SockMail is described by its creators as a “100% Java client/server e-mail list management system”, and it is just that.
Looking Forward

Sockem Software is planning a SockMail Pro version, due sometime soon. This will address some of the current product's shortcomings. One limitation of SockMail is that it has only one user login. SockMail Pro will allow multiple user accounts with varying levels of access. SockMail Pro will also have its own Java web server to eliminate the need to have it running on the same computer as a site's web server, and will allow people to use the product independently of a web site. The SockMail Pro server will be able to run on a dedicated computer. In addition to a 100% Java version of the server, Sockem Software plans to have a Windows NT version compiled natively. This is being done with Supercede (a Paul Allen company). This NT-only version will also be available with WinInstall, so that the whole installation can be done through a GUI.

The Future of E-mail

SockMail is targeted towards a growing market. E-mail is undoubtedly the most popular application on the Internet. As much as the graphical WWW, it has fueled the astronomical growth of the Internet. E-mail is cutting down the amount of time we spend on the telephone, and may eventually force the handwritten letter to take its place in history next to the carrier pigeon and telegram. Like any other form of communication, though, e-mail requires courtesy and common sense. Nothing is as impersonal as a form letter, except possibly a form e-mail. This lesson applies to SockMail. A potential risk is involved when increasing the amount of e-mail we receive and send. Communication loses its value when it doesn't understand its audience. SockMail allows individuals to easily sign up for mailings they're interested in and drop mailings they don't want. In this way, control over information is as much in the hands of consumers as producers. Let's hope this relationship stays in balance.

Noah Yasskin is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York. He has a degree in History and Social Sciences from Eugene Lang College and attended the Philosophy program at the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science for a short while. Instead of Aristotle and Max Weber, he now writes about New Media companies and software programs. He can be reached at