Email is Not Dead: 5 Signs Email is Alive

In the last year, many people have claimed that email is passe. Often, the main argument is that the use of social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are growing so fast that eventually everyone will just use those tools and their mobile phones to communicate. Others have argued that email is just an inferior communication protocol. While it’s curious and interesting to entertain such a massive shift in the way the world communicates, I think it’s an outrageous claim. Here are 5 signs email is here to stay for while.

1. Email is Too Ingrained In Our Every Day Life

Email is dead….really?…really? The entire world communicates through email. There is so much business infrastructure around email and years and years of data that it just seems ludicrous to suggest that email is even dying. Did the T.V. kill radio? Has the mobile phone killed the land line? Just because there are new ways to communicate doesn’t mean that the tried and true email is going bye-bye. Email may die one day, but the biggest factor that would contribute to its demise would be time…and a lot of it.

2. Google Failed to Replace It

Last week, Google announced that they “don’t plan to continue Wave as a standalone product”. If you know anything about Google Wave you’ll know that Google had grand plans to create a “better email client”. But that’s just it, it wasn’t email. It was totally different. Kudos to Google for trying to change the world, but if Wave had sent emails (like most other technologies) it would have had a better adoption rate. As it was, it was just another “inbox-thing” people had to check. That brings me to my next point quite nicely.

3. All Applications Use Email

As of this post Facebook is reporting that people spend over 700 billion minutes on Facebook a month. That’s a lot. But what happens when you o send someone a private message? It sends them an email. In fact go take another look at your Facebook’s notifications preferences. Almost every single thing the application does can and will by default send you AN EMAIL. Like around 100 different email notifications. This type of notifications preferences isn’t unique to the 2nd most active website in the world; they all depend on email.

4. It’s a Nice Alternate to the CONSTANT Steam

People complain about email all the time. They complain about having to empty their inbox and going through 100s of emails. I’m guilty of this too. But the reality is that email is still a great protocol for messages that need to be delivered, but not consumed immediately. Emails are not as disruptive as text messages, but that’s only because text messaging is a relatively new medium to receive messages on. It used to be that when we got a new email we said “Woohoo” I got electronic mail message! Neat. My point here is that just like wedding invitations will always be delivered via snail mail, email provides a great alternative to drinking from the firehose of communication and data that is social media.

5.  Email is a Protocol, Not an Entity

Recently I’ve heard my wife increasingly say to others, “I’ll facebook you.” What does that mean? It means that Facebook is the protocol. It is the medium by which the communication takes place. As inevitable as it may seem, Facebook could be gone tomorrow. The use of Email is not dependent upon the success of a company. Email remains.

What are some other signs email is NOT dead?