Embracing Open Protocols: The Advantages of Searchable, and Secured Communication

Oren Todoros
By Oren Todoros, Updated on August 20, 2023, 9 min read
Searchable, and Secured Communication

Open protocols are the unsung heroes of the last 25+ years. In a world dominated by closed systems like WhatsApp and iMessage, open technology protocols offer a breath of fresh air, promising searchable and secure communication that moves past the limitations of proprietary platforms. It’s time to return to the open protocols and explore how they can transform our communication landscape. Open protocols allow the world to connect, communicate, and collaborate across different platforms, breaking down geographic distances.


When we talk about open protocols, we’re referring to a different approach to communication. Unlike closed systems that confine us within their walled gardens, open protocols operate on widely adopted standards that promote interoperability and unlock choice for users. They break down barriers, allowing various platforms and applications to seamlessly connect and communicate with one another.


In this blog, we will explore how embracing open protocols can empower us to communicate effectively and remove the limitations of closed systems. In our previous blogs, we looked at why WhatsApp is a legal nightmare for businesses as well as how iMessage fails as a business communication tool.



The Protocols That Power The Internet

Email Protocol


The major protocols that power the internet are things that we all use daily even if we don’t know how they work. They’re the reason a Mac can email a PC. They are why different web browsers can all view the same website. At the foundation is TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). It is the underlying technology that enables reliable and secure communication over the internet. TCP ensures that data is transmitted in an orderly and error-free manner, guaranteeing that our online interactions are smooth and seamless. By establishing connections and managing data flow between devices, TCP lays the foundation for higher-level protocols to operate efficiently.


One such higher-level protocol is HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), the protocol responsible for powering the web and web browsers. Through HTTP, we access websites, retrieve information, use social media, buy books from Amazon, post on Facebook, etc.  HTTP defines how data is requested and transmitted between web servers and clients, facilitating the exchange of text, images, videos, and more. As an open and universally adopted protocol, HTTP enables the democratization of information and empowers users to explore the vast expanse of the internet. TL:DR: No one controls HTTP. It’s a protocol


But why should we pay attention to open protocols in an era dominated by proprietary communication platforms? The answer lies in the strength and resilience of email as a layer 1 protocol. The protocols that power email remain fundamental and standard for communication. Their open nature and wide adoption ensure interoperability and longevity, providing users with control over their email data. It’s the reason a Gmail user can send a message at the speed of light to a Yahoo user. It’s the reason the companies build entire communication stacks around their email platform. When you break it down, email’s open protocols allows you to send messages around the world at the speed of light for almost no cost. It’s one of the most important inventions since the printing press.


Looking towards the future, the potential of open email lies in layer 2 platforms that leverage its capabilities. By building upon email’s foundation, these platforms can enhance the email experience with innovative features, integrations, and user-friendly interfaces while building on top of an open Layer 1. Layer 2 applications can bridge the gap between traditional email and modern communication tools, empowering users to manage their messages effectively while embracing the conveniences offered by modern apps. In a sense, it’s bringing the best of WhatsApp and iMessage to email.


It’s important to recognize the value of technologies that no one controls. The protocols that power the internet are the unsung heroes that enable our online interactions, ensuring seamless connectivity and empowering users with control over their data. There is no CEO of board of directors for TCP, HTTP, or email. These are protocols that just exist. Once they were deployed, there was no stopping or controlling them.



How Spike Builds Collaboration and Team Chat Into Open Protocols

Spike Email


In the realm of communication platforms, Spike stands out as a game-changer with its Layer 2 approach. Built on top of the robust foundation of email, Spike offers an interoperable solution that moves past the boundaries of Layer 1-only solutions and empowers users to connect and collaborate seamlessly over team chat and collaboration. With Spike, the possibilities are limitless as chat, groups, channels, and collaboration all come together at the layer 2 level, revolutionizing the way we communicate.


At the core of Spike’s innovation is its utilization of email as the underlying Layer 1 protocol. Email, often overlooked and deemed as legacy technology, serves as the sturdy backbone for worldwide and friction free communication. By leveraging email’s capabilities, Spike embraces a solid foundation that ensures communication compatibility and reliability across different email providers and platforms.


