Dominic Watts

My comments on technology and business

"Email is dead" or so I'm told

"Email is dead" or so I'm told

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Somebody said "Email's dead" to me last week, I can't remember who now and it may not be their line any way but I could see where they're coming from.  Let's think for a while what email does :

  1. It interupts us with a task that somebody else has decided we need to do - but we don't have to do it straight away so it gets filed and put on hold.  Meanwhile, the sender is waiting for a response.
  2. It creates a storage and information overload issue - hands up, who keeps every single email they send and receive?
  3. We orientate our lives around it, mobile, desktop, internet cafes - we are junkies for it and can't live with being away from email for a few minutes.

So what's the alternative?

You've probably guessed, it's instant messaging.  It's almost back to the old days where people would pop to your desk to ask you a question for a decision.  IM has revolutionised my in and out box.  After a short time, people have got used to the idea that they want decisions straight away, so if I'm not on-line they go and ask someone else or figure it out themselves I guess.

I doubt that email is dead, it's still a great communication medium but when IM is combined with email and you can see if the person that has sent you something is on-line and you can communicate with them via IM then it helps to stop the email snowball routine.  Also, I love my email on my smartphone so I guess I'll still be an email jukie for a while yet.


Good thing is, we can get it on our mobiles too :-)

So I'm still never away from being contacted.


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