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The Internet Social Networks

Yet Another Premature Declaration of Email's Death 266

mvip tips the latest in a long line of premature announcements of the demise of email. "The Wall Street Journal article Why Email No Longer Rules is making the rounds online. Fast Company provided a fast response, highlighting the technical shortcomings of trying to replace email with Facebook and Twitter (where do the attachments go?). Email Service Guide points out that Facebook and Twitter are ineffective for one-off communications. With Google Wave on the horizon, we'll probably have to go through the whole charade yet again."
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Yet Another Premature Declaration of Email's Death

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  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:28AM (#29743135) Journal

    That's all it comes down to.

    But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet—logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.

    Why wait for a response to an email when you get a quicker answer over instant messaging?

    Because you don't always need some response within 15 secs, nor do you want to always be responding to some questions that take away your time and concentration. Even if you have your email client open all the time, you can leave writing a reply to it for later time.

    If you know you need a quicker response, you send an IM or call my phone. Something in between and you send an SMS.

    For that matter I dont want everyone to know everything about me, I dont want everyone to know I'm available or not, I dont want everyone to know all the other people I know, nor do I want everyone to know something that only certain people should know.There's also no way you'll get me to install facebook or twitter apps on my phone. If I'm not on computer, there's no need to contact me other way than calling me (and I dont even always keep my phone with me - if I'm busy with other stuff, I'll call you back on better time)

    • by Interoperable ( 1651953 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:39AM (#29743195)
      Exactly right. Why would anyone confuse Facebook or Twitter with professional tools. An email can be a very professional means of communicating (provided that you employ proper grammar an etiquette). Social networking tools are great and may find a place to communicate between close colleagues but they should never be mistaken for a professional solution.
      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:13AM (#29744239) Homepage

        Not to mention Facebook and Twitter are totally closed systems. Both you and the recipient need a Facebook account in order to communicate via Facebook. In contrast no one that I exchange email with has the same provider as me.

        Email is right there with Phone number and Postal address.

        Facebook and Twitter are one the same level as messaging someone through any third party website, many discussion forums have messaging features by default.

        • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

          I forgot to mention Facebook and Twitter are also totally incompatable with anything not on their own system. I can't request a new /. password be sent to my facebook account, or any paypal invoices

          • by wisty ( 1335733 )

            Plus, all the data is online. Maybe one day we will have the internet EVERYWHERE we take our laptops, but until that day I'd rather keep a local copy.

            And Twitter and Facebook are blocked in some countries.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by monoqlith ( 610041 )

          Actually that's the one area where Google Wave might actually be the next evolutionary step after e-mail, while Facebook and Twitter are not even close to being suitable replacements: Server federation and an open protocol specification(namely, XMPP). Allowing me to send a message to is probably the best thing about e-mail, and it is something that will never be implemented by Facebook, as it goes against their entire business model.

          In contrast, Wave has been built around this ability, and

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by owlnation ( 858981 )
      Absolutely right.

      Email is useful for formal communication, for a long term record of something -- e.g. for CYA. It is also possible to get some work done by only checking mail at certain points of the day.

      IM, Twitter, Facebook etc really are of very limited use in a business situation -- they are slower and clumsier than a phone conversation or face to face. Probably useful in situations where no phone is available (or VOIP for international calls) or for quick mass distributed maessages, but other th
      • Nothing kills productivity more than IM. I'm astonished that businesses use it, it makes very little sense.

        Your post is solid except for quoted statement. IM is quite good at dropping informal notes, or quick questions. Also - The ability to add people to the conversation allows us to have a discussion instantly... In cases where the conversation only needs a few minutes, we can have the discussion, make a decision and conclude the whole matter in the amount of time it'd take to schedule the con call and get everyone dialed in.

        Yes, it can be misused. But so can any other method of communication... Especially

      • Nothing kills productivity more than IM. I'm astonished that businesses use it, it makes very little sense.

        In addition to what the other posts said, IM is good for sending bits of code to other programmers to look at. Sending code over the phone doesn't work as well.

