After my post on Wiki ROI which looked at Luis Suarez’s experiment of not replying to email but instead responding through social software tools such as wikis and instant messaging, several questions arose from friends and colleagues. At the same time, I made contact with Luis, and this morning we went into some detail on what it is like to stop using email in a corporate environment, and use Web 2.0 collaboration tools instead.
- The main incentive for the content provider (Luis) was to prevent the same question being asked of him over and over again via email
- Whilst he spends about the same amount of time on social software as he used to on email, the gain comes from the fact the questions are not repeated. Even though one person asks the question, Luis can respond to thousands
- Instead of getting answers from a person, he believes in getting answers from your network. This way if Luis is too busy to reply instantly, someone else will
- Sponsorship from management was important
- Luis is evidently a social software champion, and as such he was provided with the necessary support from management and peers
- There was emotional relief and reduction in stress level of having to face a sea of unread email after some time away
- Email still has its place – private and confidential exchanges of information between two parties
- Luis often responds to email with instant messaging, which provokes a positive reaction (thanks for getting back to me so quickly) and encourages that person not to use email again to ensure a faster response time
- Although it might be easier, lazier and more in tune with our habits to “just send an email” even the simple process of reviewing a document is much easier when done using social software, where there is one version of the document centrally located, rather than many different versions at various stages of review sitting in email sent folders, on a desktop or other temporary folder.