A World Without Email – Year 2, Weeks 49 to 51 (EMail Is Where Knowledge Goes to Die)
It has been nearly a month since the last time I put together a blog post over here on how I’m doing living "A World Without Email" and, while looking into the last few weeks, I have just realised that I’m almost on the closure of the second year experiment of giving up on corporate email altogether. So I thought I would write down today the one before last blog entry for Year #2 of those weekly (Now probably more monthly) progress reports sharing some further insights on the state of things at this point, as I am about to close the second year of this my new reality.
Over at my Flickr account you would be able to see the weekly progress reports for weeks #49 and #50. However, for week #51 I am going to share it over here, so you can get a quick glimpse of what the last three weeks have been like put together in combination. So here you have it:
As you would be able to see things are looking amazingly good, since, during the course of those three weeks, I received a total number of 44 emails, with an average of 14 per week! Yes, 14 emails received per week! Not sure what you would think, but I am feeling incredibly excited that what started as 30 to 40 emails a day (Nearly two years ago), it’s now turned to 14 emails a week! Huge achievement, if you ask me, and well on target for that follow up challenge that I set up at the beginning of the year of receiving 20, or less, emails a week. Yes, I know … double w00t!!!
If you notice, you will see there has been a steady decrease in the number of emails received over the last few weeks, yet that doesn’t mean that virtual online interactions have not been taking place. Actually, quite the opposite. I can certainly share with you folks how the number of those online interactions through social software tools have tripled during that time. Specially, for my second most frequently used social software tool while at work: Lotus Connections (Lotus Sametime is still number #1, by the way).
It looks like, at a much faster pace than last year, fellow colleagues are starting to experience how powerful some of the offered capabilities behind the firewall can well be; specially, for something so trivial, yet so incredibly useful as Lotus Connections Profiles’ Micro-blogging/-sharing component. I will probably be sharing some general statistics on IBM’s internal usage of that Profiles capability, but I can certainly tell you how well used it is at the moment that I am starting to see the effects myself by spending most of the time in there collaborating and sharing knowledge with my peers.
To me, it’s like a nice catching up exercise, because I have been using that functionality from the very first moment that it became available in previous beta versions, and most IBMers are starting to see the main benefits of using such micro-blogging/-sharing component versus using other traditional tools, like email. Yes, it’s plenty of good fun seeing how after these two years, nearly, I am not that crazy weirdo anymore for abandoning email and, instead, using social software tools. Things are catching up rather quickly! Exciting times!
I know at this point in time you may be wondering what kinds of interactions do I have on a regular basis interacting through Profiles Boards, right? Well, not to worry, I am already putting together another draft blog post where I am listing a Top 10 set of activities that I come across rather often when interacting, behind the firewall, on our very own instance of Lotus Connections. However, I will share with you what’s probably the number #1 activity I embarked on through micro-blogging/-sharing behind the firewall…
… Questions and Answers! Indeed, the good old Q&A that every single knowledge worker engages with time and time again during the course of the week and, in most cases, several times a day. As you can imagine, using micro-blogging/-sharing tools for Q&A already provides me with lots of advantages to help me reduce my email clutter even more.
Oh, and I am not the only one feeling the very same thing. Did you have a look into the wonderful blog post that Jeremy Sluyters put together under the title "EMail Is Where Knowledge Goes to Die", where he references that quote I have been using myself for all along from Bill French that clearly describes why I abandoned email a couple of years back? You should read it, if you haven’t done so just yet.
In it, Jeremy gets to share a very compelling use case on how, regardless of the tool, a certain, relatively simple and recurring task, like asking a question and getting an answer, finds its place in using much better and suitable social software tools versus email, providing an opportunity to save time and effort as well as allowing a much easier, and faster!, re-findability of the content originally shared.
Pretty compelling story, I can assure you. One that, once you go through it, will surely help you understand a bit better why living "A World Without Email" has been one of my passions over the last few months and why, as I am about to head into the third consecutive year without using email at work, this is just the beginning. This is just one use case of the kind of impact and business value of using social software tools to collaborate and share your knowledge across the company with your peers. One out of several dozens of them out there. One that has allowed me to reduce my email clutter substantially and that can only be a good thing. But it’s not just the only one. There will be plenty more and I will be looking forward to sharing them all with you in its due course…
For now, an open question for you all out there: are you ready to proclaim and live by our motto on "Email is where knowledge goes to die?"… If not, what’s stopping you? How can we help?
Tags: Enterprise 2.0, Social Software, Social Networking, Social Computing, Social Media, Collaboration, Communities, Learning, Knowledge Sharing, KM, Knowledge Management, Remote Collaboration, Innovation, IBM, Networking, Social Networks, Conversations, Dialogue, Communication, Connections, Relationships, email, Productivity, Re-purposing Email, No-Email, Challenge Your Inbox, Progress Reports, Thinking Outside the Inbox, Information Overload, A World Without Email, Lotus Connections, Connections, Lotus Sametime, Sametime, Instant Messaging, Connections Profiles, Lotus Connections Profiles, Micro-blogging, Micro-sharing, Q&A, Questions and Answers, Help, Jeremy Sluyters, Bill French, Finding Content