MessageML - The Next Generation of Electronic Messaging


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Piscataway, NJ, September 26, 2000 – Industry leaders have announced the creation of an independent, not-for profit association, the MessageML Forum, which today announced plans to release an open, XML-based electronic communications specification.

The MessageML Forum was created to further the development of a new standard for electronic messaging that uses XML to define the processing, formatting, organization and delivery of electronic messages for a more intelligent kind of communication. A MessageML “SmartMessage” understands its content and key attributes as well as any actions that should be taken in response. A SmartMessage also contains precise formatting instructions for any kinds of devices, including pagers, telephones, fax machines, and PDAs.

Long-time industry expert Jonathan Zuck chairs the forum, with day-to-day operations backed and managed by the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO). Centerpost Corporation, which will serve as one of its founding members, initiated the creation of the forum. With industry input, the forum will promote the adoption and further the development of this new messaging standard and support the development of related applications and services.

"Email is the Internet's most popular application, yet it has changed little during the past 10 years. Today’s inbox is essentially an unorganized, sequential repository with no support for any type of intelligent, automatic processing," Zuck said. "The current technology is fundamentally unsuitable for handling the exploding message volumes, device proliferation, and business-to-consumer interactions that the New Economy demands. MessageML is the first independent association to support a next generation of electronic messages."

Applying the specification allows messages to be delivered to multiple devices and allows sender-controlled processing that directs content and formatting, but still provides recipients with control over how and where they receive messages. Through the online forum at, members can collaborate on the development of the specification and share enhancements.

Members of the forum will include industry experts and companies from the Internet service providers, information technology, wireless and telecommunication industries. While IEEE-ISTO provides expertise for establishing the new standard, Zuck will lead the forum’s membership development. Zuck has extensive experience leading industry advocacy groups, including as President of the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), President and Founder of Americans for Technology Leadership and advisory board member of Net Compete Now. Prior to this position, Zuck held several senior management positions for Advanced Paradigms, Inc., Financial Dynamics and the Spectrum Technology Group.

About the MessageML Forum

The MessageML Forum is an independent, not-for-profit industry association pioneering the next generation electronic message, called the MessageML "SmartMessage." The mission of the forum is to promote the adoption and further the development of this new open, XML-based messaging standard. The SmartMessage specification is the convergence of email with Internet and XML technologies, providing corporations with a new, rich way to electronically communicate with their customers, while maintaining compatibility with the existing world-wide email network. More information, including founding and supporting membership information, is available at

About Centerpost

Backed by Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Centerpost is a privately held Chicago-based company pioneering new forms of messaging and electronic communications. Last month, Centerpost announced agreements to conduct pilots of the SmartDelivery service with United Airlines, (NYSE: UAL) and Micromuse, Inc. (Nasdaq: MUSE) and launch a commercial service with Metavante Corporation. More information is available at