    • ....Always on? ... My mail is always on, and will notify of new mail instantly ... Facebook and Twitter, I only log on once or twice a day,and get notified of important new items ... *by email*

      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

        Most modern "smartphones" have a facebook app, and a lot of people these days have unlimited SMS that they can use with twitter. Between those two (facebook and twitter) popping up in my blackberry inbox alongside regular email, I'm pretty much "always on". I don't always respond the same day though. That's one reason why I couldn't get rid of my Blackberry for an iPhone - because it consolidates 100% of my messaging (including voice) into a single device. Now that I have google voice, my email is once agai

        • I might be "always on", but that doesn't mean I'm immediately reachable. My cellphone is strictly personal. My business communication comes thru, guess what, email. My non-business communication might be phone, text, email, Facebook, or (God help me) Twitter. But at any random time I might be busy at work, in a meeting, driving, or taking a crap. In which case I probably won't respond to a message, and if my phone's on vibrate I might not even know of it.

          For me, there's little difference between checki

    • Niche Tools (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:05AM (#29743419) Journal

      Email is the killer app. These other thingies are nice niche addons(plugins!?) but they won't replace email.

      The only major nuisance to email is slight visual noise. (I DON'T count spam! I mean legit notes.) It might be nice to have a 1-click "you have a phone call" for the frontline admins. But darn near EVERYTHING else gains value from being logged.

      Anyone who thinks they can super-promote twitter-clones is forgetting the lovely CYA bit.

    • Our company does not allow IM for these exact reasons, it kills work flow. We started blocking it back when ICQ was just getting started. We also don't use facebook and the like but we do use less personal collaboration software with some of our clients, but never for inter-office communications.
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:09AM (#29743465)
      Having to deal with everything I get via SMS/IM instead of email is pretty close to my idea of the lowest ring of hell. There is no way Dante could have ever dreamed up a torture so hideous and cruel.
    • by tonyAG ( 655960 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:33AM (#29743705)
      I'm in agreement with this as well. I'm so tired of businesses and employers thinking that I always want to be 'on'. This is their desire and dream.

      This is why I'm more protective of my time and privacy. Once you are leashed by today's technology, it become very hard to rid yourself of that shackle.
    • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:50AM (#29743939)
      There are basically three forms of communication we use:

      1) Synchronous Conversation - face-to-face, telephone, IM

      2) Asynchronous Mail - snail mail, email, fax, telegraph

      3) Broadcasting - mass media, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google Wave

      The article muddles all three together without recognizing that there's a place for each.

    • Better yet use email as a near instant response tool. I personally have gmail pushing email to my cell phone so I get it very fast, and I have rules set up on the server side that if certain people send me emails, or there are certain things in the subject then it forwards the email to the SMS address for my cell phone. This is a much better solution in my opinion than having to open up your phone every time an email comes in.

      Email is still king, and in my opinion should remain so. It is a simple elegan

    • Because you don't always need some response within 15 secs, nor do you want to always be responding to some questions that take away your time and concentration. Even if you have your email client open all the time, you can leave writing a reply to it for later time.

      I recently got into the whole Getting Things Done fad. One piece of advice I saw on a famous web site oriented towards being organized was that you should set your software to check email no more frequently than once every half hour.

      One of the best pieces of advice I've seen and implemented. I no longer frequently check email, because I know I can't have received any if 30 minutes hasn't passed. Fewer interruptions, and it's unlikely anyone wanted a reply that quickly.

    • by omb ( 759389 )
      Hear Hear, it is the modern ALWAYS ON airhead that never has time to think or output anything meaningful.

      I like to check my e-mail when I want to take a break from what I am concentrating on, say with Coffee.
  • Email is dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:31AM (#29743149) Journal

    Long live email.

    Because it doesn't require my instantaneous attention and I get to control when I reply.

    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      Because it doesn't require my instantaneous attention and I get to control when I reply.

      Neither does social media. I routinely schedule posts to Twitter for when I want them to go out. I can read the history on my own time. I don't see it as any different from e-mail in that regard.

      Stop falling prey to the instantaneous nature pushed by those who use it heavily and you'll be fine.

  • by Roland Deschene ( 985837 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:33AM (#29743157)

    The article in question is not saying email is dying. In fact, it says email usage is growing:

    > Little wonder that while email continues to grow, other types of communication services are growing far faster.

    No, not "dying". Just perhaps not peoples first choice for today's on-line communications.

