Why Email Is Still The Most Social Of Media

Now, this isn’t a scientific study you understand. More something that strikes me as obvious. Mention social media and you will instantly start thinking of Facebook and Twitter. However, it occurs to me that there is nothing quite as sociable as email.

And here is how I arrived at this mad crazy postulation:

  1. Email has mainstream acceptance – When I say mainstream I mean everyone who has a computer can use email. I can (and do) email my wife, my friends, my colleagues, my clients, strangers (should I wish to send spam, which I don’t) and family. I speak through email with my Great Aunt who is approaching 92 years of age.
  2. Content РAn email can contain text. This could be a quick note to a friend or a lengthy business case.  You can attach photos, video (ok not large files I agree) or documents. Links can be inserted and HTML emails can have external content embedded.
  3. Mentions – Email had ‘mentions’ long before Twitter appeared and Facebook copied. It’s called CCing someone in. Even this gives you the option to include everyone in a conversation OR blind carbon copies to maintain privacy.
  4. Social – Once an email has been sent this can then become collaborative and therefore social. One can forward, reply and crucially for this argument ‘reply to all’. Users can forward emails to anyone in their address book meaning an email can (and often does) go viral, much like Twitter.
  5. Management – Who needs CoTweet et al to manage relationships when you have Outlook! List all emails, order by name, size, date or subject. Segment and store messages by keyword, subject, contact.

Obviously email is a dated technology but it really does have all of the elements synonymous with social media and the arrival of Google Wave is its  natural evolution.


Wrapmail…seems like a good idea?

According to About.com over 2.3 billion email messages are sent every day. Thats 2 million emails a second which is a fair few clicks on the send button.

An industrious and clever type in California’s silicon valley has created WrapMail. This ingenious device effectively ‘wraps’ any outbound email with information about the sender’s company. A bit like popping a brochure in to an envelope when you send a letter or quote off by snail mail.

Click thoughs can then be measured in real time and you are able to monitor which ads have been most effective.

Plus points: Free advertising, viral every time email is forwarded, good click through stats,

Bad points: Unsolicited ads, may appear slightly spammy and put off potential customers.

See what others think at techcrunch