Enterprise email: News of its death greatly exaggerated

Robert X. Cringely (cringely.com)

Email is dying, say the pundits. It's being replaced by social media and texting, they claim. Balderdash, say I. Email is alive and thriving in the enterprise. Even if Robert X. Cringely disagrees with me. See what I mean, in The Long View...

Two weeks ago, I referred to a "naively-imagined death-march of email" -- a couple of readers asked me what I meant by that. Well, every so often, an influential pundit comes up with the idea that email is somehow "dying." These people should know better. It ain't so, and today I aim to say why. Just last week, Robert X. Cringely came up with a classic example of the woolly-thinking email death-march meme:

Lately my e-mail seems to be dying. Yours is, too.
What’s happening to e-mail ... comes down to changing contexts and competing media. ... The combined rise of mobile Internet technology and Facebook ... [means] people are actually sending less total e-mail.

Now I've been a fan of Robert's writing and his PBS TV shows for some time. He's often insightful, bold, and witty; but this time he's dead wrong. (Note: the person blogging under the pseudonym Robert X. Cringely is not the same chap who currently uses that pen-name over at InfoWorld. Long story.)

People confuse new options for communicating with replacements -- a new communications medium doesn't necessarily replace the old one, but it allows its users to choose a more appropriate medium for some conversations.

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