Thursday, November 15, 2007

The impending death of email

It's true you know, email is broken beyond repair. I toasted 8200 emails in my campus inbox today without even looking at them. Tell me what choice I had? I searched the pile for certain topics and individuals, I tried my best to find things that might be important, but let's get serious... There were not enough hours in the day (the year?) for me to even begin to process this sort of load. It's also important to note that almost all of these messages were of the broadcast form. They were not personal. The messages from real people don't stand a chance of being seen in that mess. It's broken, and quite honestly it doesn't bother me. I've moved on to more effective means of communication: IM, Twitter, syndication feeds, Facebook messaging, SMS...

Thomas Hawk has a great read on this topic in reaction to the Slate Magazine article on the death of email:

Sometimes people will give me crap about not returning their emails when I see them in real life. "Dude, I sent you three emails and you never responded."

But that's where the beauty of spam comes in. "You did? Crap! That spam filter never lets anything through. Sorry dude. What's up?"

So I'm curious, how many of you read mailing lists anymore? I'm talking about the old "conversational" variety not the small and discreet workgroup lists? How many of those old lists are coming to you through syndication feeds now? How many of you are finding that a good number of messages that would have previously been in email are now coming through Facebook? How many of you are getting a non-trivial number of work messages through Twitter? How many of your colleagues know that the sure fire way to get to you is through SMS? Have you started to make the move to post-email communication?

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