As Steve Rubel noted a couple of days ago, and as I touched on at the end of the e.politics section on building and maintaining email lists, younger people are using IM, blogs and social networking sites as a replacement for email, which they generally see as a way to get an attachment or exchange messages with an “elder,” not as a way to communicate with a peer. As they move into the workforce, will it change or will they?
I’m a huge fan of email as a communications medium, since it allows for a degree of reflection that IM lacks, but I’m also 37 and set in my ways as an online writer. As a result, I may be missing out on a revolution. But email is embedded in so many office communications streams that I don’t see it disappearing any time remotely soon, though I could see it becoming more the equivalent of a certified letter an “official” rather than a personal communication. Does this join spam-blockers, list proliferation and recipient exhaustion as another factor that dooms email-list-based advocacy and fundraising to steadily dimishing returns?