With Spike’s Layer 2 approach, communication becomes a seamless and unified experience. Chatting with colleagues, organizing groups, sharing information through channels, group chat, and collaborating on projects through online notes all happen effortlessly at the Layer 2 level. Gone are the days of switching between multiple apps and platforms to fulfill different communication needs. Spike consolidates these features into a single, intuitive interface, empowering users to streamline their communication workflow and enhance productivity in a way that retains compatibility with traditional email clients.


What truly sets Spike apart is its commitment to interoperability. Unlike closed communication platforms that confine users within their ecosystems, Spike embraces a model where you can easily email people on legacy email solutions while also leveraging a team chat experience with additional collaboration tools. Whether your team members use different email providers or work on various operating systems, Spike ensures a seamless collaboration experience over secure email. This interoperability fosters inclusivity and collaboration, allowing teams to work seamlessly together regardless of their preferred platforms.


By operating at the Layer 2 level, Spike not only enhances communication but also opens up a world of possibilities. Just like different web browsers bring different experiences to the open web, Spike enables users to streamline their workflows and consolidate their communication and productivity needs into a single platform that’s built on top of the email open protocol. Spike’s Layer 2 approach is a testament to the potential of building upon the solid foundation of email, and shows the power of open protocols to revolutionize the way we connect and collaborate without building yet another walled garden of communication.




In an era dominated by closed systems, proprietary platforms, and big tech, the need to return to open protocols has never been more important. By advocating for and adopting open protocols, we can ensure a future where the Internet remains inclusive, interoperable, and decentralized.


Closed communications systems pose a threat to the original decentralized nature of the Internet. They limit our choices, confine us within a specific walled garden, and create barriers to collaboration. They continue making big tech…bigger tech.


By embracing open protocols, we can preserve the principles that made the internet thrive in the first place. These open protocols empower individuals and businesses to connect and collaborate across different platforms, breaking down the walls that separate us. They promote competition, innovation, and freedom of choice, ensuring that no single company is in control of our future.


As we look ahead to the next decade of technology, it’s important to recognize the importance of open protocols. We must advocate for their adoption and support initiatives that promote an open and decentralized internet. This includes encouraging the development of Layer 2 platforms, like Spike, that build upon open protocols and offer innovative solutions while maintaining interoperability and open communication.


Open protocols refer to standards or sets of rules that are openly available for anyone to implement and use. They enable different devices, applications, or services to communicate and interact with each other seamlessly.Once they are released and adopted, they operate as long as someone is using them.

TCP, which stands for Transmission Control Protocol, is a widely used open protocol in networking. It ensures reliable and ordered delivery of data packets between devices connected over the internet. Anytime you use the internet, you are using TCP.

HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is an open protocol used for transferring and exchanging information over the internet. It defines the structure and methods for web browsers and servers to communicate. HTTP allows web browsers to request resources from servers and receive responses containing the information needed.

SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is an open protocol for sending and delivering email between email servers. It defines the rules and procedures for mail transfer, including addressing, message submission, and delivery. SMTP is responsible for relaying emails across different mail servers until they reach the other email server.

Open protocols are crucial because they promote interoperability, compatibility, and innovation. By providing transparent and widely adopted standards, open protocols allow different systems, applications, services, and companies to communicate seamlessly. They encourage competition, enable diverse implementations, and empower users with freedom of choice for applications.

 Let’s say you’re accessing your email using a webmail client. The email client uses HTTP to establish a connection with the email server. Once connected, it retrieves your emails using the standard protocol. When you write and send a new email, the email client uses SMTP to communicate with the email server and deliver the message to the recipient’s server. Through the collaboration of these open protocols, you can seamlessly access, manage, and send emails using your preferred application or device to another server on a different application. It all happens without companies needing to build interoperability between themselves.

Oren Todoros
Oren Todoros Oren is a strategic thinker with over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry and is the current Head of Content Strategy at Spike. He's also the proud father of 3 beautiful daughters and a dog named Milo.

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