Do We Still Need E-mail?

Do We Still Need E-mail? by David Whelan That was the general question I asked in my first posting on the pan-Canadian law and information blog known as Slaw. I’ll be contributing a column under the title “Working Tech” every two months. This first one included a number of ideas I’ve had floating around in the back of my head, not least of which was how or why would I want to use a technology like Twitter?

The post is available here:  Do We Still Need E-mail?

As one tweet pointed out, the spoiler is that the answer is yes!  But even that’s not really enough of an answer.  There are numerous add-on products to make you more efficient using e-mail.  There are loads of service providers trying to secure, store, and retrieve lawyers’ e-mail as well.  I’m not sure all of that is necessary.  Just as e-mail is a fantastic tool for asynchronous communication, it is probably acceptable without all of the additional complexity.  Lawyers who need the additional complexity may want to consider whether e-mail is how they want to be communicating . . . whatever they’re communicating.

I’ve got a Twitter account but since I spend most of my days either in a Twitter-forbidden work zone or on the train, I have never spent much time using it.  I’m averse to using wireless phones or devices that require me to type on a wee keyboard.  So all in all, Twitter and other microblogging tools have not entered my portfolio. 

E-mail, when used well, is an easy way to have a concise discussion on a direct topic.  Telephone calls require a lot more social grease and time (often wasted, in my opinion) to get the same amount of information.  The synchronicity of telephones raises the issue of voice mail, which is a profound waste of time and effort.  I tend not to leave any voice mail, preferring to hang up and send an e-mail to more concisely (for me and my recipient) communicate.

All in all, I’m looking forward to writing on Slaw and joining a community of contributors and readers for whom I have a great deal of respect.

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