The Sales Detectives Ltd

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Is email is dead - this year social media became more popular than email. Is there a future for email?

email is great for sending information at the speed of light. But is it the best way to convey understanding, reason, conversation - is it effective communication.
Are there better ways of communicating that replace email ?
OR is it because of poor email etiquette that people are turning away from email?
is there a new generation entering the workforce who don't use email but do use facebook and IM.
Perhaps pen and paper is better in some circumstances

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    Oct 11 2011: I think people dont use Emails and Social media for same purpose as of now.

    Emails will not be dead anytime soon at least for professional/business purposes. For personal use too, email is still is relevant because of easy filing, searching, tabulation features. The walls and the tweets are still under wide public domain and people still dont feel very secure using them and thus I dont think they share very personal content either as they can do in emails.

    Social Media has replaced or is replacing the Social Life which people used to live in real world. The BIG difference is virtual life is far more convenient (cost, time, energy) as compared to real world life. Revolutions have been happening in past 3000 years, people have been sharing their views, pics, songs also for reasonable time and they will still keep on doing that.

    However, with time Social media platforms will get better, secure, reliable and converge all the email features. Perhaps emails would be redundant.

    But the the growth, innovation has been happening in non-linear fashion. Who knows whats the next big bubble, next big thing, better than what we imagined, is just round the corner !!
    • Oct 20 2011: I find it really interesting how most posts say social media is not for business. I think this is because people make social media synonomous with Facebook. So I do understand no one wants their boss to see their facebook page. However, there are other social media sites like Linkedin for instance that is purely for business. So its the functionality and uses of social media that makes it a better tool than email. Social media is being taken very seriously by businesses, its just that it does not have to mean facebook. Does that help clarify a little why email could be replaced?
      thanks again for posting its greatly appreciated
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    Si Xie

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    Oct 19 2011: I think the way of communication that discuss here basically are Email, Social Network and Traditional pen and paper.

    For traditional pen and paper, some people are still keep writing letters or postcard these day, but it's began to be a kind of habit, like to present greeting or being romantic. It is still really nice way to communication, but it just not efficient. But writing can be something precious and it's tangible.

    For email, I still believe it is the most useful way in any field you want to apply, although email may not have the high speed as IM can have, but you can contain a lot of material in a email, and email can be clear and formal. Normally, I will contact my friend on IM then send material like attachment through email, email can also be a place to store files. Moreover, email can use between you and anybody: your friends, parents, professor...aha, you need email to receive register confirm letter!

    For social network, it just a little bit public platform to stress your opinion and message. Normally the information is short, but always the most fresh in-thing.

    I think that some of the social network provide you both IM function and email function. You can chat with friend on it, and if you wanna write something a little bit long, then you can send a long 90message in that website too. For instance, Gmail, you have Gtalk and Gmail in the same webpage, which I really like it! :)

    I think that nowadays email are become more functional than before..so it can be died that soon..
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    Oct 13 2011: Ya..... I feel the same too....

    Buy the way Social Medias are really more efficient and influential .... It hides many reasons behind it such as .....

    We can even find people live online and even chat....
    Can share lot more things instead just of messages .....
    and the most can share the profiles too ....
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    Nov 9 2011: How we communicate, both in language and the platforms we use to host exchange of ideas are constantly in flux. We are always trying new conventions and based on collective determination of efficiency we evolve modern conventions. One only needs to look at the evolution of language (by the way Stephen Pinker has some most enjoyable books on these topics) to see how this can apply to this question too. I have absolutely noted that different age groups or functions within businesses and communities I work in are adapting and changing their communication styles and mediums - blackberry messenger was incredibly popular with teenagers alongside the presumed ubiquitous Facebook. Social media communication doctrines have also started integration with more conventional/traditional platforms like e-mail clients or even purpose built business tools like CRM. Both consumers and businesses are casually adopting these mechanisms.

    Right now, both platforms are useful and oct people make use of both of them for different scenarios (I still write letters too!) but personally I feel e-mail, social media and IM are on a path to collide much more. Various technology advances also make voice and video interesting players here again.

    It's personal and the bell curve usual wins ;-)
  • Oct 20 2011: All social media is a form of E-mail. Ideas and technology advance over time, but in this case, E-mail is one of the building blocks on which all advancement in this field will take place. E-mail will never be replaced, but will continue to evolve.

    Do you believe that in 100 years e-mail or social media will look anything like it does now? I certainly don't and I hope to see as many advancements in my lifetime as possible.

