The End of Email

I gave a talk on Saturday evening at the Open Content Evening. I was nervous to start with as I haven’t spoken in public since my wedding last November. My talk had the dramatic name “The End of Email”. How could email ever come to an end? What a ridiculous proposition!

Whether we are at home or at the office, all of our inboxes are overflowing. Email has a huge impact on our productivity and I believe that Wikis can afford us the ability to reduce that effect of inbox overload by moving the conversation to the wiki.

Let me try to build a picture for you to show how wonderful wikis can be when used as communication tools within a business. A wiki is a Web site that can be freely edited by community members, enabling easier online collaboration and information sharing. Try to think of wikis as digital whiteboards.

I think of the wiki experience as Hive Living and liken it to the interaction between social insects like ants or bees. Hive living allows us to grow knowledge as a collective; I call this growing the Hive Knowledge. The idea of a knowledge hive is my own concept on wiki usage that I have been formulating. You will see me posting more information on the topic in the weeks to come.

Whether the Hive is Public or Private, Small or Big, SME or Corporate, wikis can provide us the ability to gather this collective knowledge more effectively therefore improving efficiency and productivity within the hive. Wiki adoption by the Hive may initially be slow or even scary to non-geeks, but people will get the hang of it. I am sure that once they do there will be no looking back.

Wikis are set to replace outdated Intranets and can become invaluable knowledge portals used to store just about any type of content. They are changing the way in which we store and access content or company information. It is easy to locate information using the built in search functionality that is supported by wiki software.

Here are few examples of the uses of a wiki in the workplace:

  • Documentation
  • Contact details
  • Contracts
  • Work logs

With all that in mind, try to stop sending emails for every bit of communication and thinking about using a wiki to help alleviate the inbox overload.

I would like to give a big thanks to Dave Duarte for encouraging me to do the talk, as well as all the people involved with the Open Content Party.