The anti-email crowd is shooting the messenger. Email is lovely

If I see one more rant about "email is dead" or "let's replace email" I'm gonna throw up. Email is great. There's a reason it is so wildly successful and widely adopted.

It is the work that is unproductive not the tool. If Marketing send you 20 crap mails a day that you are expected to have read that's not email's fault. We have a cultural problem that believes announcing==telling and writing==teaching. A new tool doesn't fix a people problem.

[Update 1/13:
Some of us can be a lot smarter about how we use email. This is a great charter.]

If the sheer volume of information that you are expected to assimilate is beyond human capacity, that's not email's fault. We are reaching a velocity and volume which exceeds society's capabilities.

And no we are not going to have Kurzweilian superhumans any time soon, whatever sci-fi fantasies you are getting told. I wish. Nor do filters help, they just mean that connections and sharing of information break down: there is stuff you are not hearing; there are connections and synergies you don't get the opportunity to make; there is missed serendipity.

The fact that email is one of the channels for this deluge does not make email a cause.

Email organises and records my day, effortlessly thanks to Gmail search. Messages, journal, to-do list, scrapbook. (Actually I manage myself with a combination of Gmail and GCalendar)

For a failing memory like mine, I often need to go back to a conversation from months or years ago. How is twitter or yammer or SMS going to do that for you? And if they are recording conversations, how does that differ from email? A rose by any other name....

Too much social media is totally realtime, or fades like fax paper. It reflects the zip-zip-zip and flit-flit-flit of what passes for thought these days: racing along, leaping from point to point, demented and deranged, devoid of contemplation or deduction or structure.

(c) Can Stock Photo
(c) Can Stock Photo

New channels don't reduce the volume, they just distribute it like a braided river, creating the illusion of reduction, fragmenting your information, confusing your sources. But almost any activity generates - or can be made to generate - an email trail. One source.

As for the idea that anything will kill email, just look at how email swept the telephone off the face of the earth. Not. Even fax refuses to die... yet.

Ignore announcements about the demise of email, and calls for its downfall. Email is lovely, its useful. Email is my friend.



[From comments below:
Well this is salient:

(from @oscarberg via @ServiceSphere")

..and I agree, except:
- Redundancy is not a bad thing. Many a person has recovered lost or accidentally deleted files by asking friends to send back emails.
- I get no more spam on Gmail (after Gmail has filtered it) than I do on Facebook, Linkedin or twitter
- Rich media in emails is no more fraught than, say, this ****ing stupid Disqus interface
- Attachments don't create versioning hell, they create versioning. Since many cloud environments DON'T do versioning well, email is once again a lifesaver for recovering history.
- email is de facto cloud. The sad reality is that the business community won't let me stop using Mickeysoft products. I'm still sent Visio diagrams and expected to submit PPTs. So these files exist on my desktop. Until i recently ditched my desktop/netbook pair for a single laptop, i would often find myself overseas without a file I needed. Except for the copy i had Gmailed to someone. (yeah yeah remote access tools blah blah - I am dedicated to keeping my life simple, not drowning in tech) (And yeah yeah Dropbox blah blah: have one folder you copy everything into to be synced. if that isnt creating version hell i dunno what is - it is no better than a USB stick)

Syndicate content