Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

By Dennis D. McDonald

Fellow Linkedin Blogger Paul Chaney referred me to one of his recent blog posts when I asked on the forum, “Have there been any good “blogging is dead” posts recently?” In Blogging is dead? Pulease! So is email then Chaney says:

Give me a break. Blogging is no more dead than email, which has also had its share of doomsayers. Blogging is not dead, it has merely found its place in the grand scheme of all things social media. <snip> (A word about email. It’s still the #1 Internet activity and marketers spend more on email marketing than any other form. And those numbers continue to rise. Email dead. Yea, right.)

As I wrote last year in Questions to Ask Before Replacing Corporate Email email has some definite problems as a tool for collaboration, e.g.

  • Basic email offers inefficient workflow management associated with attachments.
  • Email usually doesn’t enable a group of people to work simultaneously on the same task.
  • Email can magnify inefficiency — and clogged mailboxes — via easily proliferated and forwarded message copies.

Despite its failing as a collaboration tool, though, email still has great value for communication, as Chaney points out. In my own case, email provides not only a tool for two way interaction, it also serves as a type of “glue” that makes it easier for me to interact with the various online groups I belong to. As shown in the “mindmap” I recently updated in My Professional Networking Map is Updated most of the online networking groups I use have their own internal email. In addition, many support an email notification feature that sends an email when a particular event occurs, which saves having to check multiple online networks constantly for certain types of activity.

In other words, online social and professional networks haven’t replaced email, in some cases they have actually underscored the importance of a neutral type of interface that, in some cases, can provide some of the interactivity the source system provides.

I don’t have the luxury of working in a “walled garden” where a universally available platform supports internal content creation, collaboration, and communication AND which interacts reliably with dissimilar external communication and networking systems. I work in a real world where some people like email, some never answer their phone, some ignore voice mail while preferring text messaging, and some still appreciate the occasional handwritten note sent as a meeting follow up.

It takes all kinds. As long as it does, I’ll keep using email. How about you?

Copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald.


Eight Reality Checkpoints for Using "New Social Media" In Government (Slides)

My Professional Networking Map is Updated