Email Evolution or Revolution – From Goethe to IBM Verse

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Eyes wide open, the two IBM gentlemen look at me. They sit up right. Professional. Spot On. You can feel their enthusiasm, their expectations are high. Both are social collaboration leaders at IBM, evangelizing on the #newwaytowork. That’s how the software technology company hashtags their latest journey to the revolution of the email as they call the launch of their new inbox communication software „IBM Verse“. You can tell how excited the two managers in front of me are to talk about the IBM success story. The launch seemed to have gone well so far.

On my opening question both face each other, not sure who shall answer. They are professionals in communication, they are prepared. „The term Verse is historic for communication and conversation“, replies Dr. Peter Schuett, Leader Social Business Strategy at IBM. „In times of Goethe, when carriers brought people hand-written letters, all the communication that went to and fro was written in verse.“ The answer surprised me as IBM’s development sounds like a trip in the past.

It is not. For the first time, IBM has taken a new development approach. They made their customers think about the new software solution by inviting customer to their labs, by rethinking email, and by thinking design and customer experience first, based on real customer feedback, input and inspiration. Not the cheapest way to innovate. The product development cost 100 Mio. US Dollars according to them. It has got to be effective from a customer perspective.

IBM_Verse_People

For a long time, IBM has been a forerunner in terms of modern workplace technology. Their „Outside the Inbox“ evangelist Luis Suarez has already been preaching for a business world with less emails. We all know the reasons why he was addressing this. People get approximately 127 emails a day. This means emails kills 28% of our daily work-time, and thus of our daily productivity.

With IBM Verse the software technology company wants to shift productivity. Creating a more effective business culture is the aim. From Ed Brill’s perspective, he is IBM’s social business transformation specialist, email should function as a transmitter. Email today should be serving notes like a private letter what Goethe used to do in hand-written form: delivering private information.

„Email is the service forever. But it needs to be a personal service.“ Dr. Peter Schuett, IBM.

Focussing on the new software solution, I brought up the question in which way this is a revolution to email communication. Ed Brill emphasizes that IBM did not want to reinvent the email. IBM wished for a better email. However, IBM wanted to create a new intersection of email, calendar, social media and analytics. That’s what they have done with IBM Verse.

When I showed a bit of my disappointment around the new solution’s capabilities in terms of being an aggregation platform for direct messaging and functionality as an inbox management system in general, Ed Brill rearranges my expectations in bringing the metaphor on suits which might all look different in design but are in a sense all alike from the amount of innovation in style and structure. And by the way, the power users of enterprise email are still personal assistants.

IBM_Verse_Analytics
True, sometimes people forget where they stand in the evolution of modern communication. With their „People“ and „Analytics“ functionality, the modern way of a more personalized communication approach seems to get in that social direction in the future. At least, when we compare IBM Verse and Facebook from a superficial point of view. With IBM Verse people also move into the centre of the communication universe which is meant to map the efficiency form content to people. IBM Verse „People“ learns to show the users dynamically who is important to their communication, by hour, meeting and topic of conversation. Obviously, users can also change that and arrange it according to their premises. The world of communication gets filtered more and more.

Spot On!
IBM Verse is definitely a big evolution step in email communication. Still, they could have made it a bit more of a revolution in delivering a multi-messaging and communication management platform in my eyes which integrates direct communication via Facebook, Twitter and others.

Brill agrees that when CEOs wanted to spread the word around some company, product or people changes in the company, IBM was about to use email for that communication. Today, via IBM Connections -the internal use of their own company community platform- gets 7 Mio. accesses a month, and the CEO messages will reach (and achieve more feedback) more people via internal social messaging than via email in the past.

Nevertheless, the two gentlemen did not want to commit to a statement whether IBM Verse and IBM Connections might become one platform in the future. But the approach to one collaborative workplace platform, serves the option to have fewer apps in the future. But hey, there is hope: „Rome was not build in one day!“ summarizes Schuett in the quick Snapshot video interview in the end of our interview, and smiles.

Study: From Fakes to Facebook Friends

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In a recent research Barracuda Networks released some findings of their study „Facebook: Fake Profils vs. Real Users“ which analyzed a random sampling of 2,884 active Facebook accounts. The idea of the study was to identify key differences between average real user and fake accounts which are coming form attackers and spammers.

