3 Things I Find Wrong With the Social Networks Versus Email Discussions

December 27 2011 09:30:00 AM Comments Disabled
Rough days1. Email feels mandatory where social networks are voluntary. BS! As companies adopt internal social networks the pressure to "check your stream" is going to be just the same as "check your inbox".

2. You can check social networks when it's convenient as opposed to feeling like your inbox is waiting for you 24*7. BS! As companies adopt social networking people's expectations will be that you're always monitoring the stream. I can't wait until the first cases of:
Manager: Why is your TPS report not on my desk?

Employee: I didn't know you needed it.

Manager: Didn't you see the message I posted in the stream?

3. Any reduction in the number of emails is a good thing. OMG I hate this one. Now instead of checking my inbox I have to check Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Yammer, LinkedIn, etc. Uggghhhh. Bifurcation of information is a real problem. Yes all these tools can send email notifications, but isn't the point to reduce email? Yes many streams can aggregate information from multiple sources, but that just leads to a lot of noise, so how is that different than an inbox?

I'm Moving UpDon't get me wrong. I definitely appreciate how collaboration tools have evolved to provide us today's version of social networking services. They enable us to discover new people and content that email does not. They free up information making it available to anyone (with access) vs. keeping it locked away in inboxes. They make it easier for participation to occur in a manageable order vs the chaos that can occur in email.

Social networking is fantastic, but it is far from perfect and has a way to go before reaching the sophistication level it needs to be truly useful. The good news is we're moving in the right direction.