Sitting at breakfast this morning, my wife an I were discussing Facebook and email. My wife is a bit of a late technology adopter, not being really “into it” the way I am. She takes a while to get used to things and uses them if they’re in context with her and not just because they’re cool things (arguably a better approach than my “wow – whiz bang – let me at it” approach).

Anyway – we were both commenting on how a significant amount of communication that we do with friends, has recently moved from email to Facebook. Now smarter people than me have commented on this, and said that it is primarily a young person jumping onto the next big thing type shift rather than a real phase shift in the way people work but I tend to think otherwise. While email brought communication to an entire new level of people that one wouldn’t otherwise keep up communication with, so too does facebook bring communication to another level.

My wife’s take on this is that the visual aspect of Facebook is the differentiator – it’s a lot more “interactive” than a boring text email – but for me it’s about aggregation – the fact that a diverse mix of functions, only one of which is “email” are wrapped up in facebook is what makes me likely to communicate using it rather than more traditional electronic means.

What do others think? Is Facebook (or similar) replacing your email usage to any great extent?

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Dang! I must be the only one who hasn’t signed up to any social networking site. I prefer email contact with friends rather than a social networking site such as facebook. It is more exciting to hear from your friends once and a while and not all the time.

  • Amazing, had a similar conversation with my wife on the weekend except in addition I was trying to explain that I wont spend too much time on it 🙂 Isn’t replacing my email fyi. The “hub effect” has me tied to email for communication.

  • I think for a lot of people Facebook + the others (don’t forget Facebook isn’t what the young uns here in NZ actually use – it’s Bebo) are replacing email … to a degree

    Check out my commentary on Julian’s article: Email is so old skool

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