"The other day, lurking in a mailing-list discussion, I was
again struck by the cultural divide that separates e-mail from IM.
A younger guy, just out of college, argued that IM is a
productivity booster because:
It's more lightweight than e-mail.
Not every message needs to be saved or filtered.
You can use IM while doing other things.
The presence protocol tells you who's really available right
"As an independent consultant working on a variety of projects
for different clients, I spend a lot of time organizing both
inbound and outbound messages by project and topic. Yet, often this
effort falls just below the threshold at which I'll create/maintain
a filter. Communication is often just too fast and free
"Why, in the year 2001, don't we yet have messaging software
that sees patterns in our communication behavior and asks
(politely) if we'd like to do something about them? The answer is
simple: our software doesn't let us express those patterns, easily
and naturally, as we communicate. Even here in the future, there's
no free lunch. The smart client that we all dream of can't make
something out of nothing. It needs some hints -- metadata hooks
that it can use to understand and work intelligently with the "five
Ws" (who, what, when, where, why) of electronic communication."