I’ve never been a fan of e-mail, and I won’t bore you with my rants. Suffice it to say that it worked once, could work again, but only as an electronic equivalent of snail-mail; that it is not fit for purpose today as a multilateral communications medium; that misuse of e-mail is rampant, particularly via ass-cover and distrust-generating cc and bc functions; that internal “official” spam exceeds external spam, made far worse by our willingness to attach large presentations and spreadsheets willy-nilly; that all this will get worse, as more and more devices get connected, and then create more and more alerts. It’s only a matter of time before someone decides to impose an “advertising model” on enterprise mail and thereby fossilise the avalanche.
I still remember being seated next to Stowe Boyd, on a panel at Supernova many years ago, when he first called the death of e-mail, and how it looked as if some members of the audience would actually do him physical injury for his utterance. I wonder what Stowe would make of this article:
Headlined Office Staff Hit Delete in War on E-Mail Monster, the article describes someone who does a Chapter 14 on her mailbox, deleting her 30,000 unreads, only to find that they came back at the rate of 1,000 a day. It goes on to report on companies that have Zero E-Mail days, companies that included stalwarts of the Net like Intel. It talks about rebels being fined, about Wanted posters for e-mail miscreants, even about wearing the Scarlet Letter E.
Just what have we wrought?
Is it that difficult to avoid reading e-mail? Really?