Dave Barry has a pretty funny review of Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley and Will Schalbe in the New York Times (you might need a subscription to read the review). Send has been described as the “Miss Manners for the Digital Age” and the “Strunk and White for the Web.”
Frankly, it amazes me that this book is number 166 in the Amazon.com Sales Rankings. I tried to find the book at Powell’s today but it was sold out. I guess that speaks to the fact that for many of us email really is broken.
For most information workers email is the only tool available for communicating and interacting across the enterprise and its boundaries. Because email is being used for much more than it was originally designed for, resources like Send are a logical result to help people use the tool more effectively.
Fortunately the tool set for communicating is expanding, giving people more choices and flexibility for communicating and collaborating. People can choose between email, chatting, SMS, VOIP and publishing and subscribing to feeds based on what they want to communicate, who they want to communicate with and what level of interaction is required by the communication.
When I think about the difference between email and feeds I think about the difference between news and conversation. Email, IM, SMS are all great for answering questions and responding to requests for information. Feeds are great for monitoring and alerting. In a managed enterprise RSS environment feeds can be channeled across the communication tool set so that people can get the information they want, where and how they want it. Combine channeling with smarter tools like Attensa’s intelligent prioritization and our communication becomes crisper and knowledge flow becomes more fluid.