- Click on the link in the email
- Log into Facebook
- Navigate Facebook's messaging interface to reply
- Repeat this procedure when new messages roll in
This is hugely annoying. Instead of sending emails with a nonsensical address such as email@example.com and a Reply-To of firstname.lastname@example.org, can't Facebook just implement an email-reply-to-Facebook-message bridge? This is pretty simple to do - many Support systems (e.g. Kayako) already do this.
I've written (well, sketched) about Facebook vs. email before. When I have some time, I need to sit down and write my rant about how closed (Facebook, Twitter, Skype) and proprietary (Google Wave) systems are replacing email when they shouldn't. I think the underlying reason is that email's systems and protocols (SMTP, IMAP, MIME/RFC822, MS Exchange) are so hugely sucky, outdated, insecure, spammy, bug-prone, and stupidly designed. We need to engineer ourselves out of this mess.
Update: Wow, this post was just in time for Facebook's Message API, which makes the whole problem worse, not better: From the TC article: "The biggest addition — the Mailbox API — is also disappointing because it only lets users receive messages, not send them."