Monday, January 14, 2008

EMail Limitations

We all live and swear by our email these days. We are attached to emails so much that we get fidgety if not on the grid even for a few hours. Yes, email is great and a great way to communicate across the world almost instantaneously at little or no cost. With unlimited storage and always on connectivity, it is easy to see why email is the most used technology internet functionality and kind of infectious.

But does it always aide in improved productivity? This interesting article thinks otherwise and makes a case for good old face to face meetings / teams in some cases.

“When you communicate with a group you only know through electronic channels, it’s like having functional Asperger’s Syndrome — you are very logical and rational, but emotionally brittle,” Professor Shirky said.

“I’m part of a far-flung distributed network that at one point was designing a piece of software for sharing medical data; we worked mostly by conference calls and e-mail, and it was going nowhere. So we finally said we’d all fly to Boston and get together for two days, just sit in a room and hash it out.”

What's your take? How does email help you and where does it fail you?


  1. Ram,
    There is one thing.. Everyone never agree. There is always someone who will find fault. I don't think anyone will reply for how does email help you? if he does, he is a new computer user. Gone are the days someone wrote them!! Its all generated these days.
    Where does it fail??!! there we go again, putting the blame on someone / something else.
    San Francisco, CA (Yup i moved from Charlotte, NC)

  2. I was gone for a week from work on PTO. I got 1,700 emails and with umpteen attachments. Now, if u are cursed with Lotus for email communication you probably guessed how I feel towards email and IBM for their Lotus mail design.
    I spend 3 hours a day dealing with email and 3 + hours on the stupid teleconferenc, webex and whatever came out of B'lore. I am seriously thinking of selling peanuts to save my sanity.
    Believe me, I started with this Net thingy way back when with Multics and arpanet. We thought we are on to something good for everyone.
    May be, now I think of it, the
    smoking of the weed may be the reason for that dream.
    e-mail sucks big time; Lotus needs to be stuffed where sun don't shine and this web meetings are to test your patience.

    I would rather meet a person face to face for 15 mins to avoid thousand emails, 50+ webex and the crap coming out of B'lore these days.

  3. I concur with Prof.Shirky. From personal experience, I've seen F2F meetings as a more fruitful way to communicate and reach satisfying conclusions on discussions that might take a longer time if taken the email way.

    For any human in this bustling world. there are just those the five senses being used - hear, smell, see, taste and feel. An email cannot convey any of these feelings, which are sometimes of epitome importance.

    Nothing against emails! Its just an observation. Email is otherwise one of the most useful and efficiency boosting inventions of mankind.


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  5. Patrick
    I am good.. thanks for asking.. too many things happening.... so have been away from my blog.. thanks for the nudge.. will get back to it..

    Thanks once again


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