Email will die out
Email is one of the immense successes of the internet. It has helped revolutionise communications and has come close to killing of the standard snail mail letter. But is Email itself is a dying form of communication? Many younger people do not use email and it is to how they communicate that we should be looking for the future. Email could be replaced by any number of things. At the moment social networking is perhaps most likely but there are likely to be new ideas about how to do email differently and better, such as google wave.
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The expectation of faster responses and more responses.
Facebook is designed to be viewed more often and to be viewed by more people. Because it updates so fast, people need to keep reading their Facebook friends page not to lose track of what is happening and because you can find anyone instantly through anyone else, people are more likely to know of your existence and be interested in viewing what you post. It is better when expecting instant feedback from a large number of people, such as when spreading an invitation to friends or advertising.
But wouldn't it be more organized if Facebook did everything, you wouldn't have to log into ten different accounts.
counter-argument: But then again your boss can easily use your email address to add you on facebook and take offense if you say no or just let the request sit a while.
People will check all their emails. They assume people email them with important things and put trivial things on Face book. Many people are also unable to keep track of their Face book page and will miss individual posts if it is large.
One thing going for email is the spam filter. People also prefer chatting on MSN over Gtalk or Yahoo or Facebook. Fact is consumer loyalty stands and software with only exclusive functions keep us from being positively scatterbrained.
They also add organization to our daily tasks. If you want to check your email you log into your hotmail/yahoo/gmail A/C(s).
Practically no; you're typing in a facebook message then a chat window opens or you receive a notification. A zillion things happening at once is hectic.
Also your relations with different people are different. On Facebook , wall exchanges equalize/harmonize/pressurize these relations.
So that your mother's great aunt whom you've never met is just as big a correspondence as your siblings or there's hell to pay.
Your boss can view your comments on your baby niece's photographs, or inebriated pictures of you at a party that your friends just had to tag you in. The overlap of everything can be overwhelming and email then becomes a life saver.
Counter to counter: Work/college email is usually separate(firstname.lastname@example.org or XXX@y.edu etc).And you have the choice of not using it to make a F.B account.
Not used by the next generation.
According to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook:
“In consumer technology, if you want to know what people like us will do tomorrow, you look at what teenagers are doing today, and the latest figures say that only 11% of teenagers email daily. So email –I can’t imagine life without it– is probably going away. So what do teenagers do? They SMS and increasingly they use social networking.”
The statistics are not accurate. They only cover the amount that email is used to contact friends and and family. Teenagers have other reasons to use email, such as ordering goods online.
Facebook accounts – and, for that matter, email addresses - can’t be counted anyway, because people can have multiple accounts under fictitious names or have accounts but never use them. They can even repeatedly delete and create them over short periods of time, if using them for something against the Facebook policy.
Teen fashion changes very rapidly, it changed from email to txt before it changed to facebook, it will change again.
Email is a poor model for communication.
At its core, email's data model consists of a sea of unrelated messages. This is the essential problem. When you reply to a message, no link is created in a database somewhere, saying "message 123 is a reply to message 456." The reason people have managed to limp along for so many years using email for conversations is that our brains are good at using context and deciphering noisy data. We use this ability to figure out what the relationships are between email messages. To some extent, mail clients help us keep this context by sorting emails by field (usually date), and by adding clues such as "re:" to the beginning of subject lines when we use the reply button. But computers are bad at using context and deciphering noisy data. We therefore can't leverage the power of computers to improve online communication until the underlying model is capable of representing that communication. (Or until we have strong AI, whichever comes first.)
Fashions in social networking sites may come and go over the years. The important point about e-mail is its universality. It does not matter which provider people sign up to. It does not matter whether a service is Internet based or Server and Client based. So long as you have somebody's valid e-mail address, that is all that is required.
With regard to the fact that e-mail is not that good at organising threads at the moment, this is something that may well evolve over time, but it is not a fundamental fault of the e-mail concept.
Emails are more appropriate for work.
