Social Media Rescue EmailBy Tom Gibson Print
Email's been the whipping boy for all things bad about business communication. That may change, with help from an unlikely new friend.
Is email sexy again? In August, Google introduced Gmail Priority Inbox, a new feature that learns to identify your important email for you. Imagine, just the email you need right now, right in front of you.
Then in November Facebook announced a major messaging rethink. Facebook Messages will be a "modern messaging system" that unifies email, Facebook messages, chat and SMS in a single application. Like Google, Facebook also recognizes that some emails are more important than others. What's important for Facebook? Email from Friends of course. Non-Friend emails will side-step the Inbox and land in the "Other" folder.
Two new but very different takes on an old email effectiveness challenge: how to bring your important email forward.
GMail, Facebook? … But I used Outlook! Yes, at work we all do, and like most other business email users you too might be wondering how these and other social developments affect you.
As for highlighting important email, don't expect help from Microsoft anytime soon. While Outlook excels as an email program, it's the Outlook add-in market we look to for productivity automation. On the social front there is hope. Outlook 2010 includes a Social Connector feature for passive awareness. A good start.
What's social got to do with business? Why now? In case you are inclined to dismiss social communication and its tools as only for younger generations (or to use when not at work), I challenge you to consider that our interactions at work couldn't be more social. Email is often awkward and too formal in our social world of business. That these emerging social tools better handle it outside of email , and in a complementary way to email, is now a re-defining opportunity for email, and for you.
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