5 Reasons E-Mail Isn’t Dead

Image via WeHeartIt.com

E-mail isn’t dead because the Facebook hasn’t killed it yet and that’s the truth of the matter.

I don’t get why people are in such a huff this week going on and on about how e-mail is dead, just because the Wallstreet Journal told them so. The thing is, this simply isn’t the case:

1. The letter isn’t dead either, by the way.

The same thing was said about the snail-mail letter when e-mail came out. Sure we have see stamp prices go up, but really and truly, traditional mail isn’t dead.

We haven’t reached the age of Spock or Princess Leia, even Zenon Girl of the 21st Century-esque, to beam cargo from one end of the world to the other, nor are we likely too…for at least another 100 years.

People still send out wedding invitations via traditional mail. The same goes for graduation announcements, thank you cards, specialized direct mailings etc.

The traditional letter isn’t dead, it’s simply slowed down.

So let’s stop killing things, before we have to meet our maker and explain to him why we were in such a rush to commit virtual murder…literally.

Down the Rabbit Hole ©2009 =Sugarock99 via DeviantArt

2. Dear the Wallstreet Journal and other people who think that the world can communicate on Twitter…NEWSFLASH: they can’t.

Get it?

That’s what Twitter is…a newsflash, a blip, a smidgen of thoughts swirling around in cyber-space between folks who want to pass along the paths leading to information.

And why else wouldn’t it be? There are only 140 characters of allotted space.

3. Facebook hasn’t killed e-mail…

…and moreso than likely, it’s NOT going too. Sure Facebook is one of the world’s biggest countries with a population of over 300 million people, but there are still another six to seven billion people on the planet who aren’t on it and aren’t likely to join up anytime soon.

Lest we forget, that for all the ‘attaching’ that Facebook allows its users to do, this doesn’t include uploading your own personal files, sharing them in messages and most of all, mass sharing them as well.

And guess what? I don’t foresee this happening anytime soon because it WILL crash their servers. People’s personal files, whether it is music, video, spreadsheets or documents come from unfiltered sources. This means that there is liability involved.

That being said, do you really think Facebook is going to allow that liability anywhere near their multi-million dollar web-housing anytime soon?

…didn’t think so.

megan fox by jason-merritt-via-getty

4. Ummm, can you really see NASA or the White House sending their information to each other through Facebook, Woofer, FriendFeed or even MySpace?

I can see it now:-

  • STATUS UPDATE: President Obama isn’t happy. Can assistant no.15 please bring in ####-###-XXX-#X##X brief. (You know…THAT one.) (2m ago)

@BarackObama: @Hilly C., please tell Bill to think about donating $#####.## on behalf the Clinton Foundation to XXXXXXXX.org. Thx. =] (3m ago from TweetDeck)

@HillyC: @BarackObama ask him yourself. xx. #moolah
(2m ago from Seesmic Desktop)

@BigBill: @HillyC ask me what, sugah? Cc @BarackObama
(1m 30 seconds ago from Hoot Suite)

@LizChnyForVP: OMFG, y’all are evil! We’re in danger! Red Alert! No Orange! No Amber! I need a new color!!!! #terrorism
(1m 25 seconds ago from web)

@ChelseaC4Prez2020: umm…right. #psychopeople
(1m 15 seconds ago from Tweetie)

@BarackObama: huh? #confused
(30 seconds ago from TweetDeck)

  • STATUS UPDATE: NASA Director of Space program at Houston > NASA Director of Space program at Cape Big C: “Cape C, we’ve got a problem!!!!” (1.23987 seconds ago)

Right…

Yes, just like the person who did Megan Fox’s hair for the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, whoever came up with this bright idea should be shot…for not thinking about the blatantly obvious…

5. …E-Mail is not replaceable…as yet.

Find me a platform, free of charge, basically limitless in space and size, the world over, where someone can upload to their heart’s content, write as much or a little as they want, when they want, that doesn’t break down, have a fail whale, or slow down immensely when fail whales occur,

*takes breath to continue talking*

that also contains an ample amount of privacy, is open to anyone anywhere, that can provide a certain amount anonymity, while also protecting information (generally) in a court of law, that is highly customizable, schedulable and colour-coding friendly, all the while, also being able to

*takes another breath for mini-tirade*

archive in a manageable fashion …and we’ll be square. 🙂

–

Sasha Muradali runs the ‘Little Pink Book’ . She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from the University of Florida (’07) and an M.A. in International Administration from the University of Miami(’08). She loves Twitter and all things social media, so you should find her @SashaHalima or get a copy of the ‘Little Pink Book’ delivered to your Kindle.

Copyright © 2009 Sasha H. Muradali. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. Completely agree. Its standard practice for every one to have an e-mail address, but its important to remember that not everyone engages in social media. There's been talk of Google Wave eliminating email and I find this premature and ludicrous- Google Wave only really works if everyone is on GWave at the same time. Also, GWave encourages collaboration, but if you're writing and important and sentimental e-mail, collaboration is the last thing you want.

  2. Sasha – this post is spot on. E-mail is NOT dead. There are always times that we need to send a message to someone that's either 1) private 2) longer than 140 charcters 3) needs a file attached, etc. Additionally, at work we need to communicate via e-mail. We aren't going to go on Twitter or Facebook and communicate w/our clients, etc.

    Like you said, I think it's funny that everyone is proclaiming e-mail is “dead” now just b/c a media outlet said so in an article the other day.

    Oh, and I also agree about Megan Fox's hair. 🙂

  3. Yeah the social media hardcore tends to be a little forgetful that it's a big world out there, and a microscopic percentage of the population is using stuff like Twitter on a regular, daily basis.

