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What do email and Mark Twain have in common?

Reports of their deaths were both greatly exaggerated.

On Monday, yet another blog jumped on the “email is dead” bandwagon.  In a post on the Wall Street Journal Tech blog titled Why Email No Longer Rules, it’s suggested that we’ve reached the  “end of the email era.”

…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.

But a recent Nielsen study actually shows that rather than killing email, social media use results in greater email use.

Nielsen’s results pretty much show the opposite of what the firm expected. It would appear that the more people use social media, the more they are also using email. The “low social media consumers” spent the least amount of minutes consuming email, compared with the “high social media consumers” consuming the most email.

It makes sense. People who are the heaviest users of social media are probably people who are  using all kinds of applications. And the more time they’re spending at their computers, blogging and Tweeting and Yammering and whatevering, the more opportunity for sending plain old boring email.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t see Twitter or Facebook replacing email. These tools are called “social” media for a reason — they’re social. They’re not one-on-one interactions with people — you know, the kind you want to have when you’re dealing with a business or have a private issue to discuss.

Maybe the role of email is changing, but it’s clearly not diminishing. I’ve yet to ask anyone for their email address — customer, friend, business contact —  only to hear “What, that old thing? Just Tweet me!”

Until that becomes a common refrain, email will continue to be the go-to choice for communication outside of social networking. Any good tool can be adapted for new uses — in fact, the best tools are the ones that serve multiple purposes. So watch how email evolves and not only continues to own the electronic communication realm, but develops to do it in ever more dynamic, useful, and engaging ways.

Email, dead? I think not.

3 Responses to “Don’t Believe The Hype: Email’s Not Dead”

  1. Loenard Bobby Malunga

    I agree with you Jay that email is not dead, and it will keep on enjoying usage by the large masses in the world of both business and social networking.

    Keep on writing such articles to prove those who are trying to kill email wrong. They are fighting a losing battle.


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