    The question is a little on the "silly side" to me. Only 50 years ago, a typewriter was still considered cutting-edge. Would you have asked 50 years ago if a typewriter is as good as it will get?
    • Oct 30 2011: There are no silly questions. By asking them I find out what people like and don't like and what their views are on using different communication technologies for different purposes. I learn from the responses.

      Yes of course email can die, we don't use typewriters for writing letters we don't use semaphore for sending messages over long distances at sea. So it is certain at some point email will be dead media.

      But that is not my interest, my interest is email is already being replaced today by other forms of communication. Email will continue for certain communication as it has certain strengths. But Social Media have found flaws in email and has advantage for certin users now that's interesting...if we understand that and why.
      • Oct 30 2011: Where did a "qwerty" keyboard come from? Where did the standards for any non-handwritten type of communication originate? I would say a typewriter is very much involved in the evolution of E-mail and lives on in the keyboard that I am using to reply to your post.

        These other forms of communication that you are mentioning in the form of social media are nothing more than e-mail in a slightly different package. The differences are much less than the similarities.

        "Email will continue for certain communication as it has certain strengths. But Social Media have found flaws in email and has advantage for certin users"

        Your own statement answers the question to your post more abruptly than I did. Of course e-mail is not dead...Of course Social Media is one of the evolutions of mass communication...Of course we understand why it is popular.
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    Oct 20 2011: Hi Peter. All I intended to say was usage of Social media 'during business' is still restricted in most of the companies across the world.

    Social media 'for promoting business' is definitely a powerful tool, but email is still preferred mode of communication 'during business' for sending files, reports, sharing company confidential information etc. Outside consumer goods domain such as engineering goods, capital goods etc, conventional emails, paper brochures, real world exhibitions are still preferred.
  • Oct 20 2011: I have worked with a client that has one email box for the whole company so everyone in the company sees everything that comes into the company and everything that is sent out by any individual. It is good in sharing information without retyping or forwarding emails. It also has some pretty mighty cons to it as well. They have worked liked this for many years. But as the email header is also used the message there is little need to open emails either which allows very fast scanning of the email box for what is relevant.
    What is really interesting is that Skype with its IM and Voice messaging seems to be replacing the use of email within the company. Video calling adds another dimension. I really can envisage that working with this company that email will be dead - as if new customers want to contact us then a social media site like yammer or linked in actually is better. Email (without gmail's excellent linked conversation) is poor at relating different communications at different times
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    Oct 15 2011: Peter,
    I do not think email will die. In California, in schools we are blocked from social networking by the IT department and I might guess most businesses of any size over say 50 people also block access to social networks. We use email daily to communicate with our principal (headmaster) and to discuss various student issues with counselors and teachers at other schools in the district. Social networks like facebook and twitter either are way to open to the public or just do not allow the message size we need at times. I am not fully aware of all social networks available but I do not think email will completely die. Just like snail mail will trundle on at it's pace. Email has a place but I guess I just like to get a letter or a card from time to time via snail mail.
    • Oct 20 2011: James
      Each new technology gets blocked to start with by the internal IT dept in backward thinking organisations. Many more businesses are using social networking now to monitor customers views on their products and brands, using test marketing approaches and as a way to communicate externally with suppliers as well. I has gone main stream for many businesses. If you started a homework facebook page with one of the teachers I am sure the school woudl change their policy overnight.

      It looks like snail mail is getting reserved for the very personal, (who really likes an e-card for Christmas or on their birthday) or for junk circulars.

      A hotel I stayed at a while back sent me a hand written post card before christmas to say how their preparations were going and that they sitting next to a roaring log fire - a very nice touch - I read it and did not throw it in the bin as I would with so much junk mail.

      So each form needs to have distinct value and help our busy lives.
      thanks very much for replying
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        Oct 20 2011: Peter, The issue we have had is there have been complaints that certain teachers have been doing email, facebook etc. while they are supposed to be teaching. In a knee jerk reaction the district just closes it down and makes threats. We start each new academic year with a threat about what the district will do to or not do for teachers if we do not toe the line. It gets funny after a while and next year I am starting a pool on possible district threats for the new year. One year they had complaints that high school teachers were leaving campuses too early. We know it was one or two teachers and they could be spoken with in a reasonable manner. No, the district said they would put us on time clocks. I laughed at the principal of my school and challenged them to do it. First it is a contract violation and second they love to have little after school meetings and parent meetings etc. So reminded her that all that will come at over time. No more little happy meetings for free. We also have to do parent conferences with all students after school until 9:00 PM or later uncompensated. I reminded her those would cost even more. They never did it but the constant district threat at the beginning of the new school term is tiring after all my years teaching and that is why I am going to do a pool on what the threat will be this year. LOL
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    Oct 15 2011: Well, email isn't dead. Not yet, at least. Both mediums serve their purposes. Imagine that during the mid-90's, we'd be asking the same questions about email vs. the phone.

