Why Email Isn’t Dead

Recently I’ve read several different articles around the internet using phrases like ‘because email is dead’ or ‘But you don’t use email, do you?’.

I don’t think that email is dead. I still do much of my professional communication via email.

I email between the Christian Union (CU) and the Students’ Union, between colleagues at Cross Rhythms and OMG, my boss at the Students’ Union and also on a personal level, my Uncle in America.

In emails I think there’s an expectation that there will be lots of information and sometimes large attachments to accompany these words. On social networks you can’t often do both, especially on Twitter!

Twitter is great for downloading a short piece of information to someone. I’ve done this several times at Cross Rhythms when I want to pass an article or news update to the breakfast show presenter. It’s easier than an email for that! Also at OMG. For example, just yesterday we went off air due to a power failure and to keep presenters/listeners informed I tweeted (and Facebook’d) the situation from the OMG account. We could’ve sent out emails to presenters but I don’t think they would’ve read them in time and I expect they were watching Facebook and Twitter any way to see what the university’s response to the blackout was.

Some might say that Facebook is an acceptable place to trade information. I’ve been using it recently when working in team projects at university, but then I am only posting up to 100 words (if that). I have Facebook (and Twitter and email) linked to my phone/iPod Touch so I always get the messages as soon as possible. Facebook Messenger enables me to reply easily. But anything more than 100 words and I’d rather type an email.

Another example where Facebook has replaced email is a project that I’m working on in Summer 2012; Jam FM at Essex International Jamboree. The manager (Scott) used the email list service provided by his bosses but then he set up a Facebook Group where those being involved can chat to each other and get to know each other. I prefer this because some discussions on there can be fast and furious and email just isn’t the place for that.

With the CU we use both email and Facebook to keep in touch. One big reason is now that a committee member isn’t on Facebook anymore! But there are some times where emails get some much more description across rather than a Facebook/Twitter post.

I guess my opinions are that email is better in a professional environment and where you need to get more than 100 words across to the recipient(s). Or maybe I’m just too attached to emails?

‘UniQ’ but not necessary

As you may have seen, on Leek Road, Staffordshire University are building a brand new Science and Technology Centre which is part of the £450 million regeneration project ‘UniQ’.

Earlier this evening I was walking along Leek Road to find that the once static a KAM 300 laser sign that said “UniQ” on it was now displaying several messages, including the current time.

It displays “Staffordshire Science Technology” followed by the time. Then “A Unique Solution For A Unique City”, followed by the time. The sequence finishes with “University Quater. UniQ”.

I personally think that this is bad for several reasons:

  • It looks tacky. Having the static UniQ logo was perfectly fine in the dark but now I think it looks like one of those signs that you see on a seaside slot machine arcade.
  • It will distract drivers. It distracted me whilst I was walking! So what would it do to drivers at a very busy junction in Stoke-on-Trent?
  • Is it actually useful? It’s nice to know what a building is, but surely there’s a better way to do it than that! Plus the only real functionality, the time, isn’t even displayed for more than 10 seconds (as you can see from my video).
  • It’s not money well spent. I know that KAM 300 lasers are cheap to keep running but it’s still some money that could be spent elsewhere. (Like making sure that the toilet seats are reasonably comfortable!)

I’m not at all against the UniQ project, I just think that this wasn’t very well thought of. The Stoke campus of Staffordshire University is the ‘creative’ campus and this doesn’t really reflect it. Can they think of something a bit more creative and original please?

For more information on the UniQ project visit www.uniq-stoke.org.

Note: Thanks to Robert Keyes for correcting me that they are not LEDs.

There has been a short response from the university.

Is this Christmas?

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll notice that I don’t like celebrating Christmas that much!

I said to myself “I won’t celebrate Christmas until 1st December”. And here it is! But I still don’t feel Christmas-like and I think others are the same.

The radio stations are still debating whether or not to play Christmas songs and I know at Cross Rhythms that they’ve not yet started with the onslaught of seasonal music.

I personally don’t think it’s time for the Christmas music yet. Some here and there is fine but I feel sorry for those that work in large supermarkets and other shops which play Christmas music non-stop from mid-November! (A previous workplace of mine did that, but fortunately I was in the office most of the time.)

I got myself an Advent calendar and have eaten the first chocolate. There was no feeling or emotion when I ate it. All that crossed my mind was “that was a nice bit of chocolate”.

For me it will start to feel like Christmas when we sing carols at the CU’s Carol Service in a couple of weeks time and when I take the long journey back to Spalding to spend time with my family and friends.

Is this Christmas? Not yet.