Social networking sites aren't good for official communication because they are an informal environment, don't offer privacy and update too fast for communicating at length or in detail. Social networking sites contain a lot of details most people wouldn't be happy with sharing with their boss, coworkers, clients and so on. Emails are stripped of personal information except what the sender chooses to include in the message.
It's not solely work where a degree of professionalism is necessary. Whether work tools are appealing or not is irrelevant, the point is they fulfill a certain function for the user.
They will replace emails in other areas of work, such as advertising. An organisation that makes a lot of changes very rapidly would find it easier to correspond over a system where they can send many updates without clogging up someone's inbox.
Facebook is seen as informal and for teeangers now because it isn't quite popular enough and hasn't existed for long enough to become completely mainstream. It won't be long before everyone uses it for correspondence, then it would look strange for businesses not to.
If email is consigned only to work, it will become unpopular. Work tools are less appealing and used less than communication tools.
Email is more private and secure.
Facebook is only useful for information that can safely be made public. Not only is a Facebook account available for anyone to see, it can be hacked more easily than an email account and is more likely to download malware onto your computer. An email account is also more useful for verifying identity than a Facebook account.
The way people use Facebook shows that privacy is not particularly an issue for them. People are willing to post more and more intimate information on public forums, including two people having a private argument.
Facebook can actually be used to send private messages. Posts can be locked and people can send messages to each other instead of posting them at all.
Email still isn’t secure enough for communicating important confidential information such as bank details.
An email address can still be shared and most free email addresses need no proof of identity to activate, so aren't that useful to verify identity. At least with a Facebook page, you can guess whether it is genuinely being used by the person who says they are using it by whether they are posting 'in character' and uploading pictures of themselves.
Emails required for social networking.
An email address is required to activate a Facebook account.
Email alerts are also necessary to tell people when they've been friended, when someone has replied to their messages and when they've been invited to an event on Facebook. Facebook changes so fast, it is often impossible to keep track of it without email alerts.
This is only for security reasons. A different system could be used to verify people’s identities and register them. Also, if the only use for email really was to open Facebook accounts, it would soon be seen as an unnecessary encumbrance, like a landline is an annoying expensive thing you need to have a Broadband account, and someone would quickly develop a way not to rely on it.
The problem of Facebook updating too fast would be solved by putting in a way of searching your archives.
Emails can handle large bodies of text.
If you tried to send a large body of text to a Facebook page, it would cause problems with the browser or just go above the word limit.
Nobody wants to read large bodies of text on the Internet. Language is becoming more and more concise and abbreviated.
Facebook pages can contain links to sites with the text on or places to download the text to be read later.
Email will gain sentimental value.
As people receive less emails and become less likely to receive trivial emails, they will attach the same sentimental value to emails as they currently do to letters.
Email is still the most reliable,quick,easy-to-use and valuable service that people can use for formal/private communication. Faster than post/fax and more private than any social networking site.
A lot of processes require the use of solid paper postage.
For example Penguin India does not accept an email query letter or sample chapter submission. Most paying paperback magazines have the same requirement.
A tangible card is valued so much more than an e-card(animated or not).
The post office carries much more than sentimental value for this reason. And while email is in the process of almost clouding paper postage out; it hasn't quite succeeded as yet.
Email is the most adaptable and multi-platform means of communication
Email has an advantage over nearly all other ways of sending a message such as SMS, MMS, voicemail etc as it is so much more adaptable and functional. An email can sent for free, recieved on many devices - your computer, phone or TV, and an email address is much easier to remember compared to a string of digits. As new technologies become more popular, such as video, these can most easily be tacked onto email since almost everybody has an account already.
Email does indeed fill a niche that SMS, MMS, voicemail, fax machines, snail mail, Facebook, (etc) can't fill. All of these things may, to varying degrees, edge their way into email's niche, but they can't completely fill it, nor were they designed to fill it.
However it's not true that "email is the most adaptable and multi-platform means of communication."
Email enjoys niche-dominance not because it's well-designed, but because it has massive amounts of mindshare and legacy support. Email is actually horribly designed for the task of communication. It may take time, but a more well-suited tool will eventually come along and fulfill the niche that email currently occupies.
What do you think?