A new, currently invite-only email service called Hey, made by the same people behind Basecamp, is gearing up for a July launch. To get an invitation, you have to send them a story about email: “Could be a love story, or a hate story. Could be long, could be short.”

I just sent in my story, which I’ll reproduce here for posterity:

SUBJECT: My love in the time of COVID-19 story

I’m a university teacher. And when classes moved entirely online suddenly in March, there was so much attention paid to Zoom and Skype and all the rest.

But I took all of my comfort in the availability of email, and spent a lot of effort making sure that everything students needed to be done could be done over email.

The reason for that is that I had students returning home to all corners of the globe. Reliable internet, let alone high-speed internet, was not something they could at all count on.

But email is the venerable champion of low-bandwidth, spotty connections. Compose it as you have time. Send and receive it as you have connectivity. Nobody controls it.

Most of my students were able to connect using Basecamp (thanks!), but everyone was still able to stay in touch, ask questions, submit work, and all the rest…not thanks to some garbage LMS like Blackboard, but thanks to email.

…I’m super-excited about Hey.com, and I would really like this to be one of the last emails I compose and send from my GMail account. Especially because here goes Safari again warning me that This webpage is consuming significant resources…