I have been having an amazing time using Marcato to manage Carmen Townsend’s debut release, Waitin’ and Seein’. The record dropped on November 19th in Australia on ABC/Universal and came out January 25th here in Canada on Company House Records/EMI. We’ve been using the system to manage the release, touring, and basically everything that pertains to Carmen’s career. There are currently 17 of us collaborating through Marcato to coordinate Carmen’s world. The team is widely spread out, with people from Sydney and Halifax in Nova Scotia, Toronto, Vancouver and even a few in Sydney, Australia!
Lately we have been making a lot of use of the Messages module to collaborate in the development and approval of photos, press releases, video content, bios and posters. It is great to have a shared place where we can store all of this data and collaborate, quickly coming to final decisions while spread all over the globe. Email can be very frustrating when trying to collaborate on stuff like this. There is always someone who forgets to reply all and all of a sudden people are left out of the conversation. Email is also a horrible way to send large files around, especially to groups of people. With the Messages module, I can login and review an entire thread, with all the comments and the many attachments right where I want them.
As great as this is, I have discovered a few major issues that pertain to our email integration. Email integration allows people to quickly respond to a message or comment notification from their mobile device without the need to login through a browser. Here are the problems:
The first issue happens when someone responds to a comment email, not realizing the list of people that are participating in the thread, and says something they should not have shared with the group. I have had this happen a few times. Luckily nothing too outrageous or offensive, but I am sure in time something bad would happen. Morgan Currie (our CTO) just finished an update that should solve this problem: we will now include a list of users included in the discussion at the bottom of every email our app sends out.
The other issue I have seen a few times is when an email client learns the email address of a particular message/comment and links it to someone in your address book, and then when you go to email that individual, you end up emailing a random thread, which then posts the message into the thread and sends an email notification out to everyone else. This was happening because emails from our app listed the message/comment author in the From field of the email, with an address like ‘email@example.com’ which is used to redirect your email back into the thread. To fix this, we’ve taken your organization’s name, which we used to show in the subject in [square brackets], and stuck it before the user’s name in the From field. This means an email about a comment I posted would come from “[Marcato] Darren Gallop”, which will prevent the address from worming its way into your address book.
One other little tweak we’ve made is to include the author of any messages/comments/tasks in the list of people we send an email to, so if you post a comment and forget to attach a file, you’ll have another chance to catch this when you get the email version of your comment.
If you have any other ideas on how we could improve our email integration, please post your thoughts in the comment section. We’d love to hear your ideas!