Email use declining?

From time to time, we hear assertions that "People are stopping using email, because spam is such a problem."

Huh? Who are these people? Where do they live? How come my inbox is just as full as it was a year ago?

That bald factoid (Less Use Of Email Due To Spam) may have an element of truth, but doesn't give the whole story.

In order for them to reduce their email use, most people need to have something to replace it with. We see three main types of replacement:

  1. Instant/Text messaging — as consumers and business users get more comfortable with IM and SMS, its use increases exponentially. Just as fax reached a tipping point when enough people got fax machines, so have IM and SMS.
  2. Collaborative applications — better for some tasks than unstructured email. Wikis are a great example of a lightweight infrastructure to do this.
  3. Syndication and Aggregation — It's not just for blogs. People are starting to replace email newsletters with RSS or Atom feeds. They pull updated content via HTTP and XML, rather than have it pushed to them by SMTP. They read it in RSS readers or aggregators, rather than traditional mail clients. We'll see this trend get much bigger in 2005/6.

One Trackback

  1. By Nooked Blog on February 8, 2005 at 5:23 PM

    Spam, Email decline and RSS

    An interesting article on InformationWeek. The cost of spam in terms of lost productivity has reached $21.58 billion annually. One of the people referenced in this article, Richi Jennings from Ferris Research has on their blog, a follow up piece…

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