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6/19/2007
12:17 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Will Enterprise 2.0 Kill Corporate E-Mail?

One of the themes that emerged during this morning's keynote sessions at Enterprise 2.0 was how Web 2.0 technologies act as new communications tools. Some technologists (including a few of the speakers this morning) suggest that Web 2.0 could kill e-mail for consumers. Could technologies like social networks, blogs, Skype, and IM kill e-mail for businesses as well?

One of the themes that emerged during this morning's keynote sessions at Enterprise 2.0 was how Web 2.0 technologies act as new communications tools. Some technologists (including a few of the speakers this morning) suggest that Web 2.0 could kill e-mail for consumers. Could technologies like social networks, blogs, Skype, and IM kill e-mail for businesses as well?I noted back in April that e-mail is dying with younger consumers:

For younger Webizens, e-mail today is like sending a letter -- something you do when you have to but not a primary means of communication. For these users text messaging, instant messaging, and social networking sites are the ways they communicate and stay in touch.

Several speakers this morning highlighted Gen Y as the future for Enterprise 2.0. Just as boomers and members of Gen X are completely accustomed to e-mail and Web access as a part of their daily workflows, members of Gen Y will demand access to Web 2.0 technologies in their daily working lives, too.

We know Gen Y doesn't really use e-mail. They don't even use push e-mail on their cell phones; instead they use text messaging. So why are they going to suddenly shift to e-mail and Enterprise 1.0 apps once they enter the workforce? The answer is simple: They won't. So get used to blogging and Skyping your co-workers, since these media will likely replace e-mail as your primary form of work communications. It might not happen tomorrow or in the next 24 months, but if the current behavior of Gen Y is any indicator, Enterprise 2.0 will eventually kill e-mail, or at least relegate it to the level of the fax machine and snail mail.

What do you think? Will Enterprise 2.0 kill corporate e-mail? Or will e-mail be with us for eternity?

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