As of their popularity in terms of personal and business communication, Facebook is consistently fighting attackers on their network in order to save their real users from spam or even worse attacks. According to their own stats Facebook has less than 4% of content shared on their network marked as spam. By comparison we could use some stats from Symantec which found that 74% of spam comes from email – however this will be filtered before it comes to our inboxes. Nevertheless, Facebook is in a lawsuit with a marketing firm that they accused of „spreading spam through misleading and deceptive tactics“.

These are some interesting findings of the Barracuda Networks study.

Fake accounts have..
…more friends than real users – six times more!
…use more photo tagging – over 100 times more!
…claim to be bisexual – 10 times more than real users!
…claim to be female (97%!) – only 40% for real user!

„Likes, News Feeds and Apps have helped lead Facebook to its social network dominance and now attackers are harnessing those same features to efficiently scale their efforts. These fake profiles and apps give attackers a long-lived path to continuously present malicious links to innocent users.“ Dr. Paul Judge, chief research officer at Barracuda Networks

The study was done with Barracuda Profile Protector tool and illustrates how attacks and spam on Facebook are structured to undercuts real „friendships“ concept and trust of widely-used applications. So, marketers and private people should watch out and check before friending an account. No matter if you are more addicted to Facebook or Twitter than smoking and drinking…

News Update – Best of the Day

15.11.2010 von  
Kategorie Daily Top 3

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Ecommerce is developing rapidly. And although users are said to be slow in adapting new technology, they expect their retailers to embed the latest trends and technology in their websites. As this will increase the sales potential of a business, companies should carefully listen to top 10 tactical trends by Michael Piastro which will help supercharge your ecommerce strategy for the future.

Social Media is in „at“ your workplace, you said? Yes, but what does top management use it today? A new comprehensive study of more than 1000 business professionals by Pierre Khawand, Founder and CEO of People-OnTheGo shows that business decision makers manage multiple „inboxes“ including Social Media. Social media is already a regular part of the work day. LinkedIn is the most popular social network. More than two-thirds (63.8%) of top management and almost three-quarters of marketing (73.9%) and sales (74.2%) respondents check LinkedIn regularly. Isn’t it interesting that private email is as popular as business email for top management? Social Media or private emails… Thinking about what might affect productivity more in the future…

Are small companies spending most of their marketing funds into Social Media in 2011? No! The use traditional websites and e-mail, says a report by online survey firm Zoomerang and GrowBiz media that surveyed 751 small firms (predominantly with less than 25 employees). The survey finds that over a quarter will spend at least 30% of their online marketing budgets on their websites, E-mail coming in second (18%). Only 10% were planning to spend at least 30% of their budgets on Social Media.

Direct Messaging export – a missing feature in social networks?

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Some days ago, a Nielsen study said that in the US social network usage is more popular than email. This does not surprise me, when I think about Luis Suarez speech at the Web 2.0 Expo 2008 „Thinking outside the Inbox“. If we agree with him, then there is one feature definitely missing in social network…

How I came across this missing feature…
In my new job role I do a lot of business socializing which is quite normal when the business is done 90% with international business contacts. A lot of business brainstorming is being kicked off or happening on the fly and you don’t think where you communicate. Many of these conversations start via the direct messaging functionality -comparable to email communication- in social networks. Some of them end in nothing. Some turn out to be brilliant contacts which become interesting prospects. And suddenly these end up being leads or potential revenue drivers. And then there comes the problem…

Where is the direct messaging extraction functionality? Some kind of external saving or export module to save the content and communication? Not speaking of an „email archiving“ technology?

If your business, or the business of the company you are working for, is meant to be compliant (and which is not today…?) how can you export a conversation that already started in a social network? OK, you could copy it, and send it via email again. Quite uncomfortable though, right…? Or you save all the emails that you get from the social network providers. A lot of redundant data saving…

In business networks like Bebo, XING or LinkedIn users are possible to export the database of their contacts in one go – … but not an email communication threat. Meaning, if you have had a good conversation and mentioned some kind of business critical data, pricing, or offering than you have to have the proof for tax or auditing service reasons – and ideally you can extract it in one go.

In my eyes, this is a missing feature that at least all social business networks should be offering. Don’t you think?

Lead Generation: Combination of social web tools and email marketing is powerful and cost-effective

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All marketers know how much effort and tactical knowledge it needs to generate high quality leads. And everybody tries to find the silver bullet in order not to push too much budgets the wrong way. Finding the right tactics becomes more complex with the rise and importance of the social web.

