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Email has had a profound effect on many parts of global culture. But I have to say it is a walking corpse, a zombie, that you see everyday but is virtually lifeless.  Corporations will continue to use it – but not for much longer.  Many corporations have started seeking ways to eliminate email from their corporate culture.

Consider for minute if I offered you a new service for communicating with friends, family and co-workers.


  • You can’t reliably tell who it’s from.
  • You can’t trust the subject line to be true.
  • You can’t open any attached files because they are potentially dangerous.
  • The content of many messages is deliberately written as a garbled mess.
  • Despicable characters with low morals and even lower business ethics can send you content you would studiously avoid otherwise.  Did I mention that there is no effective way to block these morons either?
  • You need to be a detective to determine if documents that look like they are from trusted partners (bank sites, e-commerce sites) are not phony documents from criminals bent on lightening your wallet.

Would you sign up for this service?  Even if I offered it for free?  I doubt it!

Well, my friends, that is the current sorry state of email today.  It’s only a matter of time before we see mass abandonment of email as a means of reliable communication. 

Unless, of course we fix the email sub-system to eliminate all of the current problems.  Will the fixes arrive in time to save email?



# re: Email Culture is Presumed Dead – I Hope a Replacement Arrives Soon 7/18/2004 1:41 AM John Tobler

You put it very well. And this comes at a time when Yahoo will give you 100 MB free and Gmail is about to offer you 1 GB of free email storage. At the rate we are going, 96% of that 1 GB will be taken up by spam! Re, your weblog: subscribed!

# Email will be dead soon … 8/17/2005 3:38 AM Markus Hegi

Right! – do you know metalayer / colayer? …
"email, though very powerful, will not be the system we will use in the future to manage our relationships and some years from now, we will understand, that email was just an intermediate step in the virtual revolution. Metalayer can see a second revolution in virtual communication happening, a revolution that moves relationship management out of the inboxes into contextualized private and public places on the web. The revolution that will create virtual identities and communities in cyberspace. …."

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