- Email can be as fast as needed. As a network medium, email disposes of transmission delays imposed by geographical distance. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email, like post and unlike other electronic communication, is both asynchronous and half-duplex, and thus does not require scheduled, endpoint-to-endpoint connectivity. This enables sender and receiver to interact with their message autonomously and without distracting cross-talk. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email is a digital medium which (in principle) makes it amenable to the full range of computer-based tools and applications available on the desktop, most noteworthy file management tools. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email enables users to schedule interrupts. In one sense, email distractions are on-demand. Should one feel the need for interruptions, bells, whistles and sundry other annoyances are only a setup toggle away; else, one tucks away the client's window where it can be ignored or closes the program. Of course this may only delay the inevitable. More on that, below. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email is both paperless and archivable by default. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email can be very efficient and, in the context of desktop automation, is also very convenient. The efficiency derives in part from the fact that both sides of email communication may be completed in isolation - one doesn't listen to the other party. While not as physically convenient as the telephone (even with wireless communication, it's still awkward to email from bed or the tub), by the standards of modern desktop applications standards, it's as good as it gets. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email appears to be free, or at least cheap to the user. The appearance is illusory, of course, as free lunches are as hard to find in cyberspace as anywhere else. But the cost of network connectivity, which makes email the luxury that it is, is either borne by the taxpayer and employer (as with direct Internet connections) or bundled with other online services (as in the case of online service providers). In either case, the charge is hidden. As a result, it's difficult at this point to put a price tag on the value of the service. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email is a time manager's dream come true - user's have virtually complete control over their end of the communication partnership. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- When compared to communication alternatives, email turns out to be on the low side on bandwidth, but in some contexts in makes up for the low bandwidth with its considerable velocity. This makes it especially useful for short, focussed communication and less so for lengthy diatribes. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- Email's double-blind processing - the sender doesn't know how message is being handled and the receiver doesn't know the circumstances under which the message was sent - creates a kind of processing hierarchy at both ends according to the degree of automation applied. Sender's can personally craft the message, delegate authorship, prepare from a boilerplate, etc., while receivers can delete-without-reading, completely read without responding, skim with or without response, and so forth. [Berghel: Email: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly]
- This is not really a good-bad-ugly observation, but merely a comment on a social aspect of email. Particularly when sending email to friends, are thereaccepted norms governing the response interval? Does email fall somewherebetween the telephone model (if you phone and leave a message, you expect theperson to call you back as soon as they get the message) and the letter model (younormally expect a reply weeks or even months later). With email on the Internet,I secrectly hope for an immediate response just to let me know the message gotthrough. On the other hand, if two friends respond to each other as soon as they get a message, they will soon be in a vicious circle ofmessage consuming almost all available time. So, if you get an emailmessage from a friend, how long should you wait before replying? If youreply too soon, will the friend feel pressured by the immediate need toanswer you? If you wait too long, your friend may worry, or you mighteven forget
Richard H. Veith
- Email is really a misnomer, because what we are really talking about is "universal" digital mail, rather than just text messaging. The obvious benefit is going be to the value-added exchange of multimedia information/data, not just text (or voice) messages, with anyone, anytime, anywhere, and very time/cost efficiently. Barring abuse of such communications power, that makes digital mail orders of magnitude better than any other non-real-time method of communication we've had before. The question is, therefore, when can individuals exercise their rights to use such communications facilities. Whether on company time or their own time, it seems to be a matter of who's paying the overhead. If employee productivity were measured on outcomes and results, we shouldn't have to worry so much about personal time management.
- Email is more eloquently characterized as non interrupt-driven rather than self-scheduled interrupts as I had it in the article.
- To paraphrase and reverse Denning's point 5:A hierarchical mailbox organization which corresponds to theorganization's normal communication paths is *not* enforcedin such a way that email may not circumvent sanctionedinformation flow.This is a "good thing", I work in an organistation of around13,000 people, any of whom can email any other. If we restrictedthis unnecessarily we'd never get anything done! There's alwaysthe "official" hierachy and corporate procedures; which are neverquite the same as the "unofficial but practical" (though QAprograms do give the former a better chance of keeping up).Imposing the former would put the organisation in a straight-jacket(though it would make things a lot easier for the competition).However it can be useful to have a directory service which candisplay the hierachy, and also to have some distribution listsmoderated (those used for official announcements). Inabilityto authenticate the sender's identity w