Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Social Networking replacing Business Email – Hold that thought…

Monday, February 8th, 2010

This weekend I read the article Report: Facebook and Twitter Slowly Replacing Email’ posted on Social Times.  The article refers to a Garner article Gartner Reveals Five Social Software Predictions for 2010 and Beyond that claims:

By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.

This prediction would be easier to accept if it wasn’t quantified as business email.  While I have seen a percentage of personal interaction start to channel through Facebook Messages and Twitter Direct Messages.  So far, I have received three business related messages through Facebook and not a single one of this emails were followed up through Facebook.  Once contact was established, we pursued the discussions through normal email communication.  For me, the most business related messages come through Linked In but even then, anything that is beyond a couple back and forths, is moved to traditional email communication.  I don’t see this trend changing over the next four years and would be hard pressed to see it change that much.

Reasons for my belief above are simple:

  1. Data retention – With my email account I control data retention with regards to how long I want to keep both received and sent emails.
  2. Attachments – Attachments are very much a big part of business communication.
  3. Threaded Conversations involving some or all participants – I can respond to all and keep a thread of communication but I also have the ability to create mini-threads with a select group of participants for related but not meant for full audience subjects.
  4. Frequency of Synchronization – I can get email alerts using Email Clients/Checkers and Mobile Device Applications.
  5. Privacy – I don’t have to share my personal information with everyone that I send emails to.
  6. Offline Access – Need I say more?
  7. Intangibles – Labels in GMail, Advanced Search options, Storing hundreds of emails, and Calendar to mention a few.

While the above are not insurmountable they are certainly challenges to the Social Networking platforms.  I believe #1, #2 and #5 will be the top contenders to keep Social Networking platforms away from stealing that 20% that Gartner predicts they will.

cjjouhal’s twitter