Most likely you don’t record every phone call you make. You probably also don;t put up a recorder on every meeting you participate in. And I guess you don’t record every conversation you are having with colleagues, friends or customers.
That was my thought too when I thought about the enormous amount of time people wasting with their email inbox. And it was a very helpful aspect when I thought about getting off of email.
In summer 2010 I decided to terminate my personal em,ail account by December 2010. Today it is only an auto-responder telling any sender that I no longer use email and look forward to any conversation in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other media including phone or a nice chat at a local cafe. My next goal is to reduce business email to an insignificant amount.
This is a much harder part – I thought. But actually I’m surprised that it is not. Today, early July 2011, I check my email inbox once a day and there is actually no need to do more than that. What did I do to get there?
Here are a few very simple steps:
1) If I receive an email, I usually respond on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn
2) If the sender is a complete stranger, I may not have the connection but most likely no need to respond anyway
3) The conversation is quickly “relocated” to any of the networks where communication is in a bizarre way richer and leaner at the same time. Much less formalities and straight to the point on one side but enriched with other conversations and shared content where applicable.
4) Sharing content and referring to other people, making introductions or sharing profiles is so much faster than email.
5) The real *KEY* however is the ability to share a conversation with many others at the same time. That means more people know what I’m up to, what challenges I have or what excites me right now. That makes conversations more interesting and I get much more feedback than through a single email.
6) The diversity in the social web is superior over other media. I can make a personal connection via direct message, I can chat with somebody in a closed group and have others participate if they like and in a controlled way or I can go completely public.
7) Collaboration in groups with a quick way to upload photos, videos, screenshots and more is so much easier and richer than the monotone and close communication path of email.
I will continue to check my inbox on a daily base because I want to provide our customers the choice to communicate with us in any way THEY prefer. But after sic month I can say the email correspondence has imploded and the conversation on the social web exploded. I believe that it will take no more than two years to be completely off of email – very much like I am off of FAX, and off of TELEX and I just learn that the postal service finally stopped serving TELEGRAM communication.
And with the increased volume and speed – there is no way we can record every conversation or dialog – whether it is on the phone, in person or in any kind of text message. It will sit somewhere but no need to spend time to focus on archive, ordering the messages and whatever else people do with their emails today.