Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fix Email

Somebody, please. I am so backed up on email because it is such a retarded way of interaction. And you're probably there too - maybe email overload will be 06's feed overload.

It's interesting how kids have adapted by basically, well, never using email in the first place...

-- umair // 10:25 PM // 11 comments


It's interesting how kids have adapted by basically, well, never using email in the first place...

It's funny cause it's true.

There comes a point when you just have to say: if it's important, call me or drop by.

I also think everyone needs at least 2 email accounts (or 1 per 3 years you've been online).
// Anonymous farlane // 12:48 AM

But what's their replacement method of communication? Here (New Zealand) it's SMS and IM. While email can follow you around wherever you go on your cellphone, it's not (yet) expected that you'll be checking it while away from your computer. But if you don't reply to a person's TXT or IM immediately, then something's wrong.

And IM and SMS can be far more of a burden than email.

// Anonymous Anonymous // 1:28 AM

A series of posts on just that problem.
// Blogger Dr Doom // 1:55 AM

a 2006 problem? nah I think it an 03 problem or an 97 or something. And interestingly enough some people have managed to get over it and others haven't. The solution, treat it like it's IM, shoot it back quick and simple, don't dwell, don't let it sit, don't let it back up, don't bother with hi's and thank you's if don't have too, just shoot off a quick message. Bang, done.
// Anonymous Abe // 2:01 AM

Umair, I'm trying out Mark Hurst's GooTodo system (

Despite receiving 20-30 emails per day, I've had an empty inbox once a day since Saturday.
// Anonymous kareem // 2:44 AM

Interesting. Travelling around South America last year I was amazed by the absolutely rigid age-based distinction in cybercafes. "Adults" used email. Kids used IM. Never saw an exception in a public cybercafe.

I think GMail "saved" email for a few years. It's so much better at managing my inbox than any other email client I've used, it made me forget about a lot of the problems. But even there, the tide is rising.

Right now people are discussing GoodMail (which seems to an instantiation of the "pay to send email" idea)
// Blogger phil jones // 4:21 PM

They did come up with fixes, the problem is that people (older, mostly) haven't adopted to the fixes yet.

Being of the "younger generation", I was shocked to enter the business world and see how much email gets abused (from perspective) for tasks that really are better left to IM - I'd watch people literally fire off one sentence responses back and forth in Outlook, which just struck me as insane. (The other thing they do that drives me nuts is use it as a quasi-filesharing program)

If you use the appropriate tools for different kinds of communication, I find it all becomes much more manageable. Email is for substantial correspondances or sending real information - other than that, your probably better off with IM.

This is why I'm glad that we're starting to see IM and Email become more tightly integrated, a la Gmail and Google Talk.
// Anonymous Eric // 5:46 PM

I could see a lot of intra-corporate email moving to some kind of blogging / outlining platform(s). But there's still some things you don't want everyone else to know. Email is the best for asynchronous, long-running, private conversations - still.

also, I notice that high-traffic bloggers seem to hate email the worst.
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