9 Nov 2007

E-mail growing pains

When you think new media, you don’t normally think e-mail. This is 2007, after all. And yet, when compared with newspapers, speeches and letters, e-mail is new and still experiencing growing pains. The purpose of e-mail is changing in the face of even newer media. Four scenarios show how some basic changes can simplify your e-mailing and unclog your inbox.

Then: E-mail documents back and forth between colleagues to get input, creating multiple versions and much confusion.
Now: Store your documents on your server and share the link with your colleagues. Each person can make and track their changes on the server.

Then: Subscribe to trade, news and personal e-mail newsletters.
Now: Purge your inbox by using RSS feeds for the information sources you are interested in. You can bookmark items of particular interest for future reference and build up your own archive.

Then: E-mail humorous video clips and stories to friends and colleagues.
Now: Post these tidbits on your Facebook page, personal blog or the social/entertainment area of your company intranet. Your friends will still find them and you can take credit for brightening someone’s day.

Then: You receive unwanted e-mail through distribution or mailing lists and you immediately reply to all to be removed from the list.
Now: Delete unwanted e-mail and let it be. Sending your reply to hundreds of people only perpetuates the problem.

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