Email is soooo yesterday…so what replaces it?

March 9, 2007

I’m traveling this week and one of my meetings was with the CIO of a large university. Since I am involved in crisis communication technology and one of the key stakeholder groups university leaders need to communicate with in a hurry when things go wrong is students. The system we were discussing pushes out messages via multi-modes: email, fax, text-to-voice telephone and SMS (text messaging). But, the administrator said, the students don’t use email anymore. Now, I haven’t seen the stats on this yet, but he said he hears that students check their email with decreasing frequency. On the other hand, he said the average MySpace or Facebook user checks their page 30 times a day! Again, don’t quote me and I may not have it right, but the trend is probably accurate.

This article from bears out the fact that young people are spending a tremendous amount of time of the social networking websites. Of course, from my point of view in delivering communication technology solutions, we have to figure out how to reach key audiences the best, fastest, most comprehensive ways. That may very well mean posting urgent or emergency messages to their social network sites. With their permission, of course. It is a strange and changing world.


2 Responses to “Email is soooo yesterday…so what replaces it?”

  1. Chip Griffin Says:

    Shel Holtz has been talking about this a bunch recently. He interviewed his 18 year old daughter for his For Immediate Release podcast and she basically said the only reason she has email is to get messages from him. It is a fascinating shift and one worth paying attention to.

  2. When I was working at Student Financial Services at SPU (up until a week ago), we talked about having a facebook profile and using SMS all the time. Students hardly ever read their emails! We actually had some good data regarding when the best time to send emails and students would actually read them (according to our CIS dept). If I remember correctly, it is Sunday evening.

    Unfortunately it will take a bit more time / change for that particular department to embrace it, though we often talked about how that works for other universities.

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