An annual report by Hubspot “2010 State of Inbound Marketing” has asked 231 marketers, and shows that pull marketing tactics like blogging, search and social media generate cheaper leads than traditional outbound efforts. If companies devote at least one-half of their budget to inbound marketing like social web activities -compared to the same outbound marketing budget spending- they can save up to 60%.

Some more interesting findings…
– The average cost per lead from inbound marketing was significantly less.

– The rate of customer acquisition declines steadily with the rate of blog posting.
– Direct mail is still most cost-effective among outbound strategies. Only 37% generated leads for less than average.
– Social Networking is key! Over 40% of customers using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and company blogs have generated a customer from that channel
– Businesses rated every inbound channel more important than any outbound channel for lead generation.
– B2B customer acquisition with LinkedIn was most effective. B2C businesses did best with Facebook (7 out of 10 found a new customer using social networks).

Spot On!
Tactics that are not cost-effective are not supported with spending any longer by companies, concludes the report. Inbound tactics get more value share of general lead generation budgets, outbound tactics loose money. It is not surprising that email marketing is still popular as a tactic. The Merkle report “View from the Social Inbox” states that social media hasn’t replaced traditional e-mail among users. 71% of respondents are spending 20 minutes or more weekly with traditional email – 42% of social networkers check their email account four or more times a day.

So, the combination of email marketing and social web tactics seems to be powerful and cost-effective for lead generation.

Do you agree?

Online Interview mit Prof. Miriam Meckel – Über den Puls der Zeit und die Erreichbarkeit

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In Miriam Meckels Buch Das Glück der Unerreichbarkeit: Wege aus der Kommunikationsfalle fühlt man sich mal als permanenter ‚Onliner‘ erreicht, mal wie an der Universität nur ‚angesmst‘, mal wie in einer Autobiographie beobachtet und mal einfach bei guter Belletristik unterhalten. Hier wird der aktuelle Puls der Zeit angesprochen. Manchmal bleibt er aufgrund unserer dynamischen Web- und IT-Entwicklung unerreicht. Und das obwohl das Buch erst im Herbst 2007 erstmalig erschienen ist.

Nun das ist keine Schwäche der Beobachtungsgabe und wissenschaftlichen Qualifikation der erfolgreichen Autorin und Professorin. Es liegt am zu schnell pulsierenden Wettlauf der Produktzyklen der Technikindustrie sowie zunehmender Kommunikationsmittel und Medien, die in diesem Buch keine Erwähnung finden (können). Die menschliche Kommunikation ist in einem noch nie da gewesenen schnellen und teilweise kurzlebigen pantha rhei Modus.

Während Frau Meckels Buch noch die mobile Kommunikation aus der Businesswelt beleuchtet, findet diese inzwischen vermehrt privat seine Umsetzung. Der im Buch viel erwähnte BlackBerry wurde vom iPhone ‚enttront‘ und findet selbst schon zahlreiche Nachahmer. Soziale Netzwerke machen heute der Email-Kommunikation Konkurrenz, der SMS setzt Twitter zu ebenso wie Micro-Blogs den Blogs. Lauter Zugangspunkte der modernen Erreichbarkeit, die zwei Jahre nach Erscheinen des Buches die Thematik noch prikelnder erscheinen lassen.

Das Faszinierendste ist dabei, daß wir -vor allem die Social Medians- uns noch viel erreichbarer machen mit Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, XING, LinkedIn & Co. Und der Witz ist, daß wir das auch noch freiwillig antun. Oder ist das der moderne Gruppenzwang, dem man sich nicht erwehren kann?

Online-Interview mit Frau Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel

Fragen wir also die Autorin Frau Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel selbst, was sich nach nur zwei Jahren aus der Sicht des Buches verändert hat. Nach nicht einmal einem Tag antwortete mir Frau Meckel mit sehr netten Worten per Mail auf meine Fragen. Man darf sie also als „die Erreichbare“ bezeichnen…

The Strategy Web Liebe Frau Meckel, rückblickend betrachtet… Würden Sie aufgrund der Entwicklung der letzten zwei Jahre die Unerreichbarkeit neu definieren, um den Puls der Zeit besser zu erreichen?
Miriam Meckel Ich glaube, ich habe den Puls der Zeit gut gefühlt. Wenn US-Magazine jetzt mit der „culture of distraction“ aufmachen, ist das genau mein Thema. Ob über Handy, Blackberry oder Soziale Netzwerke: Wir müssen sehen, wie wir unsere Kommunikationsautonomie erhalten. Jedes Medium, jede Plattform stellt da wieder andere Anforderungen, aber es geht im Grundsätzlichen immer um dieselbe Frage: Wie erhalte ich mir Pausen der technischen Unerreichbarkeit, um für jemanden oder etwas wirklich da zu sein.

