Is email really on its last legs?

email

I remember a few years back, a very well known thought leader said that email would die by 2014. Well, 2014 is here and I see no funerals. I keep hearing that the “younger” generation do not use email much and that’s true, however, I think they do not use it because they have no reason to use it.

I cannot imagine my nephew of 16 needing to use email much as all of his purchases are carried out by his parents and thus, all confirmations go to them, frankly he does not care to see them anyway. However, I think as the younger generation “mature” and enter the world of transactions they will appreciate email a little more.

1- Financial Transactions

I do not see any social vehicle having the privacy of email (at least not yet) so that I can be notified about my financial purchases and transactions. My debit card was recently targeted by hackers and I cannot imagine how my Bank would be communicated with me if I did not have my personal email (all suggestions are welcome), OK, they could call me I guess Smile

2- Attention Level

OK, here it comes a confession, even from the “Social Guy”. I must admit, I am still getting more attention and hence reaction even from my most social colleagues when I email them as opposed to sending them a “private message” which is subsequently emailed to them anyway!!!!

3- Email Dependency (Chain of Commands)

Most managers still feel they need to use e-mail to ensure their instructions/expectations are followed/met, put it this way, if I receive an email from my boss, I am more likely to react in comparison with receiving a post/tweet!!!

4- Lack of Trust

Yes, I know, email is as wide open as social media in terms of the applications of social listening and inquisitive analysis, BUT, not always!!! Let me elaborate, I feel people, STILL, trust email more, even though they know it’s as easy to intercept email as their tweets, somehow however, due to the very notion of social (being open), in the social world, at least they know a private email is between them and those whom they write to, not necessarily those whom they follow or being followed by. I know for sure the same applies to the corporate world. If something applies to my team that I really do not want to share with anyone, where would I put it? Yes, I could create a community for it, but what if it’s a one off and creating a community for a simple conversation seems like an overkill? I do like the notion of “spheres” for this though, Newsgator were the first social sofware to come up with this, even though I used it, I felt I could not fully trust it.

5- Social insertions to email and Vice Versa (email goes social)

When I see reputable social software trying to include social posts into emails directly from news feeds and activity streams, I think twice about the death of email. Recently, Microsoft/Yammer invested a lot in Office 365 and Yammer to ensure SharePoint and Yammer conversations can easily be included in emails, YES I KNOW, it’s hard to believe. So, you could simply add someone in your post (by adding their emails to the conversation) to ensure they see it too. SocialCast and Jive are doing the same. Hold on, even Facebook, Twitter and LinkeIn use email to notify their customers (one way or another), so why is that?

I also encourage you to read this rather informative blog about “Reports of death of email may be greatly exaggerated

Conclusion

Hey, I love social and anything to do with social, BUT, I think of email of yet another social vehicle. Yes, it’s more monolingual but I think it can still be a powerful tool to help social adoption. Actually, I was pleasantly surprised to see I could send status updates directly form my email client (Lotus Notes and Same Time) to Connections, I think that’s a fantastic way of getting more people to use Connections.

Now let’s see what kind of attention I get here :-)  I am wondering though, should I email this blog????

Q.E.D.

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