets to determine whether mail has been received (using either an IMAP or POP-based protocol), the received email is retrieved (604). Once retrieved, the email is processed to generate a processed message, such as that described above in connection with FIGS. 3-5 (606). Once processed, a processed message is posted to a shared environment such as website 118 (FIG. 1) (608).
  • As shown, data may be analyzed using various techniques. For example, data packets may be evaluated by analyzing a given domain associated with the sending email address. A corporate enterprise, as an example, may have a given domain (e.g., company.com) that is evaluated in order to provide message visibility to other users having the same domain. This may be implemented in order to provide a service to users and/or accounts within the given domain in order to prevent access to information or data. In other examples, the above-described process may be varied in the implementation, order, function, or structure of each or all steps and is not limited to those provided.
  • FIG. 6B illustrates an alternative exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. Here, process 610 begins by processing an email submitted using the described techniques by removing email headers, which may include one or more email addresses (e.g., sender, destination, intermediate (i.e., email addresses found within a thread of emails such as a forward or chain of multiple replies, and the like) (612). For privacy, security, and other similar reasons, source-identifying information such as email addresses may be removed. In some examples, a received email may be processed for privacy reasons by parsing data associated with the posted email. The email address may be stored along with any non-message data, which may include attachments or embedded images of any kind or format (614). Non-message data, in some examples, may also be identified as any type of information or data that is not related to the message body. In other examples, non-message data may be any data that is not found within the payload of a message body. In still other examples, data to be stored in a database (e.g., database 206 (FIG. 2)) may be determined differently. The email address is then processed to identify any email addresses within the header or the body, which may be stored as fields or records associated with the sending email address in a database (616). A determination is made as to whether the email being processed is in HTML (i.e., Hyper Text Markup Language) or an HTML-based format (618). If the email being processed is in HTML or an HTML-based format (e.g., XHTML, DHTML, XML, and others, without limitation), then the email is processed for security threats (e.g., virus, malware, spyware, cross-site scripting, and others, without limitation) (620). If the email is not in HTML or an HTML-related format, then process 610 does not perform a security check.
  • In some examples, a check may be performed to determine whether the email being processed was previously processed (622). If the email was not previously processed, a new post with the email should be created (624). If the email was previously processed, in some examples, a vote count associated with the email may be incremented or increased. In other examples, the above-described process may be performed or implemented differently in steps, order, function, or other aspects, without limitation to those provided.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a further exemplary process for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. As an exemplary illustration of generating processed messages, process 700 may be implemented. Here, process 700 starts by storing a copy of a retrieved email and recording the email address of the sending account or client (702). After storing in database 114 and/or 116 (FIG. 1) a copy of the retrieved email and email address of the sending account or client, the retrieved email is evaluated to identify whether there are email addresses within the header or body (i.e., payload) data of the email (704). A determination is made as to whether any email addresses are identified (706). If an email address is identified in either the header or body of the retrieved email, then the identified email addresses are transformed, which is described in greater detail below in connection with FIG. 8 (708).
  • Referring back to FIG. 7, if no email address is identified, then the retrieved email is further processed by evaluating the format of the email to determine whether it is in an HTML-based format (710). A determination is made as to whether the retrieved email is in an HTML-based format (712). If the email is in an HTML-based format, then it is further evaluated for security threats such as cross site scripting and others as described above (714). A determination is made as to whether a security threat is present (716). If a security threat is identified, then the retrieved email is purged and not stored in database 114 and/or 116 (718). In other examples, an alert message or other warning may be sent to the user of system 100 (FIG. 1) to indicate that a security threat was found. If no security threat is found, then a processed message is generated using the transformed email addresses (720). After generating a processed message, it may be posted to a shared environment (e.g., website 118 or shared environments 302 (FIG. 3), 402 (FIG. 4), or 502 (FIG. 5)) (722). In other examples, the above-described process may be varied in the implementation, order, function, or structure of each or all steps and is not limited to those provided.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary process for transforming email addresses for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. Here, process 800 beings by marking or otherwise indicating a top-level domain (hereafter “TLD”) associated with the email in order to prevent modification (i.e., transformation) as described herein (802). After marking or indicating the TLD associated with the email, all other characters associated with the domain name are replaced with unidentifiable characters or numbers (804).
  • For example, an email address “joe@smith.com” may be transformed by marking the “.com” for non-modification and replacing “joe@smith” with unidentifiable characters such as “xxx@xxxxx”. Thus, when the email address in the example above may be transformed from “joe@smith.com” to xxx@xxxxx.com.” After transforming identified email addresses in the header or body (i.e., payload data) of a retrieved email message, the process then returns to step 710 (FIG. 7) to continue processing for generating a processed message (806). In other examples, the above-described process may be varied in the implementation, order, function, or structure of each or all steps and is not limited to those provided.
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary computer system suitable for electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments. In some examples, computer system 900 may be used to implement computer programs, applications, methods, processes, or other software to perform the above-described techniques. Computer system 900 includes a bus 902 or other communication mechanism for communicating information, which interconnects subsystems and devices, such as processor 904, system memory 906 (e.g., RAM), storage device 908 (e.g., ROM), disk drive 910 (e.g., magnetic or optical), communication interface 912 (e.g., modem or Ethernet card), display 914 (e.g., CRT or LCD), input device 916 (e.g. keyboard), and cursor control 918 (e.g., mouse or trackball).
  • According to some examples, computer system 900 performs specific operations by processor 904 executing one or more sequences of one or more instructions stored in system memory 906. Such instructions may be read into system memory 906 from another computer readable medium, such as static storage device 908 or disk drive 910. In some examples, hard-wired circuitry may be used in place of or in combination with software instructions for implementation.
  • The term “computer readable medium” refers to any tangible medium that participates in providing instructions to processor 904 for execution. Such a medium may take many forms, including but not limited to, non-volatile media and volatile media. Non-volatile media includes, for example, optical or magnetic disks, such as disk drive 910. Volatile media includes dynamic memory, such as system memory 906.
  • Common forms of computer readable media includes, for example, floppy disk, flexible disk, hard disk, magnetic tape, any other magnetic medium, CD-ROM, any other optical medium, punch cards, paper tape, any other physical medium with patterns of holes, RAM, PROM, EPROM, FLASH-EPROM, any other memory chip or cartridge, or any other medium from which a computer can read.
  • Instructions may further be transmitted or received using a transmission medium. The term “transmission medium” may include any tangible or intangible medium that is capable of storing, encoding or carrying instructions for execution by the machine, and includes digital or analog communications signals or other intangible medium to facilitate communication of such instructions. Transmission media includes coaxial cables, copper wire, and fiber optics, including wires that comprise bus 902 for transmitting a computer data signal.
  • In some examples, execution of the sequences of instructions may be performed by a single computer system 900. According to some examples, two or more computer systems 900 coupled by communication link 920 (e.g., LAN, PSTN, or wireless network) may perform the sequence of instructions in coordination with one another. Computer system 900 may transmit and receive messages, data, and instructions, including program, i.e., application code, through communication link 920 and communication interface 912. Received program code may be executed by processor 904 as it is received, and/or stored in disk drive 910, or other non-volatile storage for later execution.
  • Although the foregoing examples have been described in some detail for purposes of clarity of understanding, the above-described inventive techniques are not limited to the details provided. There are many alternative ways of implementing the above-described invention techniques. The disclosed examples are illustrative and not restrictive.