    Email isn't going anywhere because, as others have asserted, it's ideal especially in professional environments where security and geophysical distances are an issue, but still need the convenience of both speed and a thoughtful, fleshed-out correspondence.

    Social media on the other hand is known for its immediate sharing capability and the velocity in which information can spread. Social life and conversations are keywords that arise.

    It's a mixed bag really. As an aside, some project management apps, even some enterprises, have gone as far as implementing social media into their apps. Or at least, social media-like constraints of communication, because they know the importance of simply being concise and forward. When it comes to getting things done, people are aware of how clumsy things get when managing both communuiques and projects via email.

    It's really the question of intent and context of what each party wants to achieve.
    • Oct 20 2011: Good point - so we see email as more private and more directed than social networking.
      What I hope is the send all type of email in many corporates start to die... and it gets back to meaningful one to one communication.
      Once you get over 70 emails a day (as you do in many companies today) then 80% of emails in corporates are barely opened or people spend 5 seconds on glancing at contents.
  • Oct 14 2011: Facebook has become the one stop shop for everything you need to communicate. I'm not sure it will happen, but it's very possible that it could take over many forms of communication including email, voice, and video. I Imagine future phones with only 3G(or the equivalent at the time) and no "voice" service, you could still use skype(which is now included with facebook) to make calls.
    • Oct 20 2011: Interesting integration - we could have be getting back to one integrated communication -
  • Oct 14 2011: I think Social Network is more similar to a Conf Call or to a "continuos meeting", while email is a letter, and if it is "Certified" it will be for long time the best way to exchange official communication and documentation .
    • Oct 20 2011: Some social media sites, e.g. Yammer allows separate groups so you can communicate within just a certified group and others cannot see it. So I am guessing you could set up separate groups for each communication group you work with? Would that work ?
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    Oct 12 2011: I also don't think email will be dead anytime soon. Although I realized a shift from sending emails to Facebook messages when it comes to close friends, but like Santhip said, email still dominates in "serious" or administrative conversations. At the same time however, most of my relatives don't use any social network at all (or rarely ever), so I am staying in touch with them via email as well.
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      Oct 13 2011: but the use of E-Mail has really degraded because of Social Networkin ....Dont u feel ...?
    • Oct 30 2011: Simone, what stops your relatives using social networks would you say?
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        Oct 30 2011: Most of them belong to another generation that is not used to being connected 24/7. They don't own smart phones, tablets with 3G and WiFi or similar gadgets. They do have computers with internet access, but they only use it to occasionally google something or to answer emails. A computer or laptop is not a central object in their daily lives, so they only turn it on when they have a reason for it. Also, they never perceived gadgets as means for creating social networks online. They can visit or call everyone who is relevant for them, so they don't see any reason why they should adhere to a social network if they have the real-life contacts. Plus, they are not tech-savvy, so they would need someone to show them these technologies and also to help them create the "sense" in using it. For example, I introduced my mother to Facebook, so she could see what my sister and me were up to. If we hadn't maintained our Facebook connection by sending each other messages or an occasional poke, she would probably have stopped using it. But after a while, she herself discovered that our hometown and certain restaurants have Facebook pages, so she started to build her own little Facebook universe, connected with friends (mostly also mothers and fathers with tech-savvy children) and produces her own content on her Wall. All in all, I'd say the benefits of being connected must outweigh the inconvenients of having to sit in front of a computer... if I bought smart phones or tablet computers for my relatives with 24/7 internet connections, they would probably be more likely to use social networks.
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    Oct 12 2011: I can't imagine when a company will send me a job offer using social media .. e-mail will always be there ...
    • Oct 20 2011: I get job offers through linked in - a social media site?
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        Oct 20 2011: from what kind of companies and for what kind of jobs ? Not all employers have linkedin profiles .. In my area of research getting a post-doc position wont happen through linked in
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    Oct 12 2011: I think email is the foundation of the whole of any electronic sender name. speed post only works when the recipient is currently online and supported by portable devices that can receive wirelessly. dear email users are not responsible often interfere with the spamming activity.
    so in terms of not spamming effektive, mark and delete