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.