Whenever I get the chance, I talk to people about just how they use Facebook as part of their day-to-day business. Today it was my sister Jayapriya’s turn. She runs a literary agency out of India and China and Singapore and a few other places, and was in town for the book far.
She described how she meets publishers, converses with them, forwards manuscripts where relevant and completes contractual negotiations, all on Facebook.
And something about the way she said all this made me realise something for the first time. It’s pretty obvious. It’s very obvious. But I missed it. Completely.
And that is this:
When people converse on Facebook, they connect with each other. Not with intermediaries. No PAs or EAs or ESs or whatever.
Up till now, enterprise mail has always been all about mailing lists and distribution lists and blind copies and carbon copies. As it matured, enterprise mail became all about Office attachments, particularly spreadsheets and presentations and documents.Â
And I hated it. So not fit for purpose. [Or, to put it another way: Fit for a purpose I wanted no part of: Fit mainly for office politics and intrigue].
A few weeks ago, I mused about the lack of a Forward button on Facebook, and how refreshing that was. The implications of not having a cc button or bc button Â or Office attachments. The implications of having Record Video and Share Link and Add Music/Video.
But I missed this key difference. The disintermediation of the enterprise protective barrier. I need to think about it some more, try and see just how people work differently as a result.
What I see so far is intriguing. I see that Facebook mail is all about between-enterprises rather than within-the-enterprise. Between-enterprise mail is largely about business and rarely about politics. Within-enterprise mail is often about politics.Â
I wonder. Comments anyone. Stowe, your input will be appreciated, given your unrequited and yearning love for e-mail.