    • Finishing the alinea you started quoting from:

      "In August 2009, 276.9 million people used email across the U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil, according to Nielsen Co., up 21% from 229.2 million in August 2008. But the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31% to 301.5 million people."

      Pardon me? 277 million people using mail, 301.5 million using social networking sites?

      Am I mistaken in thinking that you actually need an emailaddress to join such a site? How

      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

        Amateur journalism, what more do you expect?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apoc.famine ( 621563 )

        Multiple social networking sites linked to one email address, that's how.
        If you don't bother linking the two together, it's really easy to get numbers like this. It's called "really poor statistics with unreliable research and no insight into your topic". It's all the rage these days.

  • by pha7boy ( 1242512 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:34AM (#29743167)
    i find google wave rather annoying. maybe because too few of my friends are on it, maybe because it's a whole new way of "emailing." maybe because it's not meant as a communication tool but rather as a collaboration tool. Either way, I don't see it replacing email anytime soon. or ever.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slim ( 1652 )

      The thing with Wave is that it *is* an email replacement. If you use it a certain way, it's directly analogous to email.

      You can then *choose* to bring Wave's other features into your conversation.

      The way I see it, email is almost perfect, except that sometimes it would be better to insert comments directly into someone's message, than to paste a quote into my reply. Sometimes it would be better to edit someone's text directly, than to reply with my suggested amendments. And Wave let's you do that.

      Like email

      • I got my wave invite this morning, and you're exactly right.

        It's got all the benefits of email (you can choose when/if to reply) and of IM (instant conversation, if you so choose), but until some people I know start using it, I won't be using it at all.

    • The largest advantage to wave I see (as well as the biggest potential issue) is authentication. Right now anyone can spoof email.. That should be over if people would switch to something like Wave.
      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

        SPF records do a pretty good job at identifying spoofed emails.

        Even without any SPF people know about forged email, apart from the wankers who continue to bounce spam.

  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:38AM (#29743187)

    ... things like Facebook and Google Wave is that surely not everybody subscribes to them. I certainly don't want a million different accounts, and nor will bother with Google Wave. Everybody has email though.

    • by muffen ( 321442 )
      Only a few months ago did I manage to explain how email works to my parents (and what the purpose of email is).
      Somehow, I don't think I'll see my father on facebook any time soon, and just the thought of my mother using Google Wave makes me chuckle.

      I seriously doubt e-mail is being replaced anytime soon. There are a lot of companies having issues with in-the-cloud spam filtering for email, I just cannot see them accepting the loss of control of their data by moving to Google Wave.
      • by slim ( 1652 )

        Only a few months ago did I manage to explain how email works to my parents (and what the purpose of email is).

        I just cannot see them accepting the loss of control of their data by moving to Google Wave.

        Woah, you waited until 2009 to explain email to your parents, and you bothered telling them where the message is physically located?

        That's a great way to make it hard for yourself. All it takes is "Type my name here, type a message here, hit 'send', look, now I can read what you sent me."

    • I don't have email yet.
      I'm waiting for SMTP over twitter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tverbeek ( 457094 )

      I don't subscribe to Facebook and Twitter, and I feel pretty confident in saying that I never will. Facebook would be just one more web site I have to visit, and Twitter... I can't even imagine a use for it in my life.

    • A key reason (in my book) as to why email is a superior communications mechanism than Facebook: Social networking sites are a polling mechanism in which the recipient of the message has to check a bunch of web pages for their information (that behavior ups the ad view count among other things). Email is a message queue system, with far less overhead on the recipient.

  • by hotdiggity ( 987032 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:39AM (#29743197)
    The article doesn't mention a major advantage of "legacy" e-mail - it's a standard that isn't tied to any particular company.

    Facebook, Google, Twitter, whatever, are "single-source vendors" of their particular products, and they can be subject to any kind of financial, moral, political, or technological problems.

    E-mail has no such dependencies. The only way to take it down is to take down the Internet in general. (Spam overloading aside.)

    • by joh ( 27088 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:57AM (#29743349)

      E-mail has no such dependencies. The only way to take it down is to take down the Internet in general. (Spam overloading aside.)

      And even then it's quite trivial to set up small networks using UUCP or SMTP to get email going again...

