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Friday, November 18, 2005

Email : From Productivity Wonder To Maddening Time Wastener

While covering the future of microsoft,I wrote that Wiki's, collaboration and the blogosphere all are certainly getting good traction at levels - all segments of enterprise and consumer included - and with the impending power of broadband and hosted models creating a new tapestry very different from what exists today. We also covered the definitive need for using proper email etiquettes to minimise email stress effect within organisations. We also covered the perspective that Email destroying the mind faster than marijuana. Businessweek writes that Email is stretching and morphing from a point-to-point medium into a broadcast Medium . The article points out that Gartner Group predicts that wikis will become mainstream collaboration tools in at least 50% of companies by 2009. Clay shirky predicts that while e-mail will remain the prime tool for notification and one-to-one communication, "a huge percentage of collaboration will occur outside of e-mail, with a continued rise in these other tools,". J.P.Rangaswami of Dredsner feels that there's an enormous untapped value to be gotten by getting collaboration right and adds that while email is not on its way to floppy disk-dom, it has certainly come under threat before. The Lotus Notes juggernaut of the early 1990s never displaced e-mail. Nor did attempts to build collaborative platforms during the boom, but e-mail has hit a wall, creating an impenetrable scale of conversations people don't need to be a part of and shipping around mounds of information they can't possibly digest. In the long run, perhaps the biggest death knell for e-mail is the anthropological shift occurring among tomorrow's captains of industry, the text-messaging Netgens (16-to-24-year-olds), for whom e-mail is so "ovr," "dn," "w/e (over, done, whatever)."
Businessweek finds that some Organisations are ditching e-mail in favor of other software tools that function as real-time virtual workspaces. Among them: private workplace wikis (searchable, archivable sites that allow a dedicated group of people to comment on and edit one another's work in real time); blogs (chronicles of thoughts and interests); Instant Messenger (which enables users to see who is online and thus chat with them immediately rather than send an e-mail and wait for a response); RSS and more elaborate forms of groupware such as SharePoint, which allows workers to create Web sites for teams' use on projects. Despite the brawniest corporate filters, more than 60% of what swarms into corporate in-boxes is spam. Since so much of what's received involves scams about millions languishing in nonexistent bank accounts, interoffice status contests, and people plopping unwanted meetings onto Outlook calendars, the e-mail blow-off factor is rising.

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