  4. Right on Sasha. Email is not replaceable. Um, most people I know still get alerted via EMAIL that they have an FB Inbox message! And correspondence (both email and snail mail) are still valued by many, young and old. Long live email! P.S. Loved the Bill and Hillary exchange, hysterical!

  5. You're nuts, but I like it. 😀

    #6 Email is behind scenes action to get things ready on the front line.

  6. #5 — “as yet.” Hey, what's the emoticon for “takes a breath?”

  7. Definitely agree. No online tools can truly replace e-mail. Twitter is definitely out of the question when it comes to privacy and confidentiality. Many conservative companies will never use Twitter or Facebook over traditional e-mail to do business with their clients. It just doesn't make sense to replace something that works perfectly well with tools that have various shortcomings in comparison. Twitter and Facebook are social outlets that build relationships and start conversations, e-mail doesn't really fit in that category. Thanks for the post!

  8. OK, so I completely agree with you. I read that article the other day….ridiculous. It's like when wired said that blogging was dead. Ummm….no.

    I agree that a lot of people are using Facebook as their primary email when they're just shooting a message to their friends, but Twitter? Come on.

    You know what else gets me worked up….email IS SOCIAL MEDIA. The WSJ was definitely just trying to get attention with this article.

  9. OK, so I completely agree with you. I read that article the other day….ridiculous. It's like when wired said that blogging was dead. Ummm….no.

    I agree that a lot of people are using Facebook as their primary email when they're just shooting a message to their friends, but Twitter? Come on.

    You know what else gets me worked up….email IS SOCIAL MEDIA. The WSJ was definitely just trying to get attention with this article.

  10. Totally agree. And besides, Google Wave still has so many bugs, it'll be quite sometime before they hammer out all the kinks.

    Not only that, but it'll be linked to Gmail as well… email. lol

    Thanks for your comment, Sheema! 🙂

  11. lol, I know Megan Fox is too pretty. It's a crime that a stylist did THAT to her.

    Sometimes, I really wonder if some people are mindless sheep. I mean the WSJ is a great newspaper and a great source for information, but they aren't Zeus or God and apparently, who ever was the genius behind that article didn't think … at all.

  12. Exactly!

    It IS a very big world out there. And while, Japan and China are at the forefront of the Asian tech trends, the rest of the world's largest continent is not. That's something that a lot of people tend to forget, for example.

  13. very true.

    Also, e-mail can't beat a phone conversation, the same way a phone conversation can't beat talking to someone in person, the same way Twitter and Facebook and the rest of social media can't beat e-mail. 🙂

  14. lol, thanks 🙂

  15. hahaha, I wish I knew! 🙂

  16. Thank you for your comment.

    You also brought up a good point about conservative companies. I know a lot of PR firms and AD agencies that have Twitter and FB accounts but they don't really utilize them because of how public their are.

    That also brings me to the topic of Fashion Houses. A lot of them have the tools, but won't use them as well because of how public they are.

    So there is really no way e-mail is dead. E-mail, depending on its context, is protected in a court of law — Twitter, FB etc. they are not.

  17. lol, Steffan, you are absolutely right! E-mail is a part of social media. I never thought of that before but, yes!

    I've noticed that a lot lately with the WSJ and the NYT — quite a few articles on social media as well as body image and fashion — are just attention grabbers under the facade that they are being written by journalistic intellectuals. It's sad because it's ruining the integrity of great newspapers.

    When they produce ill-researched articles, or ones that are blatantly superficial, it puts them in the same league as PerezHilton.com and The Star … gossip, frilly rags.

    Sad.

  18. Yeah, seriously. Why don't more people acknowledge that. Maybe I've been
    around too long. I remember when people were talking about hotmail as the
    next big thing….and it was.

    Yes, agreed re: the NYT and WSJ.

  19. That's like Yahoo! Groups — same thing and now it's just steady. It's still there, but just at a steady pace. Eventually, the same thing will happen with Twitter and Facebook, if Google doesn't murder them that is, lol.

  20. I seriously doubt Google's going to murder any of the culturally
    entrenched players -certainly not Facebook. Traditionally, google just
    doesn't do social very well.

    How do you like Buzz?

  21. I just got it and it seems to be my solution to what I didn't like about Google Wave, but I haven't had enough time to play around with it to *really* see.

    I don't think it's an e-mail killer though, lol, for the same reasons neither Twitter or Facebook can be.

    Also, you have to have Gmail or a Google Account to use Buzz … so there is that face of course.

    Have you used it yet?

  22. I've been using it for about a day. Personally, I'm not sold on the idea of
    having a Friendfeed-like stream of Updates anywhere near my email inbox
    (many people imported twitter, flickr etc into their account to automate it
    – so it feels similar to friendfeed). Also, every reply you get (and anyone
    who's following you can reply) gets sent as an email to your inbox – a poor
    design choice because it gets unmanageable fast.

    I'm still playing with it though, so we'll see. I might come around. 🙂

  23. I don't like Buzz at all. I tried it out yesterday and I lasted one day before I thought it was the most annoying, disorganized piece of Google ever.

    It's like this cracked out version of FriendFeed, lol. I mean it e-mails you, when you've only just received a comment. It doesn't let you edit/stream what you want and how you want etc.

    I still prefer Google Wave over it…by a long shot. Wave just needs to get rid of the bugs!

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  27. Yep! A lot of the early adopters in my circle of friends (myself included) struggle to remember that just because we love latching on to new stuff and facilitating change, not everyone has that same mindset. Email took a while to catch on in the mainstream, and if facebook/twitter will ever reach the same level of widespread use, that will take time too. More time than all of these articles are giving it.