Library Stuff has a tongue-in-cheek post about how email is finally “losing” to things like social networking sites, IM, etc. It’s easy to make fun of email. It’s easy to hate email with the burning passion of a thousand suns, in fact, and most of us do.
But it’s also easy to forget that email does a few things really well. Asynchronous messages, queued up and ready to be read, labeled, sorted, and searched, with clear senders and recipients (let’s ignore spam for a moment). Email runs into problems when we try to use it as a todo list, or as semi-synchronous communication, or as a replacement for a real filing system.
The spam problem is solvable: we just haven’t solved it yet. How much IM spam do you get? None, because you only allow communication from people with whom you’ve set up an invitation. We could use whitelists on our email if we had the spine for it, but it’s a pain and doesn’t flow with the ways email is current used.
I predict email will disappear right about the time the book does. 🙂