One of the few places you can still have a private conversation online is in email. But now you can publish any email on the Web with a new service called Cc:Everybody. As the name implies, if you Cc your Cc:Everybody account on an email, the whole thread goes up on the Web, where it will resemble a forum post. Any further back and forth on that email that includes the Cc:Everybody address will be added to the thread. People who visit the page can add their own comments.
The service is in private beta. We have 500 invites for TechCrunch readers. Enter the following invite code when prompted: techcrunch-invite
Many people will be horrified at the prospect of yet more oversharing. Others will rejoice. The idea behind the service is that sometimes people put a lot of work into their emails and share a lot of valuable information, which is usually only ever seen by a few other people. By putting it online, it can be shared with everyone—or at least with the search engines that will find your knowledge, and index it. Identifying emails and phone numbers are automatically crossed out, and whoever publishes the email can edit out other personal details.
Many people still prefer to express themselves via email. Now when they write a long, detailed email they feel is brilliant and not too personal, they can instantly publish it simply by adding their Cc:Everybody account to the Cc: field of the email. For instance, here is my account, and here my reply to Cc:Everybody’s founder Ran Geva. (He is also the CEO of forum search engine Omgili, which I wrote about here). These are probably not the best examples, since my reply was one line. But I can see people taking a great email exchange and publishing it this way.
I can also see this getting ugly very fast. People using it to publish personal emails from spurned lovers or mean bosses. You get the idea. Every time the barrier to publish on the Web is lowered, so are the standards of what gets published. I wonder how much spam will find its way onto Cc:Everybody, or frustrating exchanges with customer service departments.