Claims (18)

1. A method, comprising:
evaluating a data packet indicating receipt of an electronic message at a shared destination;
retrieving the electronic message from the shared destination;
processing the electronic message to generate a processed message configured to be posted to a shared environment; and
posting the processed message to the shared environment.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the shared destination is a website.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the electronic message is retrieved from the shared destination using one or more protocols.
4. The method of claim 3, wherein at least one of the one or more protocols is SMTP.
5. The method of claim 3, wherein at least one of the one or more protocols is POP.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein processing the electronic message further comprises determining whether an address is present within a header of the electronic message.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein processing the electronic message further comprises determining whether an address is present within a body of the electronic message.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein processing the electronic message further comprises transforming an address if the address is identified within a header or body of the electronic message.
9. The method of claim 1, wherein processing the electronic message further comprises evaluating the electronic message to identify a security threat, the electronic message being evaluated if a format of the electronic message is based on HTML.
10. A system, comprising:
a database configured to store data associated with an electronic message and a shared environment; and
a logic module configured to evaluate a data packet indicating receipt of the electronic message at a shared destination, to retrieving the electronic message from the shared destination, to process the electronic message to generate a processed message configured to be posted to the shared environment, and to post the processed message to the shared environment.
11. The system of claim 10, further comprising a security module configured to evaluate the data packet and the electronic message to identify a security threat.
12. The system of claim 10, wherein the logic module is configured to determine if an address is included in the electronic message.
13. The system of claim 10, wherein the logic module is configured to determine if an address is included in the electronic message and to transform the address after retrieving the electronic message from the shared destination.
14. The system of 13, wherein the address is transformed by replacing at least a portion of the address.
15. The system of claim 10, wherein the shared destination is an electronic mail account.
16. The system of claim 10, wherein the database is configured to store the data and the electronic message after being retrieved by a retrieval module from the shared destination.
17. The system of claim 10, wherein the database is configured to store other data associated with processing performed by the logic module after being retrieved from the shared destination.
18. A computer program product embodied in a computer readable medium and comprising computer instructions for:
evaluating a data packet indicating receipt of an electronic message at a shared destination;
retrieving the electronic message from the shared destination;
processing the electronic message to generate a processed message configured to be posted to a shared environment; and
posting the processed message to the shared environment.
US13/191,412 2011-07-26 2011-07-26 Electronic mail processing and publication for shared environments Abandoned US20130031183A1 (en)

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US14/049,204 US9521100B2 (en) 2011-07-26 2013-10-08 Aggregate electronic mail message handling
US15/169,707 US20170032408A1 (en) 2011-07-26 2016-05-31 Automated subscriber engagement
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