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Are e-mail's days numbered?

19:28 UK time, Monday, 15 November 2010

Facebook bosses say they are creating a next-generation "modern messaging system". What next for social media?

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the changes would help users communicate faster and more seamlessly with their friends.

He said that the company believed e-mail was past its prime in an age of instant messaging and texts.

Is e-mail "past its prime"? What is the main way you communicate? How can communication systems be improved? What feature would most help you?

Thank you for your comments. This debate has now closed.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Well I'm sure almost anything could serve to replace the type of emails many Facebook users probably send to each other.


  • Comment number 3.

    Not everyone would want to be part of Facebook.

  • Comment number 4.

    yawn. more blurb.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sorry, but I simply can't understand why people get so involved with facebook - so there must be many people "out there" like me who won't be affected by such a proposed change!

  • Comment number 6.

    3. At 8:15pm on 15 Nov 2010, ian cheese wrote:

    Not everyone would want to be part of Facebook.


    in the future everyone would not have a choice, everything in one conveniant place for NewNuLabour to gather information on you from either yourself or your friends, either that or as a method of taxing you or your "whatever this new messaging thing is called" and giving the tax money to asylum seekers

  • Comment number 7.

    Just think, one day people may be able to communicate without the need of any technology at all.

    Wouldn't that be great?

  • Comment number 8.

    Hype -- Back to the news please !!!

  • Comment number 9.

    no more e-mail? next you'll be saying that telegrams will become obsolete, how silly.

    What wss that Maud, the pigeon is back with the magic lantern tickets?

  • Comment number 10.

    I know it will be sickening to say that my mind talks to someone at a distance.
    But I believe the faster the science evolves the sooner the communication become simpler.
    In fact we the human's are the best devices.
    Soon, the facebook will be the Holybook in messaging but I don't think it can replace programming.

  • Comment number 11.

    "Are e-mail's days numbered?"

    Hardly. facebook etc. are banned across much of the Asian world where all the major growth is now and even facebook itself is to incorporate email (properly this time) so in fact email is not only alive and well but the acknowledged dominant and still growing method of web based communication.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm wondering how long it will be before its "cool" not to have a mobile phone!

  • Comment number 13.

    When the internet began, big business wanted the ability to run their advertising code on all computers that accessed their web sites. Result - we are plagued with all manner of increasingly sophisticated malware of all types, and by a deluge of spam that seems to increase daily. The original email system as developed for the universities used a messaging method that had the great advantage not only of not allowing code to be run, but also of always being able to identify the sender of an email - it was impossible for a sender to be anonymous. We badly need to get back both those properties.

  • Comment number 14.

    Why this trivial HYS topic when there is a real topic in changes to legal aid. Are discussion topics edited.

  • Comment number 15.

    Social media is a major issue in society, as it attracks a broad audience these days. The latest versions of social networks such as 'facebook' are providing their members with a great extent of possibilities to communicate. Furthermore, the identity of who people communicate with can be questioned. The major issue is whether these new communicating networks has an impact on daily social life.
    People may say it does not have any impact on their social life while they are still using other communication mediums like e-mail. Because the fact facebook is much more anonymous, as mainstream audience does not know many of their friends on the network in real life, it can be argumented that e - mailing is preserved for well-known people. Nonetheless, avoiding a decline of e-mail will be difficult in future times, especially when it comes to leisure activities. On the other hand e-mailing is still used as a communication tool in working environments. Top priority is to improve a communication system with advantages for the daily lifes of people living in the contemporary society.

  • Comment number 16.

    Facebook messaging replacing emails? More ways for personal information to be spread across the electronic universe and more opportunities for government spy agencies to tap into people's lives in their drag net searches for information which they could use to justify their existences and actions. People also need to continue to have the choice to not be on Facebook if that is their wish while still being able to communicate electronically.

  • Comment number 17.

    Facebook hype. There have been apps that grouped emails, texts, IM and social network entries by contacts for years. All this is about Facebook cross referencing individuals for marketing purposes. They are categorising and selling data on you, your location, who your friends are, where you shop, how old you are, your gender, your interests, who IM's text's and emails you, who you IM text and email.

    They're not just selling all this about you, they're giving it all to any govt that asks, and soon potential employers will get the data too.

    Have a friend who works for amnesty, Egypt and others refuse you a visa. Have a family member in the conservative party, right wing advertising spam proliferates your inbox. Your sister filled out a form calling on Israel to make peace with the Palestinians, you have anti-semite leanings and can't be a teacher.

