Thursday, 20 March 2008

Email is not dead, it just smells like it.

Sometimes I think to myself there is little difference between Email and RSS (or I imagine ways in which I could manage my email in a way that might still make it marginally useful), I always come back to my senses though. Email is always going to be there and there is going to be a long tail of declining useage but I really try to interact with it as little as possible.

The real problem is seen in the use of email for communication in projects, both inside and outside of work. It really takes a lot of effort to manage email in a useful way, when discussions get multi-threaded and emails are copied, replied to, forwarded etc. etc. communication breaks down. Then of course there is the disaster that occurs when someone forgets to "copy in" someone else.

I was recently involved in a non-work project that involved communication by email and has now switched to use Basecamp already it is like a breath of fresh air.

Of course you need more than RSS to replace everything people do with Email, and elements of email can only look anything like RSS if you squint at it from a distance when very tired and forget to use one hemisphere of your brain.

Here is a tip, if someone at work sends you an urgent email, then try to ignore it for at least a day, If someone comes and actually talks to you help them as fast as you can, you can train them if you are persistent enough.

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