Slow Death of E-Mail

I’ve been using email, I think since my undergrad days at University of Delaware, maybe 1981 or 1982.. I know for sure I had a BITNET email at Arizona State when I got there in ’87.

E-mail, spam, the sheer volume of junk is a pain, but ot one I can yet say I am ready to live without, yet one has to wonder, since Ray Tomlinson supposedly emailed “QWERTYUIOP” how long its arc will last.

This was really brought to my mind with two incidents- one was a very much email like message that came to me from a colleague via Facebook. For this person, their institutional email system is so bad, so unusable, that FB is a preferred alternative. Does that tell you anything about needs for user experience design?

The second is I am now getting regular messages from people via direct messages via Twitter. To reply, I need to go to a URL, and trot back a 140 character response.

Then there is this new thing called “Jott” which allows messages to go to/from web to mobile phone, so you can, in theory, get on your phone an audio message sent via the web.

Here’s the irony. The notification for all of these systems so I know there is a message for me? I get an email!

Nope, e-mail is not going anywhere away in my lifetime. “I’m not quite dead yet” to quote a philosopher.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. I do a lot of twitter through my phone – it’s great having direct messages that flow between the web, the desktop and IM.

    Going to a URL to reply? Psh, that’s what twitterific is for!

  2. People have been predicting the death of the printed book for quite some time, as well. The form will change, and alternatives will sprout, but we’ll be turning to dust long before people stop turning pages.

    Your closing line brings to mind a story from Edinburgh that’s been memorialized in stone. After the collapse of a building in 1861, 35 people were killed. As workers cleared away debris, a voice from the rubble called, “Heave awa’, lads, I’m no deid yet!”

    Paisley Close

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