    It's not a matter of you not having anything to hide, it's the millions of messages from the spammers who hacked facebook, to you and everyone you have contact with. The adverts on your page and in your searches that assume you want another book on flower arranging or to go on a flower arranging course. Again and again.

    Facebook is on the side of it's customers, we don't pay them, we aren't their customers, advertisers are.

  • Comment number 18.

    Email is formal, can have company headings, attachments and is a legal document.
    IM and texts are informal and short.
    2 different things. Chat and Information.

  • Comment number 19.

    · 12. At 8:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, Clive Hamilton wrote:
    I'm wondering how long it will be before its "cool" not to have a mobile phone!


    ################################

    Now!!

    I don’t have one, no wonder the country is in terminal decline, do you know what they do to your brain


  • Comment number 20.

    Wasn't the whole point of Facebook originally to have an easy way to keep in contact with family and friends? It just goes to show what a boated mess Facebook has become. Now we need to tack on a new messaging system onto what was already suppose to be a messaging system.

    I'll keep my EMail for the 'important' stuff, Facebook can continue to be the place where I exile relatives and friends who just want to spam me with non-stop nonsense.

  • Comment number 21.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 22.

    How about a topic about something that really matters for once.
    Facebook is a commercial organisation, it has less that 10% of the world population using it.
    It does not matter to the VAST amount of people on this planet, and it never will.
    Most people are concerned about how to feed themselves due to the rising price of
    raw materials due to investment bankers gambling on their staple crop and then arguing
    how to divide up 7bn quid profit they made by using our money to gamble with in the first place.
    The BBC should stop employing pre pubescent researchers and get some people who get out a a bit more.

  • Comment number 23.

    theres not much point in making communications "simpler" if you cant have freedom of speech without prosecution!

  • Comment number 24.

    We have millions of people unemployed and worrying how they will pay their mortgages and heating bills. We have millions more worrying about looming unemployment. We have students rioting in the streets. Why are we wasting time on a dumbing down debate like this ?

  • Comment number 25.

    What next for social media? In pursuit of the money, Zuckerberg et al will no doubt try different things, but their narrow competences don't seem up to the challenge. "One size fits all" rarely works; Facebook, with its unexplained changes of late, increasingly feels like a "suck it and see" project - very tiresome. By comparison, email stands the test of time and no-one (until now!) has ever questioned its effectiveness. Next question, HYS!

  • Comment number 26.

    A means by which having to sift through a lot of unsolicited emails could be avoided would be welcome. I would be surprised, however, if this is what Facebook have in mind.

  • Comment number 27.

    I am of one of only three people I know who HATE Facebook. I will stick with email.

  • Comment number 28.

    legal aid has been cut...discuss that instead?

  • Comment number 29.

    Here we are where many Millions of People stil DON'T yet have Computers, and therefore they one day too will have to learn the Art of emailing their Friends and Family directly, while others are suggesting that we should ALL Join Social Jungle Web Sites like Facebook. WHY.

  • Comment number 30.

    What is the main way you communicate?


    By posting crap on HYS about stuff that p*ssies me off, like every other sado here!

    ....e-mails are very useful though.

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't think I would like this. There is now too much communication and what we are desperate for is privacy. I wonder how long it will be before they start to sell us what we once had for free.

  • Comment number 32.

    No, and what the hell is Facebook anyway except a haven for people with no friends in the real world. Get a life BBC.

  • Comment number 33.

    Zuckerberg is obviously dilusional and fails to understand the importance of e-mail in a business context.

    Personally, I wouldn't touch Facebook with a barge-pole! It's about as secure as a sieve and that's apparently the way that Zuckerberg wants to keep it!

  • Comment number 34.

    BBC does love to highlight the trivial. What does it matter how we communicate. Letters, Semaphore, Carrier Pigeon and Smoke Signals have waned. So what if email declines

    The BBC needs to stimulate debate on what is important such as the destruction of legal aid.

  • Comment number 35.

    How do I communicate? Face to face preferably, otherwise telephone for someone not on line and e-mail for someone who is. I don't go on to Facebook or Twitter so I suppose I'm a bit old fashioned. I must admit I enjoy e-mail as friends send me lots of pictures and articles from around the world and I can keep in touch with friends at the other end of the country.

  • Comment number 36.

    No matter what communication system we use, we are ALL being tagged by our wonderfully free and democratic 'BIGSOCIETY' government. George Orwell will be doing about 10,000 revs, while shouting 'told you so you morons'. Little toys in the hands of little girls and boys, hahahahahahah

  • Comment number 37.

