It’s funny how things turn out. Six weeks ago I wouldn’t have predicted I was about to embark upon writing a series of blog posts about email behaviours. We’ll I’ve done it, had a few surprises and learnt a lot. Now it’s time to pause and reflect.
It all started with a post about how to deal with the email backlog on the 2nd January. The main message here was just delete everything; the important stuff will find its way back to you. Quite a radical suggestion, apparently, which attracted a few comments, included one which led me into the next post. The email ‘cc’ option is undermining the very fabric of society, in a dystopian 1984 manner, was also quite a radical thing to say. My logic was based upon the misuse of the email ‘cc’ option and its impact upon trust between colleagues. A fair few people seemed to agree so I went for the treble with a mauling of the misuse of email read receipts .
Reflecting on what has been my busiest and most viewed blogging period here are a few of the things I’ve learnt:
- People are very generous in their support. This was in terms of the re-tweets/ shares and comments on the posts;
- People are very balanced, thoughtful and positive in their comments. One of my anxieties when I started blogging was negative comments, thankfully I experienced none;
- People are willing to share knowledge. Where I’ve missed something or posed a question, someone will offer the answer. At the end of the posts or in the comments you will see things where someone has pointed me in the right direction;
- Technology is great, but if misused it can cause a few unexpected problems (like cc’s and read receipts), our behaviours are key. Final learning point;
- You can never go wrong with a cat picture in your blog post. Obviously it needs to be relevant and tasteful. Gratuitous cat pictures are no good, which is why you need a top-notch cat picture consultant.
That’s it for this stage of this stage of my campaign for better email behaviour but there are four things I would recommend you look at:
- The Email Charter, 10 Rules to Reverse the Email Spiral. Good behavioural advice, remember; “emails don’t send emails, people do…..”, we all need to do our bit.
- Should I send this email? A fantastic Infographic on how to manage email overload. The cat picture email question is addresses here, along with some startling statistics on the impact of un-necessary emails on business.
- A prediction that emails will be dead by 2018 . This post, by David Christopher at Stop!ThinkSocial explains the thinking behind the prediction that was made in 2008. Keep an eye on progress.
- Practical Action. Predictions are fine, but what we all want is some practical down to earth experience. It doesn’t get more down to earth than a social housing provider in the North West of England, Halton Housing Trust. Their Chief Executive Nick Atkin (@nickatkin_hht) is on a campaign to ban internal staff emails which you can read about in this Guardian article. I’ll be eagerly following progress.
So, what’s the PONT?
- Inappropriately used technology can cause as many problems as it solves.
- Our behaviour is key, “emails don’t send emails (or do the other annoying stuff) people do”.
- People have been very generous, kind and helpful in response to my blogging and tweeting on this topic. Thank you.