In our last post we discussed how email is being replaced by the new culture of shorter, instant and contextualized conversations via social media tools.
Gone are the days of long emails with lots of content and details. Today, the average email is shorter and it’s content is very time sensitive and contextual – and so the trend to replace it with Twitter and other instant messaging communication tools.
Is email really a good fit for the way we to communicate?
In this post, we’ll address how email falls short as business communication tool and how these “shortfalls” are actually changing what we see in an email and how we use it.
The dreaded Forward, Reply to All, and CC emails
As a one-to-many or many-to-many communication, email is just not a good fit. We’ve all been in the situation were we forward, CC, and reply to all – we want to make sure everybody gets the message.
But do they? Most of us read what we have to read and skim the rest. So, if you are using the dreaded Forward, Reply to All, and CC features to relay important business communications, perhaps you should try a different route.
“Email and collaboration“ are like “oil and water”
Trying to use email to manage a collaborative project is a time consuming and painful task. Even working on a document with four people in the same department can be extremely difficult, with different versions flying around, past comments lost or written over, and critical revisions and content misplaced in forked email chains. Email is just not the best fit for business collaboration.
Enter enterprise social networking software
Enter business social software, with all of it’s different tools for coordination, planning and collaboration, the need for email is greatly reduced.
- Have an announcement to make? Instead of spreading the word by spamming the entire office, how about posting an announcement on the login page where everybody goes to start their day?
- Got a meeting to organize? Go to the community and announce an event. If the recipients plan on attending, no need for an email RSVP, they can let you know within the enterprise social network.
- And instead of playing email attachment ping-pong, easy to use wikis allow everyone to work on the same document, consult its revisions, and follow how the 1st draft evolved to the final version.
Email is best suited for basic notification
So to bring it all together, we’ve said that people are now using email for shorter, simpler communication and that the use email for group communication or business collaboration is not the best choice.
Social networks and the community
So where are people talking and where is content (that used to be in emails) going? People are talking in social networks and sharing their content with their community.
Instead of writing an email, people use instant messaging, Twitter, or posts on Facebook. Today, no more inbox, no more email lists, no more CCs. Something is posted, and like a 21st century inbox, you can go read it if and when you want.
The business social network
Today, instead of announcing a new partnership or a new customer by email, companies are posting the same information in public forums, internal intranets or social networks. Email simply notifies us that a social network post has occurred – the real content is happening elsewhere.
My inbox of notifications
Twitter users can receive an email notifying them that a private message has been posted. The only content in the email is a link to go retrieve or read the content, just like the email you get when your order has shipped. Thanks for the info, but if you want to look at the invoice, you go elsewhere.
In our opinion – this is the future of email
Today the value-added content is migrating elsewhere – and for enterprises, social networking platforms are the ideal place to centralize the conversation (and the content) to help people get the information they need fast, become more productive, make better decisions, and encourage collaboration with people inside and outside the organization.
What do you think?