In a recent post on StackExchange, Dr. Chris Atherton mentioned some of the challenges email creates for organisations looking to develop an effective content or intranet strategy:
“You’re living out of your inbox and the company’s intranet. And now people are asking you whether you read that thing that they emailed you and posted on the intranet, because there’s no clearly-defined policy regarding which communiqués belong in which medium — and besides, lots of the people who’ve worked here for years still send emails and attachments, because it’s easier than figuring out the new system, even though they’ve supposedly been on the training course. (Of course, if you do have an intranet if you really want people to live there, you could ban email.)”
Email serves many functions: it’s a medium for one-to-one and one-to-many conversations (replacing the spoken word); it’s a way of communicating policy and procedures (replacing printed documents); it’s a way of sending files; it’s a way of communicating news; and so on. It does most of these inefficiently, resulting in information overload, redundancy and poor information governance. So what can we do about it?