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

From the blog

A World Without Email – Year 2, Weeks 2 to 5 (Social Networking More Popular than Email)

Barcelona - By the HarbourI guess it’s about time that I get back on track with things and share with everyone out there the weekly progress reports I have been collecting since last time I blogged about this subject, where I presented, amongst several other things, what my new challenge would be like for 2009 and an initial report status on how things were going on my progress living A World Without Email. So I guess this is the catchup since that last blog post!

Ok, instead of sharing with you every single snapshot of each of the previous different weeks, since you can find them all at my Flickr account, I thought I would go ahead and just share the last one from last week, where you can see that incoming count of emails from all previous weeks. Much easier to keep track of, I am sure. Thus here it is latest report available so far:

A World Without Email - Year 2, Week 5

I am going to keep this blog post rather on the short side, but you from the statistics shared above you can see that I’m substantially on target for my new challenge, which was, if you would remember, decrease my incoming email count to 20 or less emails a week! And in this case in 3 out of 5 weeks I have been able to manage it! Yes, you can tell how excited I am about this. But it gets better…

If you check the weekly progress report from last year you will be able to see why I am thrilled about the whole thing on giving up email at work. In the first five weeks since I started this new reality of mine, I received 198 emails, which I guess is not too bad. However, in those very same weeks on this second year that total amount is 106 emails! That’s 92 less emails over the same period, which I am not sure what you would think, but I think that’s some terrific news! Say take 2 minutes per email for handling further and that’s the amount of time I have saved not processing that specific difference of emails from one year to the other! Do the math and you will see! Fantastic stuff! And really enjoying the various benefits from week one! Yes! Just the beginning!

Nonetheless, there is also something that I am very excited about and which has been all over the place lately. One of the many things I enjoy of living "A World Without Email" is that plenty of my various social networks keep sharing some very interesting links related to what I’m trying to do that help me add some further context and insights for you folks to enjoy. And the one I am about to share is probably one of those that has kept me smiling for a little while now.

Yes, indeed, a whole bunch of different online resources, Web sites, blog posts, articles have been talking about it extensively and I am sure that, by now, you may have bumped into the main theme of those links: the Nielsen report "Global Faces and Networked Places" which claims how social networking has become much more popular than email nowadays. Go and have a read at Social Networking’s New Global Footprint. It’s a good read, I can tell you.

As you may have seen already, there are plenty of things I could comment on with regards to the report itself, but since I am already going on the long side of this blog post, I guess I will just comment on something that I have found rather amusing to say the least. Most folks I have been discussing this topic with over the last few days have been saying that the report itself may not be very specific since most of the data just captures activity from the consumer social software space, what we already know as Web 2.0. So from a business perspective it may not be *that* relevant.

Well, quite the opposite, in my opinion, as I have been sharing all along. It all starts with the consumer market (i.e. Web 2.0) before we get to dive into the enterprise! For instance, who would have thought, back in 2004 or thereabouts, that a couple of years later we would be seeing plenty of Enterprise Social Software offerings from most major vendors as well as some other niche Enterprise 2.0 specific ones? Who would have thought in 2004 how most of the corporate world is seriously being impacted by the knowledge workers’ adoption of social software, not just outside, but also inside of the firewall, in 2009? Probably not many people. Yet, the reality is that’s happening right as we speak and there is no indication that it will be stopping any time soon!

Thus, I realise I may well have been a bit ahead of the times in relying, almost completely, on my social networks, versus other communication tools like email, in order to get the day to day job done, but judging from Nielsen’s report, I suspect it won’t be too long before social networking tools will be much more popular than email within the enterprise, too! I mean, if it all happened within the consumer market itself, what’s out there stopping such massive adoption in a business context. I tell you what. Nothing!

It will eventually be happening and I am surely glad, as well as excited, that whenever that occurs, I will be more than ready for it, as these weekly progress reports seem to indicate. But how about you? Do you see yourself using social software tools more often than email for your daily workload in the short term? Will you be ready to make that shift? Will you be ready to shift gears and adopt new models of connecting, reaching out, collaborating and sharing your knowledge? …

Welcome to Enterprise 2.0!

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