Friday, September 26, 2014

Netiquette IQ Blog Post of The Day - Is Email Dying? Yet Another Perspective

There have been a number of theories regarding the demise of email. Some of these come subjectively from companies which have much to gain from users moving to their own platforms. However, most pragmatic voices see the impossible likelihood this will happen soon. The following article presents a bit of both sides.
 Kepes Forbes 9/25/2014
Is Email Dead? Tipbit Is Adamant It's Not Following Comments Unfollow Comments
I wrote recently about collaboration vendor The company believes that for many collaboration needs, email is a broken paradigm that needs to be displaced. The scourge of many of our working lives, massive inboxes, reply-to-all, no context and disconnection from core processes, plagues us. With all of these issues surrounding email, one would be mistaken for assuming that everyone agrees with email being broken within many contexts. That would appear to not be the case if an email I received (ironic, no?) from Tipbit CEO Gordon Mangione is anything to go by.
Mangione believes that these various solutions that seek to displace email (and there are plenty – from enterprise social solutions like Chatter and Yammer to group solutions like, Hipchat and Slack) are flawed models. Mangione strongly holds the view that these approaches seek to create new siloes that are closed and proprietary.
Mangione takes a very strong view on my “email is dying” theme so it’s worth seeing what his perspective is. Mangione takes a dim view of what CEO Andrei Soroker states about email usage for internal collaboration. Soroker suggests that within most new startups email has been displaced for internal communication. Mangione suggests he is plain wrong and goes into some reasons why he believes email is still a good option.
  • Email is an open standard. It’s independent of underlying implementation or adoption and is universally accessible to anyone in the world. It is a (while admittedly clunky) highly evolved experience; contributions and collaboration from thousands of companies and individuals have evolved email for decades. The specification is managed by the IETF, which is THE foundation for the world’s communication needs. The world. Where customers and partners and investors and others outside a startup team live and work. Think how ridiculous it would be for companies to say, “the Web needs to die and be replaced.” It’s insane, irresponsible, widely inaccurate and disingenuous.
  • The Web is addicted. Every service on the web has some dependency on email – whether it’s signup, customer service or customer engagement. It’s the only system in the world where a user can send a message regardless of infrastructure. Here are some stats that prove how vital email is to us:
    • There are more than 4B email addresses in the world.
    • The human race generates 166B email messages every single day.
    • Even the major social networks – Facebook, LinkedIn – generate over 1B emails/day to communicate with customers.
  • Privacy matters. Equally important, email is private. It’s your data and your information. You decide where to host your email on whatever infrastructure meets your needs. You can have several email addresses for each role in your life – for work, for family, for collecting the emails from advertisers and marketers…You can even choose to use a free email provider that swaps your privacy for ads.
Mangione makes a lot of sense here. Of course it needs to be pointed out that Tipbit is an email vendor. Tipbit is a mobile application that seeks to resolve the issues that are caused by delivering a desktop-optimized email experience onto the mobile form factor. Tipbit is essentially a new front end – it leverages the mechanics of email but presents it in a new way.
And that gets to the crux of the matter, it’s important to separate the issues caused by poor delivery approaches of email from those that have to do with the failings of email as a protocol. The reality is, I suspect, somewhere in the middle of the continuum that exists with Soroker’s viewpoint at one end and Mangione’s at the other.
Electronic communication and collaboration into the future will likely be a very nuanced thing – the success of social overlays such as Chatter, and new collaboration paradigms such as show that. The vast majority of communication will continue to happen via email, and vendors like Tipbit will continue to try and make the experience within email better. Meanwhile there will continue to be a plethora or vendors who try and displace email, and they will see their own success. We all wail about email, but continue to use it.
 In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.