This project is read-only.

Project Description

Modern ways of communication embrace contact-based messaging, may it be instant messaging, social networks or telephony services. As the number of contacts increases, a way to determine the relevance of contacts in order to sort contact lists has to be found.


Communication seems to be drifting towards contact based communication. No matter if it is Twitter, Facebook, ICQ or Skype, Contact based communication is a winner. But in fact communication is not drifting towards contact based communication, but has always been contact based. In the beginning was the word. And the word was exchanged between individuals. Before mass media conquered our daily lives, communication has always been between individuals. And today one has to distinguish between broadcast media and individual information exchange. We will focus primarily on the latter and try to distinguish genuine communication end-to-end connections from broadcasts which are prevalent in email communication as well.

The basic idea of SNAIL is a completely contact based way of writing and reading emails as a supportive way to handle the enormous masses of emails the average email user has to handle. SNAIL tries to take care of exactly that information exchange between individuals by extracting contacts from the heap of emails received and delivering them in a convenient way we’re used from applications like MSN, ICQ or Skype, the contact list.
What seems ridiculous and/or revolutionary at first glance is actually just basically applying instant messaging principles to email communication. It is very trivial because instant messaging is in the first place very similar to email. Both technologies support multiple recipients (IM not always), and both offer a way to connect messages by threads (although usually not recognized when used with IM).


Main Window View Outlook 2007


Main Window View Outlook 2003


Conversation Thread View



Outlook 2007
.net Framework 3.5

Thanks & Credits to

Lukas Neumann for his brilliant article on how to add an additional panel to Outlook, check out his article on
Facebook Developer Toolkit on Codeplex
NodeXL: Network Overview, Discovery and Exploration for Excel

Farid Zaid from the KOM Department at Darmstadt University of Technology

About the Author

SNAIL was created by Qiong Wu for the Multimedia Communications Project at KOM Department, Darmstadt University of Technology
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Last edited Jan 28, 2010 at 1:31 AM by Freundschaft, version 33