The Death of Email (as we know it)

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Some months ago I was predicting the death on Email and Websites with the growth of Social Networks/Media.  But as was pointed out what I was predicting was the death of those tools as we have known them.

I have been using email for over 25 years – prior to the Internet (as we know it) so feel well positioned to comment there.  It was a great tool when it was just on what we now know as an intranet.  I was working for Dun and Bradstreet Software (the then biggest business software company in the world – it was very pre SAP) and the email network was based on our world-wide IBM mainframe based system, so I could communicate directly with anyone in the company anywhere in the world.

So whats changed – well now I can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world (if I know their address) but apart from that the basics of email are still pretty much the same.

If you dont believe email (as we know it) and we are about to move to a new and smarter form of email then ask anyone under 20 if they use email.  The answer will almost certainly be NO.

They do but they just dont recognise it ….   They use Facebook, Myspace etc as an all-encompassing communications system with their world and only their world.  A bit like out old mainframe system – if they are in the address book we can reach them if they are nt we cant.

So they use a combination of email with integrated address book and broadcast tools (The Wall in Facebook) and then meet others in Groups.

All pretty sensible really – a close environment that keeps the spammers out ….  that means you can publish all those jokes and funny videos that clog up my email every day in a place where I can come and look if I am interested.

So those Grumpy Old Managers who are banning Facebook while they sit in their offices reading their mates’ joke emails need to take the blinkers off and look at where Social Networking is taking email (as we know it) and understand its potential for their business. Incidentally these were probably the same GOM’s that banned email (until their mates told them they could send great jokes), mobile phones (until their mates told them they could send great jokes using text messages) and spreadsheets (until their accountant told them they were useful!!) when they first became available!!!

Recently I had a colleague ask me to distribute an invite to my contacts about an online seminar he was arranging with Joe Abram (of MySpace fame) to my contacts .  He said so that he could track which of my invitees “attended” I should cc him in on all the emails.

When I told him I would contact most of my colleagues using LinkedIn he was at a loss to come up with an idea to replace his cc plan!!

So what I need now to replace email (as we know it) is LinkedIn with some of the features of FaceBook or perhaps FaceBook without all the crap!!

Tomorrow I will give my thoughts on the death of Websites (as we know them) but in the meantime read Shel Holz latest Blog Deathwatch: Static Destination Websites as this will form the basis of much of my opinion!

I have to agree with Shel its not the death of a tool but perhaps the end of an era.  And st the end of the day its about the content not the tool anyway!

Are you LinkedIn or just in LinkedIn

LinkedinSmurfsWhen I first discovered LinkedIn  and subsequently joined I was aware of the basics and not much more.

But in the past couple of years I have used it extensively and gained some great benefits.  Of all the social media/networking we use for ourselves and our clients LinkedIn has delivered the best tangible results.

We have made some great industry connections locally and internationally and as a result we have developed some major international business opportunities.

When I first started I really used it sparingly just to find people I knew and Linked to them never thinking that I actually had a development opportunity/responsibility in growing the potential power of LinkedIn.

So now I have invited everyone in my address book to join (something I felt uncomfortable doing initially) so that they can share in the value and I also tell everyone I meet in business I will invite them to join and why … and do so as soon as I get back to the office.

But it seems most of these people are not sold on it.  So often I see profiles that are basic token efforts with no more info … why would I be interested in that person?  Then there are the people I do know and invite to join a group or become more involved by sending them a message and then never get a response.

Either they have never gone back in since joining or they dont have their LinkedIn email alert on to notify them they have a message.

There are a few basics that can provide great value (such as logging into LinkedIn each morning and check your updates)  but it seems these days with so much going on unless people are shown “hands on” how to use some of the new tools they never get past first base … if they even get that far….. and never realise the possibilities!

So I wonder of the 50 million plus in LinkedIn how many are token members.  It would be great to get some stats based on the % complete  indicator one day.

In the meantime I will do my best to get more people I know more engaged … because I think it could be good for thema dn their business/professional lives.

I need to listen to my own advice

bloggersIf you want to succeed with social media you need a plan which includes developing content, blogging and distributing your thoughts to those that may be interested……   thats I what I tell others.

Well for the past month like many of my clients and prospects I have been too busy being busy to focus on whats important and as such I broke the habit and then found it too hard to get back…. but now I am back to practice what I preach!

They say timing is everything … don’t they?     Yesterday I was sitting making a list of blog topics and working out what I should be saying to back up The Grumpy Old Managers Guide to Social Media and along came Chris Brogan to the rescue.

If you are interested in the how and not just the why of Social Media you must subscribe to Chris Brogan’s blog as he provides the help you need and generally when you need it.

So I was delighted to read www.chrisbrogan.com/how-to-blog-almost-every-day as it provides some guidelines, tips and a potential structure to support my blogging effort and those of my clients.

We have developed a simple methodology fro Grumpy Old managers to get started with Social media a and we certainly be adding some of the ideas we have picked up from Chris to it … with full credit to him of course.

But more about that soon….   in our quest to turn the Grumpy Old Managers of the world into the Not So Tribe