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I just got this email from Gmail, or at least someone named firstname.lastname@example.org. (Giving me ideas for a new porn name, at least.) Asking for personal information and so on, so of course a red flag went off immediately. Darn spam, I thought.
And from gmail, no less. My trusted source for many a month! I’ll have to start using Facebook messaging instead of personal email, I thought. And wiki message boards instead of work email.
Really? Has it come to that yet? Email has become outdated for some, a pain the arse for others, and just plain ugly. It’s not just phishing, spoofing, and spam anymore. It’s the inefficiencies of one-way communication – no matter how fast it purports to be – and the one-dimensional nature of the sender and recipients.
But social networking sites are starting to change all that. As a direct competitor to email, they are still struggling, but features that they offer are beginning to look mighty nice to email users. Kind of like when all the ladies suddenly sprouted red lips in Pleasantville and the men just didn’t know what to do. And now the tables are turning, and email provider’s are trying to "steal some of social networking’s thunder" by adding features, like Yahoo’s Friend Finder.
Roger Matus writes:
Well — with all the advertising revenue at stake — I am not shocked
that the big email providers, such as Yahoo, Google, AOL, and
Microsoft’s HOTmail, plan to add social networking features. Imagine
reading an email from a friend and being able to find out instantly if
he/she is available for an IM chat, left an "away message," has
uploaded a video, or is planning a big event.
Will this make email sexy again, asked the Wall Street Journal. Was it ever?