( Updated )
Yet-another-email-is-dead-article, this time from the Chicago Tribune, via Paul Kedrosky. It’s the same old argument: teenagers using IM, or increasingly SMS, instead of email which they find cumbersome, slow and unreliable – hence email usage will decline.
I beg to disagree. Sure, I also get frustrated by the occasional rapid-fire exchange of one-liners, when by the 15th round we both realize the conversation should have started on IM. Most of teenagers’ interaction is social, immediate, and SMS works perfectly well in those situations.
But ask teenage entrepreneur Ben Casnocha how many emails he receives and responds to daily on his Blackberry, even while sitting in class – I know first hand he responds fast. We all enter business, get a job..etc sooner or later, just not at age 12 like Ben with. Our communication style changes along with that – often requiring to a build-up of logical structure, sequence, or simply a written record of facts, and email is vital for this type of communication.
Email is being “attacked” from another direction though: for project teams, planning activity, collaboratively designing a document, staging an event… etc email is a real wasteful medium. Or should I say, it’s the perfect place for information to get buried. This type of communication is most effective using a wiki.
No, email is not dead, and it won’t be any time soon. But we all have to learn to use the right tool in the right situation.
Update (7/20): A day after my post the Email is Dead discussion flares up again:
- Email is Officially Old School says Steve Rubel
- Changing Online Behavior: Email is Old – Emergence Media
- youth and email: the fear factor – Blogspotting
- Email Gets Old – Ataridemocrat
- Leaving Email Behind – Business Blog Consulting
Update (9/7): Rod Boothby created this chart: