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Social media versus email. It is a battle to the death, right?
October 12, 2009 8:44 AM   Subscribe

The end of the email era? In a completely objective piece of journalism that was definitely not written to spark controversy for the purpose of gaining traffic, Wall Street Journal reporter announces that the "reign of email" as the major form of communication is over. Social media is the new e-mail and massive changes are on the way. The article doesn't offer much hard data on this phenomenon except Neilsen statistics that 276 million people used e-mail in the "U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil" but "the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31% to 301.5 million people." It would have made for a more interesting article if it had reconciled these numbers with Neilsen's recent report that it "appears that social media use makes people consume email more, not less." In other news, the WSJ's article is quickly rising to the top of the site's "Most Emailed" list.
posted by jeremias (21 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Probably not a good idea to make a post that is basically an excuse to complain about the thing you're posting. Sucky tech journalism can do a perfectly fine job of sucking without an ironically framed post to mefi. -- cortex



 
Gosh I sure do hate heavy-handed editorialising, don't you?
posted by atrazine at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


And, of course, the invention of email and personal computing brought us the paperless office....
posted by eriko at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Then they have the nerve to complain that blogs are killing traditional media.
posted by atrazine at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2009


If you acknowledge up front that the whole article is just shit-stirring, then why post it here?
posted by adamrice at 8:48 AM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wait, so the reason you think this is an interesting article to highlight here is because it's cynically motivated, less interesting than it could have been, and insufficiently based on hard data?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 8:49 AM on October 12, 2009



Isn't e-mail just a word for any electronic messaging that isn't in real-time (i.e., not chat)?
posted by bukharin at 8:50 AM on October 12, 2009


Isn't e-mail just a word for any electronic messaging that isn't in real-time (i.e., not chat)?

I think technically messages have to be considered SMTP to be considered properly email, but could be wrong.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2009


...the "reign of email" as the major form of communication is over.

Sink me, a new archaism to affect!

[Takes pinch of snuff]

[Checks Gmail]
posted by Iridic at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2009


Have to be sent via SMTP. Bah.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2009


I read the article, and I don't agree. For me, IM and Twitter aren't viable methods to communicate long or complicated ideas. E-mail still is the best for that.

As for Google Wave, I've used it for a few days and don't see it as the gamechanger Google wants it to be. It's really just an updated version of a chatroom.
posted by reenum at 8:54 AM on October 12, 2009


If we don't have email anymore, how are we supposed to break up with people? IM is so rude.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:56 AM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


There have been lots of other email protocols over the years than SMTP.
posted by octothorpe at 8:57 AM on October 12, 2009


maybe this is a clever way of drawing attention to somebody named JESSICA E. VASCELLARO and her weak tech articles.

i like this post because i love all things tagged with rupert murdoch.
posted by Hammond Rye at 8:58 AM on October 12, 2009


and, someday, apples will replace oranges...
posted by HuronBob at 8:59 AM on October 12, 2009


chesty_a_arthur: If we don't have email anymore, how are we supposed to break up with people?

Nothing says: "I have considered the matter thoroughly and have determined that it would be optimal for my well-being and yours to sever the relationship we have endeavored to build together" like spending the ten cents it costs to send a text message.
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 AM on October 12, 2009


Yeah, I was so very happy when everyone junked their fax machines!
posted by jeffburdges at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2009


It's so weird to see old timers still writing emails to me with their formal complete sentences and Proper Lettercasing.

Wake up Grandpa, it's 2009!
posted by mazola at 9:09 AM on October 12, 2009


I was going to write a letter to the reporter about this article...but I'm out of stamps, so now I don't know what to do.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:11 AM on October 12, 2009


There's still been a (mostly quiet) fax machine in every office I've worked in including my current one. There are still a lot of local vendors who can't deal with email and will only take faxes.
posted by octothorpe at 9:12 AM on October 12, 2009


Really, WSJ? You're just going to make up trends now based on no data whatsoever? Maybe the reason email isn't "growing" as fast as other channels is because it is already at the saturation point for US adult internet users. I just this weekend saw a presentation from one of the Pew Internet researchers that indicate that their most recent data show about 47% of US adult internet users have ever used a social network site. But the actual data don't give any indication that adults are abandoning email (teens have seen a slight drop in email use, but my guess is it picks up again once they hit college).
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:15 AM on October 12, 2009


Young people don't use email until they get into an office environment, but they do use it then. IM is good for some written office communications, but email still has to carry the majority of it.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:16 AM on October 12, 2009


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