Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1 week x 1 staff = 200 mails

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

The "hyper-engaged social media intelligentsia" (read: social media geeks) are saying e-mail is dying.  That may be true for some people but I suspect it's not true in the workplace yet. I'm just back after a week off over Thanksgiving. I had just under 200 e-mails waiting for me on my return and I figure that's lower than some people get.

It's pretty clear some people are using Twitter and texting in place of mail. It's one way to crash through the e-mail clutter. (I did respond to tweets over the week away as a matter of fact).  But, the funny thing is, every time a new type of communication vehicle is introduced you have some who are slow to adopt/adapt and others who are on it right away.

The conflict arises when one meets the other.  I know people who've registered on Twitter but never tweet or even go back to look.  There is no point in sending them anything since they won't be checking in to see if they have any action going on.  Here's another example: we've added chat to our repertoire here but not all of our team members are signing in.

Right now toronto.ca users are still using e-mail to get our attention. We are just starting to use Twitter and other means of communicating with you such as the blog.  But the uptake is slow.

What if the phone came now?
I once heard someone joke about what would have happened if the phone came after e-mail.  The conversation and wow factor would be just as hot and heavy as with Twitter:  "Did you know you can actually talk to someone live and hear their voice? Wow!"

I guess what ends up being the most practical becomes the most used.  The time lag between transitions is interesting and, as a government, we can't just abandon one over the other for the sake of a trend or even ease. But it is in our best interest to adopt/adapt to what ever forms of communication citizens are using.

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