The Real Paul Jones

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Email is dead, many say #noemail

Paul, · Categories: #noemail

[ email is dead ]

Thanks to Andy Ihnatko and Leo Laporte for the mention of #noemail and of me on MacBreak Weekly this past week (about 1:58 into the show).

Just for fun, I did the Google search that I should have done weeks ago just after the show looking for email is dead and “email is dead”. Several million stories, opinion pieces, articles full of dread and/or wishful thinking fill the results.

One thing we all pretty much agree on — okay, I admit I only read over about 20 or so of the articles — is that email is threatened or communications are done better by IM, restricted messaging systems ala Facebook, and now by Google+. Whether email is threatened, changing or will still be here in a much diminished role are mostly arguments of hope (if you are frustrated by email), fear (if you feel your company depends on email especially) or tied to a variation of definitions of what email is (the “message is a message” school of social communications ignorance).

The bottom line is that email as we knew it in the late 1980s and early 1990s is already out the door. Soon email or whatever gets called email will be unrecognizable to the folks like David Crocker who wrote the original RFCs (RFC822 and associated papers) for the Internet Engineering Task Force.

But email won’t die just because of technical considerations. The death or over-extended life of email will depend on an interaction of four forces – technical, psychological, social and political — as described in this earlier post.

As the photo above shows the social normalization of #noemail is and has been underway for a while. There will be no turning back. There are better days and better communications options ahead — and many here right now!

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