Is E-mail on the Way Out?

April 7, 2012
Email on the way out

The Future of Email

As a leader, do you read and respond to e-mail as much as you used to? Or are you starting to tune out? Over a year ago, Aditya Kothadiya posited that personal e-mail has become more of a notification medium and less of a communication medium. His argument looks even stronger today.

While Twitter and Facebook and other social media get more and more subscribers, e-mail is starting to feel a lot like snail mail. Leaders need to consider the short- and long-term implications. You need to know that the messages you send will be read, when, and by whom.

How much of your work do you conduct via e-mail? And have you begun to phase it out?

Below is the beginning of Kothadiya’s post:

“Now a days my personal inbox is primarily filled up with notification, alert or newsletter e-mails. Most of the e-mails I receive are about notifying me that someone has commented on my Facebook status or Blog entry, or someone has started following me on Twitter or Quora. Then there are alert e-mails from financial institutions or insurance agencies reminding me about paying my bills. And the third category is e-mails from companies or products about their promotions, offers or monthly newsletters.

In fact, now a days I receive very few personal e-mails. My friends are communicating with me on the social networks like Facebook and Twitter. My family is communicating with me using phone or similar VOIP services. Very rarely my friends or family members will send me a personal e-mail asking about my whereabouts. If at all I receive e-mail from them, it will be mostly related to some work only.

Over the past decade we’ve been believing that e-mail is one of the most widely used communication medium, but I think it’s not entirely true anymore. The communication part of e-mail is slowly dying down. The communication aspect now has been taken care by other social properties on the web, and e-mail has become more of a notification medium for your communication activities on other services.

One problem with this trend is, even though our communication is happening on other services, we still spend similar amount of time on e-mail services to manage these notification e-mails – we still have to open it, read it, and then delete it. And we also spend same amount time on other services to actually communicate with our friends and family. Now a days I don’t even open these e-mails and simply delete them based on their subject line.” To read the rest, click here: A Change in Email

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