E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Giving up on Work e-mail – Status Report on Week 27 (Easing e-mail Pain with Social Software)

Continuing further with the weekly progress reports on my giving up on e-mail new mantra, I am back at it again, and this time around with a wonderful link from one of my favourite bloggers and KM thought leaders, if I may say so, whose article I am surprised is not getting much more attention that what it truly deserves. And you will see what I mean very very soon. For now though I am going to share a couple of comments on what actually happen on week 27, where things seem to be keeping up the pace with the latest downwards trends. I still have got to blog on week 28, but I can tell you how after having gone through the seventh month of giving up on corporate e-mail, I am just as excited as I was on the first day when I got things started.

But let’s have a look into the progress report for week 27:

As you would be able to see, the number of incoming e-mails went down and quite a bit, I must admit, to the point where over the last couple of weeks that count seems to fluctuate between 22 and 30, which puts me in the right position for my next challenge, which is lower down that number under 20, i.e. between 10 to 15 e-mails a week! I know, a nice challenge to have! We shall see if we can keep up with it! One thing you may have noticed is how increasingly the number of e-mails seems to decline both at the beginning and end of the week, so if I can tame those Wednesdays & Thursdays I think I would be able to go well under that new challenge. Either way, let’s see how it goes from there…

And now, let’s just cover briefly the link I mentioned at the beginning of the blog post from one of my favourite KM thought leaders, and good friend (And amazing blogger, too!), who, not long ago, put together a blog post where he referenced a presentation he recently did at a specific event and which had very nice and thought-provoking title: "Easing e-mail Pain with Social Software".

Yes, I am talking about Matt Moore, author of Engineers without Fears, who a few days ago put together "Enterprise 2.0 Presentation". In the past, I have been blogging about some of the stunning work Matt has been doing exploring new, and innovative, ways of collaborating and sharing knowledge with other knowledge workers and this blog post is no exception! For sure.

In fact, that article references a presentation I also referenced over here not long ago and which clear puts together some compelling reasons on our need to continue re-purposing e-mail as our preferred collaborative and knowledge sharing tool. Well, that presentation got even better and, if not, judge for yourselves checking out the direct link over here, or the embedded version below:


View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

As a teaser, and before you dive into the excellent presentation that Matt put together, I thought I would share with you a couple of the notes that Matt shared over at the original blog post and which would resonate with you, rather strongly, on several of the reasons I have discussed over here on why, seven months ago, I wanted to stop using e-mail and re-purpose it altogether:

"The five steps are:

i. ban attachments & instead link to files sitting in a more permanent location;
ii. if an email conversation involves more than 5 people then shift it elsewhere,
iii. make your tools as simple to use as possible,
iv. encourage role modeling of good behaviours by senior staff,
v. begin with a small step in the right direction rather than trying to change the world in one go
." (Emphasis mine)

I told you the presentation was amazingly good, right? Well, it gets better! If not check out the five issues to consider now:

"i. security. email is insecure anyway but you need to clearly establish access guidelines for each location where documents are stored,
ii. privacy with new tools is important – e.g. staff need to understand how public their discussions will be,
iii. develop an archiving / retention policy for your documentation,
iv. do not hit staff members with too many tools, they could be overwhelmed with choice,
v. consider different IP options for ownership of content esp. if consumers are involved."

I am sure that after you watch Matt’s presentation, and if you have been following my new reality of giving up on e-mail for a little while, it will resonate quite strongly, and, much more importantly, will give you plenty of ammo you could re-use for your own re-purposing of incoming e-mails you receive! And including plenty of practical tips, too! You see? It’s not as difficult as it may well seem… So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and join us! 😉

(Many thanks for the lovely piece of work, Matt! And, above all, special thanks for sharing the presentation and its notes through your blog! Great work! Well done!)

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