      Anyway, the major reason that email isn't getting the attention it deserves (other than by spammers) is the fact that it's very hard to make money from it. It's somewhat like a free service available to all and the companies living off the net are too eager to have it fallen by the wayside and to have you use other services they *can* exploit and lock you in.

      It's the same with mailing lists and usenet being replaced by a myriad of different blogs and forums. A few years ago I was able to read and participate in dozens of lists and newsgroups investing maybe half an hour a day. Now keeping track of a similar diversitude of blog articles and comment threads and forums and RSS feeds and Twitters and whatnot would require me to be on it full-time. It's madness.

      • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

        I think the real reason blogs took off was that their owners took control of them, you can't (To my knowledge) setup your own exclusive Usenet group to be run however you like. With a blog you can have this absolute control and ownership. Mailing lists did get replaced by forums, but those lists were owned by a single entity who chose to switch to a different platform. These changeovers are nothing like what is being suggested in the Wall St Journal. Email is not controlled by a single entity there are mill

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sineltor ( 312152 )

      To be fair, Wave is being developed as an open standard. Google is opening the protocol. They will also maintain an open source reference implementation for anyone to deploy in their own corner of the 'net.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      How is this different from Wave? Google may have put together the standard, but anyone can create their own Wave server with 0 ties to google. Its designed to be a replacement for SMTP in every way, including its non-reliance on a central authority.
  • by davidbrit2 ( 775091 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:40AM (#29743207) Homepage
    In fact, I think I'll send them an email right now to let them know.
  • silly (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Frogg ( 27033 )

    i'll put my hands up and say i've not read the article - and i'll certainly not be wasting my time doing so.

    but is anyone really so stupid to think that email (which is based upon open standards and is already running on hundreds of thousands of servers and comes installed by default on most servers) will ever be replaced by fecebook and twatter???

    a few years ago i guess the same idiots would also be including myspaz on that list too? (and what is next years fad?)

    email dying? pffffft - what a bunch of idiot

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      will ever be replaced by fecebook and twatter???

      I Keep seeing people try and make up variations on twitter to make it more demeaning. I have never understood that. How can you demean something that outright states it is for twits? Let's get this straight: Twits tweet on Twitter. After all what is a tweet? It is traditionally an almost meaningless sound made by a bird to tell the world "Here I am." It has now been expanded to be an almost meaningless message sent over the Internet by a twit to tell the world "Here I am."
      How do you make up a derogatory w

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:51AM (#29743293) Homepage

    So the call is for a collaboration / communication system which works like email but can pull in large groups that has an open standard.

    Sounds like a call to bring back and update Usenet.

  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:53AM (#29743307) Journal
    In related news, Nemertes President Johna Till Johnson is still convinced that the internet will meet its end [] by 2010. Back in 2007 they claimed that the "exponential" growth in demand for bandwidth will butt up against the "linear" investment in networking technology causing brownouts and no internet by 2010. And as recently as May of 2009, they have been still saying this! Then in October 1st the same company claimed that Net Neutrality will end the internet (or at least as we know it). Which causes me to wonder ... what kind of business model is Nemertes running? Do they stand to profit from this FUD or establish themselves as expert prophets if one of these things happens?

    Really, the biggest question is ... why would the WSJ throw their journalistic integrity on the line for this kind of news? What did they gain at the risk of look like Popular Mechanics who in 1951 speculated we would all have personal helicopters in our garage []?
  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter.slashdot@2006@taronga@com> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:55AM (#29743327) Homepage Journal

    Would you trust Facebook, with its odd history of rights control, with a corporate Excel file?

    Hell no. I wouldn't even trust Facebook to reassure my mother about a doctor's visit, or talk to my brother about his family. It's creepy the things people use social networking tools for, sometimes. It's like going down to the local bar and yelling out the results of your blood tests to whatever yobboes happened to be in earshot.

    Yes, technically, email can be intercepted. So can phone calls and physical letters. And someone can be listening in on you in the restaurant, even if you keep your voice down. But... damn...

    • by Kozz ( 7764 )

      It's creepy the things people use social networking tools for, sometimes. It's like going down to the local bar and yelling out the results of your blood tests to whatever yobboes happened to be in earshot.

      I've seen nearly that very thing. Two former HS classmates of mine are my "friends" (take note of the quotes) on Facebook. One day I saw friend #1 make a "wall" comment to friend #2 about the results of her OB/GYN visit. Seriously people, wtf!?