The Strategy Web Hat sich seit dem Boom der sozialen Netzwerke und vorherrschender Community-Dynamik die Erreichbarkeit verändert, oder findet eine Verschiebung von ‚Mail in Inbox‘ zu ‚Message in SN’s‘ statt?
Miriam Meckel Ich gebe zu: Mit Facebook und Twitter ist auch bei mir wieder etwas hinzugekommen, was natürlich Zeit und Aufmerksamkeit kostet. Für mich lassen sich beide Platformen aber besser gezielt nutzen und steuern, als mir das beim Blackberry gelungen ist. Dazu kommt: Die Nachrichten auf Facebook sind in der Regel erfreulich, die auf Twitter spannend. Das kann ich über meine Mobilen Mails durchaus nicht immer sagen.

The Strategy Web Neben Ihren verantwortlichen Tätigkeiten an der Universität St. Gallen sowie der Brunswick Group bloggen und twittern Sie. Warum machen Sie sich noch erreichbarer, wenn Sie schon vor zwei Jahren animiert waren, ein Buch über die UNerreichbarkeit zu schreiben?
Miriam Meckel Ich mache mich auf verschiedenen Plattformen erreichbar, auch weil ich wissen will, was dort passiert. Aber as heißt nicht, dass ich stärker oder öfter erreichbar wäre. Ich schalte zwischendurch einfach alles ab. Ich brauche das, diese Moment der Konzentration und Stille im umfassenden digitalen Grundrauschen. Wenn ich die habe, gehe ich mit umso größerem Spaß und Interesse dann wieder gucken, was Neues bei mir eingegangen ist.

Vielen Dank für die offen Worte, Frau Meckel!

Spot On!
Bleib mir noch noch die Frage: Wie gehen Sie heute mit dem Thema der „Unerreichbarkeit“ um?

Lese-Empfehlungen zum Thema „Power of Distraction“…
The dangers of distraction
Journalism in a Culture of Distraction
Our culture of distraction

The business network netiquette

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About four month ago, I wrote a post on the XING Netiquette which made its way to the XING experts blog. The reason was that some of my colleagues, relatives and friends realized the unfriendly and unprofessional style of communication with business contacts on business networks such as XING or LinkedIn. This was also some development that the XING expert experienced, Joachim Rumohr, who added the post to his professional blog. And, as this post was read very often in German, I decided to write also an English version about the topic: business network netiquette.

We all know from management trainings and media that the first impression counts to the highest degree. So, if we are reaching out for new contacts, or looking to kick off interesting partnerships, or just doing some ‚investigation‘, we should all be aware of the actions and reactions this might cause.

Why? Every single web activity might affect our online (and offline) reputation. There are several people already focusing on this personal branding topic as a business model in terms of ‚creating‘ books or blog posts, or reputation ID networks or they are just ‚visionering‘ about this topic.

In terms of business networks such as XING or LinkedIn, the stumbling block is not the contacts that we are linked or connected with. Normally, people know how to behave and interact there as they know each other. It becomes more difficult when contacting an unknown business user in an online business network. In this case, it does not matter if you are contacting somebody or if some business person is addressing you. Although the networks advise with ‚FAQ’s‘ and ‚Help‘ sites on how to ‚meet online‘ with somebody on a business level, these websites are quite often well-hidden and enlighten only some parts of this special topic called ’netiquette‘.

Let’s have a close look at some general principles which are definitely necessary and have to be taken into account when contacting somebody on LinkedIn or XING (or any other business network).

The business network netiquette

When you are contacting some business person…
a) Send a message: Be friendly. Keep your message short. Refer directly to your request.
Why are you approaching this special person? Be aware that the contacted person you are referring to might not have very much time for online networking – especially if this person has a high level of responsibility and credibility inside his company. Although all these people would love to have a personal web manager in order to spend more time for online networking, they actually don’t have any.

