The Internet’s Killer App

Email is the Internet’s killer app, so it’s no surprise to me that, when given the opportunity, the web luminaries at the Future of Web Apps conference chose to design an app to help them with email.  In a panel that was given 40 minutes to design a new web app from the ground up, the group spent the most time working on an app to help manage email.  From moderator Erick Schonfeld’s TechCrunch post:

"But the app we ended up spending the most time brainstorming was one that Digg’s Kevin Rose dreamed up to help him manage his e-mail. He can’t keep up with it all, and wanted to come up with a way to stop offending people who he never gets back to by sharing some of his e-mail data with them. The concept was a site that keeps stats on your e-mail usage that your friends can check to see how far behind you are in responding to e-mails in general. (”It’s not you, it’s me”)."

Of course, this doesn’t really help.  Regardless of what system you have in place, you respond to the messages and people that are most important to you.  Letting someone know that you’re a really busy guy and that they’re not important enough to merit a personal response isn’t going to make them feel better. The key is to put in place technology and methodology to increase your efficiency and get more done so no important messages fall through the cracks.  See Deva’s Inbox Thesis for more on this subject.

CNET’s Caroline McCarthy took the opportunity to sound the email death knellAs I have said before, nothing could be further from the truth.  Email is going to have a place in the business world for a long long time and, when it goes toe to toe vs. today’s newer collaboration tools in an enterprise setting, you’ll find that email’s so-called replacements sorely lackingThe comments on the CNET article seem to agree.

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