emailI have no clue why, but people sure do seem to want to call the day and date of email’s death.

Every so often someone comes up with the idea that sites like Facebook or Twitter are going to kill off email.  I first wrote a story about this in July 2007, and I thought it was stupid then, but I think it is even stupider now.

The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece today saying that products like Twitter, Facebook and Google Wave are moving us away from email because we can be constantly connected.  This is true to some extent, but horribly wrong in others.

My argument about Facebook replacing email has always been that it isn’t conducive to business communication.  You have no way to back it up, you can’t attach files and corporations can’t control it.  You will never see a Fortune 500 company saying, “Okay, no more email, all communication must now run through a third-party system that limits what we can do and how much control we have over it.”  This is simply never going to happen.

As for Twitter … you have 140 characters to communicate in, can’t attach files, has had a spotty history with security and is far too public.  Sure it is good for short communications between friends, but are you ever going to broker a deal for oil futures on it?  No.

Google Wave is the newest weapon in this silly fight against email, and while it is still in “Preview” mode, you receive no notifications of when you have an update to a Wave to read and there is no way yet to access it while mobile.  Sure these things may change as development move forward, but for now it is just an interesting tool for people to try out.

What I will agree with is that these services are killing the short, blurby style emails of “what are we doing tonight?”, “what do you want for dinner?”, etc, but the concept that they will completely kill off email is just silly.  Email has been here for 40 years for a reason: it works.

Categories: Internet, Opinion   

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