  • Tried to RTFA... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IBBoard ( 1128019 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @08:56AM (#29743345) Homepage

    I tried to RTFA (well, not the first one, but the response from Fast Co) and failed. I got as far as:

    Twitter's on every tech-fan's lips

    (the first five words) and gave up. I'm a tech fan, but Twitter just doesn't interest me as it is. Making communication that short and easy just leads to drivel (or people using Twitter as an RSS feed for their site - I'll watch the site and its real RSS feed, thank you). Threading is hopeless in things like Twitter and while it might be semi-useful for faster conversations, it won't be as good as a proper IM client for a group chat.

  • Your post advocates a

    ( ) technical ( ) legislative (X) market-based ( ) vigilante

    approach to replacing email. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

    ( ) Spammers can still use the service, so it has no benefit over email.
    ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected
    ( ) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money
    (X) It is defenseless against brute force attacks
    ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it
    (X) Users of email will not put up with it
    (X) Microsoft will not put up with it
    ( ) The police will not put up with it
    ( ) Requires too much cooperation from spammers
    ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
    (X) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers
    ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists
    (X) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

    Specifically, your plan fails to account for

    ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
    (X) Lack of centrally controlling authority for messaging
    ( ) Open relays in foreign countries
    ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses
    ( ) Asshats
    (X) Jurisdictional problems
    ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes
    ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money
    (X) Huge existing software investment in SMTP
    (X) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack
    ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email
    ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes
    ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
    ( ) Extreme profitability of spam
    (X) Joe jobs and/or identity theft
    (X) Technically illiterate politicians
    ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers
    ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
    ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
    ( ) Outlook

    and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

    (X) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
    ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable
    ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation
    ( ) Blacklists suck
    ( ) Whitelists suck
    ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud
    ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
    ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually
    ( ) Sending email should be free
    (X) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
    (X) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
    ( ) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
    ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome
    (X) I don't want the government reading my email
    ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

    ( ) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
    (X) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
    ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
    house down!

  • Most people I know (non-techies) use Outlook for work communication and Facebook for friend communication. I can't help feeling that if Sharepoint was all that Microsoft promised it would be, we'd be using it for work communication like we use Facebook. But when people have to call IT support to ask how to move a document from one folder to another, it's not going to get that far...
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:15AM (#29743525) Homepage Journal
    Someone please send this article to all of the spammers. That way, they'll all move to Fecesbook. I don't have a Fecesbook account, so I don't have to see their spam (for that matter, I'd rather read Viagra ads than "25 Things About Me" pages anyway).

    Email isn't going anywhere. Fecesbook is a fad. Everyone has an email account. Email is also (in theory at least) guaranteed delivery.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nedlohs ( 1335013 )

      No, email is best effort delivery.

    • by ukyoCE ( 106879 )

      The one really good thing about Facebook is it's a much much better Address Book than anything else out there, and they've built forums, messaging, invites, picture sharing, etc. on top of it. It's a very enticing way of improving privacy on the web, since you can actually authenticate+limit who sees the content very easily. The lack of spam is a nice side effect too.

      The huge downside is that it's still a closed system. You can't make your own awesome video game and use Facebook for the authentication, u

  • I think that Facebook and Twitter will die before email, because email has not a propertary service and FB an TW are owned by someone.
  • As a ccmail consultant i'm still hoping!

  • If you live in a rich-media world - iPhone for example - where you never have "just text" you can't contemplate a world where "just text" will do.

    There are several incarnations of this. Mac vs DOS, Windows vs Linux, GUI vs Command line, and now "Wave" vs eMail.

    Those who use "just text" know it will work anywhere. Those who are immerse in rich-media will push the envelope of user experience.

    Is one better than the other? I don't think so. Will one prevail over the other? Doubtful. Will you use Google Wave

  • Maybe they meant that email on the mainframe is dead?

