Email is ill, but is not dying

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface
Image via Wikipedia

The BBC’s website has an interesting article on the prospects for email, a subject I have written on here a few times.

Email is no longer the killer application of the internet, certainly. Designed by scientists to send messages to other scientists and so built around the notion that all users were acting in good faith, it is weak and that is, no doubt, contributing to the rise of social media as an alternative means of communication.

But there is no reason why we should replace one broken security model – that of email – with another – a reliance on proprietary software (Facebook is proprietary after all).

Email will last because it is open. But maybe someone could and should write a better email.


2 responses to “Email is ill, but is not dying”

  1. I’ve had a couple of discussions about this lately. It is instructive, if somewhat scary, to consider the mindset of a teenager. Their friends communicate with them via some mix of SMS, Facebook and Twitter. They are not yet receiving business email in any substantial quantity. It seems likely, then, that the percentage of incoming email that is spam its considerably higher than what you or I see (and mine is high enough, thank you very much). That makes email unattractive to them. It will be interesting to see whether they succumb to the need to use email for business as they age, or whether they will compel business to adapt to their preferences.

    1. Yes, I can see that with my own (teenage) daughters – they both have email addresses (gmail, I think), but never use them. But being involved in a start up where colleagues have been working in different locations has also reminded me of how central email is to the business – when you work in an office where people send email because they cannot be bothered to walk 20 feet and speak to you, you can forget that sometimes.
      Just cannot imagine trusting communications to Facebook or even Google – as then you are in their hands. Setting up Postfix, an IMAP server, SpamAssassin and clients takes longer, but in the end it’s a better option.

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