Bill Haenel

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Posted by Bill Haenel on 15-Nov-10

I wonder if this means I won't have to help people figure out how to set up Gmail accounts on their iPhones anymore?

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg apparently announced today that he's got the best thing since Google Wave. I'm not sure what it's called. Is it "Project Titan"? Who knows.

Maybe he's right. Maybe Email is dead. I've been fighting this notion for a while now. Folks have been telling me Email is over for a couple years, and they always say it's because kids don't use it. I usually say, "I'm not a kid", or "it's great for business", or "sometimes you want to write more than 140 characters". Maybe sometimes you really do want to say, "‘Hey Mom,’ at the top and ‘Love, Mark’ at the bottom.

But here's the thing...

I immediately tried to Email this story (the one I linked to above) to a few friends. Couldn't find an "Email This" link on the page that reported the story at So I opened Outlook (ugh), copied the link into the Email message, copied and pasted the headline into the subject field so my kind recipients would know what the heck my note was about, typed the appropriate Email address in the "To" field (didn't get my note? must be I didn't send it to you) and clicked send. But alas, no dice. Can't connect to SMTP. Email is failing me - again.

Of course, this is not why Email is dead. It's not the reliability of the technology. (Although, Email failures are mostly responsible for the livelihood of many, many IT consultants.) It's not the server troubles, it's not the client troubles. It's those darned kids. Kids don't like Email. Why? Because they're impatient. They were too impatient for postal mail, and now they're too impatient for Email. What happens when we're all too impatient for Facemail - er - uh - Facebookmail - uh - er - Fmail - er whatever? Maybe I already am.

I wonder if Facebook will share all my not-email messages with the world? Let's not forget, Mark is working pretty hard to accomplish his dream of "radical transparency".

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