Be prepared to get some feedback. This feedback might be completely different from what you think and wish to achieve. Nevertheless, respond to this person no matter how the feedback ’sounds‘ in your ears.

b) Via direct connection: If you have had no contact before (online or offline), it is advisable not to contact these people directly without having addressed these people in an email, spoken on the phone or in persona before. Obviously not, when you are just a collector and hunter…

If you contact somebody, give this person the opportunity to communicate with you offline and online straight away. In some business networks you can also activate the contact details without being linked with somebody. Never stay incognito!

When you are being contacted…
a) Receive a message: In the ‚unlikely‘ event of receiving an email with some business network member contacting you, this person definitely has a very serious and valid business reason to address you…. and it is you, you, you! If somebody has chosen to contact you (and no-one else!), this is an honor – please look upon this action favorably.

b) Via direct connection: If you had no contact at all before somebody is contacting you (offline or online), please evaluate whether you accept this contact. Having tones of contacts looks nice (as does having lot of followers on Twitter) but does it serve your purpose? Caring about all of your contacts is difficult and becomes unprofitable quite quickly.

If you think this person is beneficial (in private or for your job), then there is no reason not accepting this contact. Don’t be afraid of denying irrelevant contact offerings though. BUT: Definitely use the ‚Add‘ or ‚Deny‘ button and don’t leave this person desperately waiting for an answer in your folder ‚Inbox‘ or ‚Contacts to Add‘.

In any case, if somebody is getting in touch with you via business networks, it is an ‚unwritten‘ duty to respond with an answer – no matter if long or short, positive or negative or if you have some business interest in this person. Even if this request is in your eyes uninteresting, boring or not fitting
your profile details. Everybody has deserved to get an answer.

Let’s take an example from the offline world… If an employee or some partner has a business idea that he wants to share with you, you are not just turning away, saying nothing, right? The same applies to the online world. And, premium-user do see and know more or less everything in business networks – also that you have been looking at the profile of the person that has send you a mail via the business network.

The above mentioned advice is also applicable for all group activity in business networks and for common email communication, too. Be friendly, offer the dialogue and be authentic.

Spot On!
Be the virtual person that you are in the offline world! This is the only way being authentic and successful. Contacts know easily by monitoring who you are, what you do and why you will be interesting – they might know your digital dna without even checking it for negative examples.

Always imagine you are joining a big business card party and you ignore somebody who might be introduced to you 5 minutes later. Remember… You always meet twice in life! In a digital networking world, when being a virtual person with a business network profile this might happen quicker than you maybe want it to happen…

How to ‚online‘ with school and college students

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Yesterday, I got an email form a student saying: „I need some information for my high school exams. Do you have some good links? Can you help?“ Well, I gave some advise, definitely. Which made me think about: How to address the modern student with online marketing communication? And surprisingly enough I found a quite new study…

The typical modern student writes, networks and chats social – but emails seem to be outdated. At least if we read what a recent study by eROI, an email marketing and interactive agency, states. The study focuses on how high school and college students and recent college graduates communicate digitally. According to a review published by the Center for Media Research:

The average students reads marketing emails “rarely to never” (61% of respondents). Just 16% are reading marketing emails frequently. Call to action works not for 66% of students on marketing emails.
It seems that company messages via email does not generate direct response effectively in catching their attention personally.

Let’s check the most relevant results…
– 81% got an email address for communicating with family and 52% for communicating with friends
– About one-quarter of students originally got an email address for social networking purposes
– 60% of students take action upon receiving an email only if they are interested in the product
– 47% take action if they are attracted to a special offer
– About 36% of students use email alerts to keep up to date on what’s happening on their social networks

If companies want to reach students they need to be active on social networks (even in business networks).
– 83% use Facebook,
– 65% use MySpace
– 21% use LinkedIn

The study identifies the channels are students using most. The preferred means of communication for college students are:
– 37% Text Messaging (SMS)
– 26% Email
– 15% Social Networking IM
– 12% Email on a mobile device
– 11% Instant Messaging
– 11% Social networking Email

Spot On!
The potential future ‚business elite‘ is turning marketing communication upside down. The study shows that communication will not take place via inbox but via quicker and more ’social‘ communication technologies and tools. So, what the social media world tries to tell the present business elite has already touched base for college and school students.

Read the full report here.

