I have a running conversation with Paul McNeal about the changing role email is playing in communications. With his experience as both entrepreneur and mentor, he has some good insights on the subject over a range of ages. I asked him to share his thoughts here.
Email and voice is on its way out as a mode of social communications and digital is all in. Why? Because it’s too formal. I will admit that the business scene is still a primary user of this archaic form of communication but I see that also changing very quickly.
There is a new breed of information users on the horizon and they process information much differently than we do today. Generation Y and Z — the youngest techies, born after 1995 — consider e-mail dead. They process information in quick snippets while on the go; you have to hit them where they are.
Try talking with them on the phone and they avoid it like the plague! It’s becoming a faux pas. What’s normal today is to send a txt message or if you are online, just Instant Message but whatever you do – DO NOT CALL! They will be quick to tell you to talk to the hand; no pun intended.
The world we are living in today is being transformed and the old methods of communication are being disrupted. Twitter has provided a new way to communicate, it forces you to be more concise, get to the point, and stop ta-ta-ta- talking that blah blah blah.
Don’t take my word for it, look at what some in the industry are saying and doing. MG Siegler in a recent article in TechCrunch said, “…I’m seeing the absolute beauty of the system. Namely, I’m seeing the beauty in its speed.” Just as Maverick said in Top Gun, “I feel the need…the need for speed.” Today the world operates at a fast pace and it’s mobile. There is no time for typing out long messages on a keyboard – instead type out a short message on your mobile device and you are done. Better yet, just use any of the social networking tools to allow others to know what you are doing and where you are doing it. Simple. Fast. Done.
Business is riding this new wave as well. Don’t believe me? Check out what Salesforce says about Chatter: “Work more efficiently and closely with your colleagues on your own private and secure social network — Chatter. Where updates on the people, projects, and data that matter most are automatically pushed to you.” Software solutions like Chatter, Yammer, and Cisco Quad will remove the need to “reach out and touch” someone; that’s so 80’s. It is becoming more productive and helpful to send information in small bite size pieces instead of a long boring drawn out email. Will email completely die out? Maybe, let’s see how this plays out.