Matt Moore from Engineers Without Fears has a slidedeck that takes you on a ride we all know, it’s about how email is being used as the holy tool to Communicate, Collaborate, and to Notify. He compares email within the scope of other social tools that can achieve some of these functions more naturally and in context…presence (micro-blog), IM, blogs, wikis, RSS…
I touched on this a while ago with my post Instead of sending an email… I was frustrated with the firehose email inbox I had at work and the more tuned enviroment I have on the web.
The main premise of using more contextual tools are:
- central archive (corporate memory)
- discussion with more people then you can ever think of due to visibility
- for all people to see and re-use
For personal benefit your communications, collaborations, and notifications are all in context of where you do that work, instead of an isolated, mixedbag one-size-fits-all inbox that causes much frustration.
If I want to publish something I don’t send a broadcast email, I blog it - central archive, open discussion, for all people to see and re-use.
For the same reasons if I want to discuss a topic I go to a forum, ask a question I go to a Q&A, get in immediate touch with someone I use a presence network or IM, publish a presentation use a slideshow network, publish a video use a video network, bookmark a link use a social bookmarks, collaborate on a piece of work use a wiki…
I publish, and people can tune in and pull that stuff to themselves without me having to push it to them…if I do want to push a msg to one person I goto the service that best suits the context and topic of the message.
Sure email is great for one-to-one correspondence, but that’s it, that’s the context or the type of content we should use it for…Luis Suarez seems to think so.
As I mentioned on Jeremiah Owyang’s post (comment 47), the issue would then be, I need a dashboard to keep track of all this scattered stuff.
This is when an RSS Reader, and a Startpage come in handy as you have access to all these places, and you can see the latest. I also mentioned a notifications stream service called Fuser, which can also be accessed via your Startpage like Facebook.
At work this is starting to lessen with our communities of practice, all sharing of stuff is done on our KM blogs, all discussion is done in the forums, all emails about KM are sent from the community so they are archived in that place (hopefully private messaging is coming in the next release).
And same goes for the e-learning community and the sustainable development community…when I need topic based information it’s all housed in a community, not my inbox (how would I ever find it).
[ADDED 07/04/08: Patrick Lambe adds some additions to the presentation]