News Update – Best of the Day

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– Die Telekom hat große Pläne im Internet nach Angaben von Ralf Bauer, Senior Vice President Portal der Deutschen Telekom. Gemäß des Sponsorings der Fussball-Bundesliga will man auch im Internet stärker am Ball bleiben. fussball.de soll die führende ‚Kicker‘-Seite in Deutschland werden. Die Vergleichswerte: kicker.de 170 Mio. Page Impressions (laut IVW-Online) – fussball.de 114 Mio. Page Impressions (laut Vermarkter Interactive Media). Das nennt man ein Challenge! Kachelmann soll es übrigens mit seinem Meteomedia AG als Wetterdienst bringen und ein noch nicht benanntes Frauen Web-Magazin wird gelauncht.

– Sind Social Networks auch zukünftig reine Kommunikationstools zu sehen? Werbefreie Zonen wie die Inbox? Laut einer IDC Studie ist dies vorerst zu befürchten. In den USA nutzen 75% der User mindestens einmal in der Woche und 57% täglich Social Networks. Dort verweilen dann 61% pro Session rund 30 Minuten. Eine lange Zeit…, in der aber nur 57% auf die Werbeelemente klicken – im Vergleich zu 79% aller Internet Konsumenten. Sieht so aus, als ob Social Networks sich langsam neue Monetarisierungsideen überlegen müssen, wie Sie Geld machen wollen. Ideen gibt es hier (für Facebook und Myspace) und hier (Twitter) ja schon. Sonst muß man weiterhin live zusehen, wie Mitarbeiter bei Twitter entlassen werden…

– Wikis in Unternehmen bündeln und fassen Firmenwissen an zentraler Stelle allen dafür vorgesehenen Mitarbeitern zugänglich zusammen. Sie vereinfachen die Arbeitsprozesse, die auf Projektmanagement und Collaboration basieren – intern wie extern. Alexandra Graßler wurde zum Thema Wikis in Unternehmen informiert und verweist auf einen interessanten Artikel.

Business 3.0 ‚fast‘ ohne Emails?

02.12.2008 von  
Kategorie CEO, Web 3.0

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Auf der Web 2.0 Expo gab es einen sehr interessanten Beitrag von Luis Sanchez von IBM, der sich mit einem Thema befasst, über das sich langsam viele Web 2.0 Menschen Gedanken machen: Warum gibt es eigentlich noch Emails? Der Titel des Vortrags spricht Bände ‘Thinking Outside the Inbox’…

Email ist ein Thema welches einen seit Anfang seines Business verfolgt, aber diesen Entwicklungsstand nie verlassen hat. Oder doch? Langsam will man auf Veränderung hoffen. Ein Junge aus der Nachbarschaft meinte vor kurzem: „Was Sie nutzen noch Emails, obwohl sie twittern, Facebook und Friendfeed nutzen? Ist das nicht ein wenig altmodisch?“ Das sass… und bringt einen zum Nachdenken.

Geht es also um die bloße Kommunikation, so ergeben sich zahlreiche andere Kontakt- und Kommunikationsmedien: Social-Networks oder Twitter. Beide bieten ‚Direct Messages‘, was ’nahezu‘ nicht gespamt werden kann und somit eine wertvolle Zeitersparnis bringt. Zudem muß man sich aus der Natur von Twitter ‚kurz fassen‘. Herrlich… kommt der gegenüber doch gleich zum Punkt. Interessanterweise bekommt man aber auf Twitter ‚Directs‘ als Reply von manchen Menschen wiederum eine Email, was mir überhaupt nicht in den Sinn will…

Doch das eine ist Kontakt zu Freunden und Gleichgesinnten. Business ist ein anderes Thema. Wie sieht es also in der Businesswelt aus?

Der Austausch von Dokumenten ist vermutlich einer der wichtigsten Punkte im Business. Warum nicht Instant Messaging Tools nutzen? Geht schneller und Feedback kommt sofort. Oder aber Google Docs? Meetings oder der ‚abendliche‘ Networking Drink lassen sich schnell und unkompliziert mit solchen web-basierten Tools oder über Business Networks steuern.

Wenn man sich mal ansieht, was man im modernen Business mit Emails macht, wirkt das nicht wirklich fortschrittlich: Löschen von Spam, Sortieren von CC-Mails in Ordner (die wir nie mehr ansehen), Kundentermine und Meetings ausmachen und sonst…? Trotz internen ‚Policys‘ oder menschlichem Selbstverständnis einer angeblich intelligente Spezies, die wissen sollte, wie man mit Emailverkehr umgehen muß, wird die Mailbox nur zu gerne von Kunden und selbst von eigenen Kollegen mal mit CC- und BCC-Mails vollgepackt. Und auch wenn Filtermechanismen semantische Grundsätze im Hinterkopf haben, lassen sie einen doch nur zu selten im Daily Business im Stich. Vielleicht lehrt uns ja das Web 2.0 das der Mensch nicht nur in Ordnern denkt sondern auch als netzwerk-funktionales Individuum, welches sich nur noch die richtige Organisationsstruktur für sein neues Dasein im Business aneignen muss.

