Note: The idea below is for speculation only. I have no intent to actually build this.
Having been running a decent size (I don’t know how big we are compared to all other boards on Discourse) site “in the wild” for a little over a week now, I’ve been seeing the Private Messaging feature more and more frequently. It’s actually much easier to use than my email client.
So think of this - A kind of “Private” discourse, where anyone who emails you becomes a “user” and their email is posted as a thread. Some logic could be applied (Who it’s from, what the subject is, kinda like rules in outlook) to categorize them into nice simple categories.
As someone who has to fish through thousands of emails a day, something with the power of discourse would be really handy to keep and store all of it while still keeping it available for quick searches.
The infrastructure for something like this is almost entirely there already - I wonder why this hasn’t been done…