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Email: Dead or Alive?

There I was at another Meeting Professionals International conference, this time in Houston, TX, and once again, I heard that email is ancient and that younger people prefer social networks instead. And, for a moment, just as I did 6 months ago when the meeting was in Montreal, Canada, and I was speaking on Email Etiquette, panicked. Email, dead, again?

But then I attended the well-presented program on the virtual alter-ego world of Second Life, and learned that even people – old or young – who have the time to create avatars and dress them, and teleport them, still use email. And the excellent podcasting class that Jim Spellos presented? Turns out that a great way to let people know you’ve created a podcast is through email. Email. It may not be perfect, but it’s here, and it’s staying for awhile. All this email dead prognostication stuff reminds me of all the predictions (5+ years ago) that F2F meetings would stop happening, and that paper would cease to exist in every office. Uh-huh.

Email isn’t dead. It’s the most used communication tool in business today. And if you don’t know the “rules” of email etiquette, you’re most likely shooting yourself in the foot. In fact, sending smart emails (as opposed to proper email writing – grammar, spelling, etc) is the answer to collaboration, productivity, and profits. Besides, taking back a bad email is about as easy as unspreading butter, on toast. You can recall, but you can’t hide!
So what less than smart emails have crossed your path? What would you like everyone to know about email? What really annoys you about email? What are your email pet peeves? What are you doing to enhance your email productivity? Your comments, please!

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