Does Social E-mail helps to enable Enterprise 2.0

E-mail is still be used from everybody. Young people are moved to chats and social networks, but nevertheless they have e-mail. So people are familiar with it and it’s available in every company. Why not add social media moving it to social e-mail.

There some tools availble which support this approach. I found these two ones which allow changing your e-mail client into a social email tool.

Xobni Enterprise
It’s an Outlook plug-in which allows integrating Salesforce.com, MS Sharepoint and other applications. Xobni adds some other functions to optimize contacts and do have an interface to integrate Facebook and LinkedIn

Rapportive
It’s an add-on which increases the functionality of Gmail. The user is getting better information about the contacts and LinkedIn integration is available as well.

I read the article “8 Reasons “Social Email” is The Ideal Enterprise 2.0 Enabler” from David Lavenda this morning and can agree with his arguments, but not at all.

Generaly it’s a good approach using a completely adopted tool and adding new functionality. It’s only a small step to use the new features. They don’t need a different user interface and they are familiar with most of the functions. It’s not needed to think on it and open it on a different place. You will get a reminder every time opening you e-mail client.

On the other sight it won’t help to get rid of old habits. People will probably continue using the old way of communicating and adding only something social. I think we really need to be move to Enterprise 20. Everything you need to know should come to your desktop with the activity stream which is customized by the user.

We shouldn’t stay on the old push commuication. The user should decide which information is relevant and not the sender, but probably we can us social e-mail as enabler for the E20 adoption, like David wrote. The next step can be removing the e-mail functionality and moving to E20 totally. What’s your opinion?

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Joachim Lindner


  1. Dietmar Zipfel says:

    1.) Yes, in my view this is the right direction (from mail to social media)
    2.) I would prefer to collect all features (and their demands) of mail, microblog, forum, etc., then filter/reduce the demands and build a new application
    3.) My vision of a new messaging tool is that all messages get tags, are public to Your group/enterprise by default and can get the optional manual flags “direct message”or “confidential” and the automatic flags “rated”, “discussed”
    4.) You can not completely move to E20 and remove all e-mail features, if you have confidential content, which every enterprise does.

  2. Dirk Röhrborn says:

    Für einen europäischen Anbieter eines Enterprise Microblogging Werkzeuges (Communote) ist dies eine hochspannende Diskussion. Wir erleben, dass die aktive Nutzung von Microblogging in der täglichen Arbeit zu einer deutlichen Reduktion interner E-Mails führt – aber keineswegs zu deren Abschaffung. Dies ist auch nicht das Ziel. Auch die breite Nutzung von E-Mail hat weder den normalen Brief noch das Telefax wirklich abgeschafft. Lediglich das Nutzungsspektrum hat sich verschoben. Ich bin der festen Überzeugung, dass es auch künftig alle diese Medien geben wird, wobei die “soziale” bzw. Netzwerkkommunikation deutlich zunehmen wird, was wir derzeit an der wachsenden Bedeutung von Microblogging sehen. Microblogging allerdings ist bereits dabei (in der Praxis und in der Entwicklung) sind in Richtung “Activity Streams” weiterzuentwicklung. Hierbei geht es darum, die Masse an Signalen, die in elektronischer Form auf uns einströmen zusammenzuführen und dem Nutzer nach seine Bedürfnissen aufbereitet (personalisiert) zugänglich zu machen. Damit wird “Pull” deutlich leichter werden, als es heute noch ist. Aber “Push” z.B. in Form von E-Mails wird es auch weiterhin geben.

  3. Alexander Stocker says:

    I definitely say yes! Better remove email and add a social client 😉

    Xobni is a great tool, but I prefer to use the full-text-search and the auto-complete feature when writing a mail. Unfortunately, the (available9 social functions are not very interesting to me.


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