The WSJ is making the call — email on its way out. Dying. Dead. It’s an interesting conclusion, derived from the fact that both growth and absolute numbers are on the side of social networking this year. But we disagree.
We’re not going to pull out the old argument of “X isn’t dead, because I’m still using X!” That’s not so much an argument as a statement of entrenchment. However, this is the same kind of argument that was brought up 10 years ago when instant messaging was new and everyone was hopping on that as the new communications medium. Did IM kill email? No. It’s important as hell, don’t get us wrong, but it works alongside email. And so will social networking.
You might someday send resumes or other important documents over Facebook and Twitter, but email is never going to be “dead”. In fact, with push email on your phone, it’s basically as instant as any of the other networks.
Google Wave might also be pretty interesting when the people pimping it out call it what email would look like if it were invented today. It’s too early to tell. But for it to be truly ubiquitous—and it has to be in order to replace email—it can’t be hosted by just one company.
Think of it this way: if people are still using fax machines—f—king FAX MACHINES—on a daily basis, there’s no way that email will be excised from our collective productivity streams. Not when it’s this much more usable by the average person than faxes.
Or you can think of it this way. What information do you use to sign up for instant messaging and social networks? Your what address? [WSJ]