Sind E-Mails also noch zeitgemäß angesichs von zahlreichen Social Networks, Micro-Blogging und sonstigen Web-Services, die uns alle die E-Mail Funktionalität des ‚permanent In Kontakt bleibens‘ und ‚Erreichbar seins‘ ermöglichen? Zeitmangel ist eines der größten Negativ-Argumente gegenüber einer avisierten positiven und produktiven Arbeitshaltung. Wenn man aber Spam und fragwürdig-wertighaltige Sonder-Newsletter mit einer Nachricht erhält, die einen auf dem Laufenden halten sollen, werden die zeitlich angespannten Nerven arg strapaziert. Mit diversen modernen Technologien wie z.B. Moli, Netvibes oder PageFlakes lassen sich Nachrichten schneller und spamfrei überblicken – einmal eingerichtet, RSS als Basis, ab und zu upgedatet und fertig. Da kann sich die Mailbox entspannen und die Delete-Taste der Tastatur wird fast arbeitslos…

Email wirkt auf mich wie ein schwarzes Loch, in welches wir im Business aus Angst, Fehler zu machen oder aus Nachweisbarkeitsgründen, immer wieder stürzen. Obwohl einem in 10 Jahren kein Fall untergekommen ist, indem man im Business 1.0 oder 2.0 mal von einem Steuerberater oder Wirtschaftsprüfer auf einen kritischen Fall angesprochen wurde. Ob man im Business 3.0 wohl die rechtlichen Anorderungen für die Nachweisbarkeit und Corporate Governance auf eine neue moderne Realität hebt? Früher haben wir mal Ordner gehabt, in denen Aufträge landeten, heute sind Mails, Mails, Mails, die ebenfalls sich in virtuellen Ordnern breit machen, in die ich seit Jahren nicht mehr geschaut habe – und ein Controller hat mich auch noch nicht darauf angesprochen.

Das Verrückteste und Karriereunfreundlichste aber ist der CC-Wahnsinn. Da bekommt man CC’s und überfliegt diese nach Wichtigkeit und Relevanz – 99% umsonst. Doch wenn mal eine dabei ist, die nach Aufmerksamket schreit und eine Aktion erfordert, kommt einem die eine natürlich unter. Ergebnis: Absender wird sauer, weil man nicht adäquat reagiert. Die klassischen Markierungszeichen wie ‚hohe Wichtigkeit!‘ wurden in den letzten 10 Jahren leider zu oft inflationär genutzt, sodaß die Wahrnehmung sie inzwischen ignoriert. Was aber über Social Networks hereinkommt, wird in der Regel eher nicht übersehen. Vermutlich weil die Medien zeitgemäßer sind… und sich tagtäglich weiterentwickeln – im Gegensatz zu 10 Jahren innovativem Leerlauf bei Emails.

Im mobilen Business 3.0 kann ich mir eine kommunikative Welt vorstellen, die von Effizienz und Schnelligkeit bei der Versorgung von Emails geprägt ist (kein Archivieren in Ordner, die die Welt oder finanzielle Hüter der Neuzeit nie wieder sehen will). Inboxen werden nicht mehr sinnlos stündlich ‚mit dem Staubwedel abgefeudelt‘, der nur die oberflächliche Contenance wahrt.

Abgedrehte Realität? Offensichtlich nicht, denn sonst dürfte Luis Sanchez den Traum bei IBM doch nicht öffentlich ausleben, oder? Irgendwie erscheint einem angesichts des Gedankenganges diese aktuelle Studie zur beharrenden Popularität der E-Mail wie eine Farce…

Spot On!
Ok, alle diese Social Networks, Micro-Blogging Dienste und sonstige ‚Email ins Abseits stellenden‘ Services erfordern bei der Registrierung eine Emailadresse zur Verifizierung. Das ist noch ein Haken an dem die Anbieter der Webservices mal arbeiten sollten. Der einzige ‚andere‘ Anbieter, den es bisher gibt, ist Zipiko. Hier langt die Handynummer…