November 15th, 2007
The death of email meme is completely absurd. Email is NOT going to die because, as Charlie O’Donnell points out, EVERYONE HAS EMAIL. That’s why we all get so much spam and other useless email — because it’s a guaranteed way to reach us.
Inboxes are getting flooded by email from other online communication services like Facebook, Twitter, Pownce, etc. because EVERYONE HAS EMAIL — it’s the only truly universal form of online communication. So much so that all of these web services have to use it as a proxy.
In fact, the proliferation of non-interoperable web communication services (i.e. Facebook vs. MySapce, IM vs. IM, Twitter vs. Pownce) ensures that email will not die any time soon. Just like Skype didn’t kill the phone number — not every is on Skype, but everyone has a phone number.
Until you graduate from college, the only communications that really matter are from your friends, so you can use any new fangled platform that every agrees to adopt. Once you graduate from college, email takes over because EVERYONE HAS EMAIL. The teenagers who were using IM when email’s death was first predicted are now in their late twenties — we can resurrect this meme over and over, but it ain’t gonna happen.
Thomas Hawk bemoans all the useless email he gets, but that only demonstrates the power of email. If he dumped email and started doing all his communication through Facebook or Pownce or whatever, you can be sure the spam and communications he doesn’t have time to answer would follow him.
Email is just the messanger — and a damn effective one.