Last year about this time, I began:
On June 1, 2011, I stopped sending or reading email replacing that elderly and inefficient means of communication with a collection of emerging technologies.
Email, as we have known it, is changing because of identifiable forces:
- greater reliance of open collaboration
- mobile rather than stationary work spaces
- the untamable nuisance of spam replaced by whitelists and other controls
- quick and terse interchanges often while in motion
- many brief highly interactive exchanges constituting a conversation stream
- context appropriate messaging
- highly customizable communications alerts and streams across all devices as desired
As I close Year Five of #noemail, Google has yet another go at creating a social solution. Having crashed with Orkut, Buzz, Wave and now it seems Plus, we are being offered Spaces. Call me an wide-eyed optimist, but I believe that Google will eventually get this thing right. I also begin each cartoon believing that Wiley E. Coyote will catch the Roadrunner. As Spaces has only been available for a couple of weeks, I’m withholding speculation on its success for a while.
In the meantime, the astounding success of Slack almost validates #noemail alone. In less than three years, Slack — which I often call IRC in a suit — has had a giant impact on the way groups work. Indeed, Slack meets all of my 7 requirements listed a year ago exactly. The smart integration of other streams via APIs is just one thing that puts Slack above other solutions in the same space. The technology and the funding and the progress in fast adaptation are all helping Slack do very very well. In fact, many have speculated that Google’s Spaces is their answer to Slack.
Google did have huge success with GMail which has continued over the past five years of my #nomail. IBM has tried to reinvent the inbox with Verse but while there are new releases of the Verse client for both iOS and Android this month, I’ve not heard of a single non-IBMer having used that application. That’s not true about Google’s Inbox, their answer to the crappy way that email works on mobile. People use it but no one has told me that they love it. After all Inbox is still an inbox. It’s just that some intelligence is helping you sort and file the demon email.
My friend, Luis Suarez aka @elsua, pointed me to this graph (below) from the consulting company Excelacom of that happens in on minute on the internet in 2016. This graph and the one I dug up representing 2015 show a significant decline in email — but also a decline in Twitter and Instagram. Briefly:
Up: Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Amazon, App Downloads (although using a different measure)
Down: Email, Instagram, Twitter
Same: Vine, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube
2015 only: Skype, ID Theft
New for 2016: Tinder, Snapchat, Netflix, WhatsApp
This is Part 1 on a reflection and analysis and personal experience at Year Five of #noemail