Is Email dead now or just another false alarm?

Just as certain as the change of seasons is the recurring prediction of the end of email. The Wallstreet Journal published an article yesterday, titled: “Why Email No Longer Rules… …And what that means for the way we communicate”.

It seems that email is pronounced dead every time a new communication technology gets user traction. The last time around, IM and SMS were replacing email. Now Twitter and Facebook are taking over. Perhaps this is simply driven by our love-hate relationship with email and the fact that our inboxes have gotten so cluttered with useless and sometimes even harmful junk that we are all wishing for alternatives.

In reality, email is still evolving to better handle the vast amounts and types of information that it was never intended for. New social networking services, instant messaging, voice, video, presence, wikis, blogs, bookmarking, media sharing and micro blogging will eventually all come together and complement each other, and email will definitely be part of the mix. Solutions such as Xobni or Baydin are leading the way to a more useful and better-integrated mailbox.
Here is a reprint of an interesting post from the email Tide blog.......

http://www.emailtide.com/2009/10/14/email-is-dead-again/

However, pulling all this new technology together will be a huge challenge. One of the biggest benefits of email is the fact that it is based on standards. The way clients and servers communicate and how messages are constructed and delivered is all well defined and vendor neutral. Look at the mess with instant messaging. There are more than a dozen competing public IM networks out there (Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, Google, Skype, ICQ, etc.) and another set of private enterprise solutions (Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS, Cisco Jabber, etc.) all with no or limited inter-connectivity. Now social networks are adding their own chat and messaging capabilities within their “walled gardens”.

For the end-user this means an ever increasing workload, to keep up with the flow of information while operating and maintaining a growing set of communication tools and platforms.

The old clunky inbox doesn’t look so bad now, does it?