  • by amn108 ( 1231606 ) on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @09:59AM (#29744051)

    Email will be with us a long long time from now. Not to say it will not expire, it eventually will, just not in near future. Society is structured as a pyramid of services, where services covering more use are layered on the bottom, supporting and being used by higher levels of services. Humans rely on several such base services - acquiring food, necessary common wealth, relationships & communicating, which are provided/made convenient by higher level services - snail mail (post offices), useful clothing etc. Email is another level on top of the level of computing - a basic human need to offload energy use to machines - a very basic abstraction of communication system, also meaning that it is many levels below such services as Facebook and whatever else similiar. You do not remove base service if you have your sanity in behold, and before you can definitely replace it with something equally powerful. Email is so simple and so basic it covers a lot of ground. This is the bottomline. Those who claim it will be replaced better have something equally simple and powerful or they simply have no idea how the world works, which is a whole different problem in itself - the kind of problem that makes you read more books, eat healthier and sometimes subscribe to therapy sessions.

    • by Dan541 ( 1032000 )

      Email evolves, anyone who used it back in it's early days will be able to testify to that.

  • Yes, thanks to the wall-street journal I'll be sure to put all of my work-confidential (and someone will be sure to put their military top-secret) plans on Facebook, myspace, and google docs.

    Internal e-mail, internal sharepoints, etc are the way to go. Companies are starting to incorporate internal sharepoints because it saves bandwidth then trying to e-mail 100 people a 5 mb PDF file (which network admins just LOVE). Especially since each time someone modifies the do cument they forward it back to the
  • by RobertLTux ( 260313 ) <{gro.nitramecnerual} {ta} {trebor}> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:11AM (#29744227)

    Google Wave (as soon as they open it up to the unwashed masses) has as one of its big features that the "Legacy Services" are invited to the party.
    To this day you could write out on a parchment with a Quill Pen a message seal it with a wax seal and then hand it to a guy that can hop on a horse
    and then ride to another guy that will ride to another guy (loop here several times) and then hand it to whomever you wanted it to go to.

    Someday Email will be seen as being just as quaint but stuff that works should not be discarded just because its "old" (because its dangerous yes because its illegal yes but just because its old NO).

    Excuse me i see a messenger at my door step.

  • by AlpineR ( 32307 ) <> on Wednesday October 14, 2009 @10:14AM (#29744261) Homepage

    Twitter and Facebook will replace email just like email replaced the telephone. And the telephone replaced paper mail.

    Seriously. We still use those older technologies for certain things. But some of the jobs they were asked to perform before have been reassigned to new tools.

    Telephone was better than paper mail for conversations that needed lots of back-and-forth communication. Email was better than telephone for correspondence that was detailed yet not time-critical. Facebook is better than email for updates that will interest your friends if they have a spare moment but aren't worth bothering everybody in your address book or starting an accidental reply-all storm.

    So I think the author is right that we've reached the end of the era when every communication task will get shoehorned into email. But email will continue to do what it's best at (and a few things it's not) for a long time to come.

  • There are so many reasons e-mail isn't going away anytime soon.

    1) It's a protocol, like the telegraph, not a service like Microsoft/Google/AOL Whatever. You can set up mail servers anywhere to handle anything in any way, and still have it be interoperable with other mail servers on the Internet, provided you're even connected to it.

    2) This also means that it's decentralised, no one controls it, not Google, not anyone, you can't take it down by taking down or controlling any company. Likewise there are n

  • IRC is also dead.
  • When I only had a sandbox account this summer, all I did with Wave was experiment with writing robots.

    Now that Wave is out in beta form and I have been able to invite family members, friends, and some of my customers, I am starting to appreciate Wave as an email substitute.

    I am also getting some customer feedback that they might want to build systems layered on top of Wave.

  • I like email.

    No one has asked me to join Mafia wars, take a pointless quiz, figure out what five food items represent me, or requested I indulge in some disgusting-sounding activity called "tweeting."

    From where I stand, if you're "tweeting" a lot, you need to eat more fiber.

    Email is great because it allows complete formalized communication, which gives the greatest clarity.

    If I wanted to conduct my life through the palsied pidgin of IM, I'd do it that way. But the results just aren't that great.

    Feel free to

  • The guy probably emailed the story in to his editors.
  • We all still use email, of course. But email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet--logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected, whether we are sitting at a desk or on a mobile phone. The always-on connection, in turn, has created a host of new ways to communicate that are much faster than email, and more fun.

    Speak for yourself. I don't have a Facebook or MySpace account, refuse to use IM because it's annoying and don't carry a cell phone (or don't

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.