    How do I communicate? Preferably face to face. If someone isn't on line then I use the phone, otherwise it's e-mail. I don't go on to Facebook or Twitter so I suppose I'm old fashioned. I enjoy e-mail because it enables me to keep in touch with friends at the other end of the country, and I receive many articles and pictures from friends who know the kind of things I appreciate.

  • Comment number 38.

    On a daybwhen the poor are denied the right to justice we have tye BBC try to make an issue aboutv a technological change.

    Hang your heads in shame BBC.

  • Comment number 39.

    I have no Faith in Facebook but I do have Face in Faithbook!
    Email, Snail mail, IM's, Skype, Tripe, BT, ET, Have your say, Radio, TV and a thousand more ways of getting a message sent and STILL we want more! FASTER FASTER FASTER!
    Nothing like 'Fixing it until it's broke'!
    How the heck did I ever manage to reach 63 growing up with only newspapers, letters (one had to W R I T E with a PEN) and radio! Nope! No TV or phone! The only fast comunication was the Telegram and that only ment one thing .... DEATH!
    Forget Facebook, Twittering, IM'ing etc and just sit back and chill! Why? Because you are NOT that important!

  • Comment number 40.

    36. At 10:55pm on 15 Nov 2010, jabbajockey wrote:

    No matter what communication system we use, we are ALL being tagged by our wonderfully free and democratic 'BIGSOCIETY' government. George Orwell will be doing about 10,000 revs, while shouting 'told you so you morons'. Little toys in the hands of little girls and boys, hahahahahahah

    ____________________

    Not Orwell but Huxley!

  • Comment number 41.

    My primary method of communication is texting or phoning someone. however, my secondary method is definitely facebook, and emails are essentially obselete

  • Comment number 42.

    I wonder how many solicitors firms would prefer to send out their messages on Facebook rather than by email?

    It makes me wonder if Facebook bosses understand the advantages (and disadvantages) of email. Perhaps they don't use it.

  • Comment number 43.

    oh! hell Ive only just got used to email.

  • Comment number 44.

    The BBC is what it says on the tin, a broadcasting corporation - or is this no longer an issue with them?

  • Comment number 45.

    41. At 11:03pm on 15 Nov 2010, Devon wrote:
    My primary method of communication is texting or phoning someone. however, my secondary method is definitely facebook, and emails are essentially obselete

    ----------------------------------------

    ...only for those who can't spell.

  • Comment number 46.

    So Facebook announces it's going to have a play with a new type of instant/mobile messenging and the BBC are suddenly buying white lillies to put on emails coffin... Slow news day?

    As long as Microsoft and Google support email Facebook with its paltry billions can try and do what it likes, just because it is a market leader in one field now doesn't mean it will be in the same place in a years time, ask Lycos and AltaVista, Friendster and MySpace.... The public are fickle, one minute they love you the next minute they couldn't care less.

  • Comment number 47.

    If e-mail disappears the I am totally stuffed. I don't write letters and rarely use the phone.

    Maybe they could bring back morse code or semaphore as I don't don't even use my mobile unless it's a dire emergency. I did join Facebook ( to view a friend's holiday pics - doh) but don't use it as it is a complete waste of time unless of course you want the world to know everything about you - which I personally don't so will be cancelling my membership.

    I don't understand the twits who twitter either.

    Sorry but I like living in the dark ages of reality.

  • Comment number 48.

    Facebook bosses say they are creating a next-generation "modern messaging system". What next for social media?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wow facebook are creating telepathy!!!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Wmail will remain in use for many years yet. No company is going to allow facebook access to their private networks.

  • Comment number 50.

    I would really appreciate it if the BBC stopped advertising for Twitter and Facebook.


    And furthermore; e-mail is part of a protocol, the Post Office Protocol - current version 3 on TCP port 110 - that yet with all its limitations (delays due to high network usage) its NOT going away any time soon. First created in 1972.

    Instant messaging clients have been around for sometime too; commonly known as IRC - Internet Relay Chat - first created in 1988.


    So it seems that both IRC and POP3 will out live so-called Facebook.

    And there are many many other places on the net that provide instant messaging & VOIP (voice over internet protocol) functionality for free.

    So can we just get over Facebook now?

  • Comment number 51.

    One can only hope that "the days of email are numbered". This vacuous invention wasted more of my time in the last two decades of my professional career than anything else. Indeed, I can think of some people who must have spent 60% of their working time sending or reading emails. These, of course, are the ones who are regarded by some as "successful", simply because they make the most noise. Our current economic ills are almost totally due to the fact that many people are unable to discriminate between productive work and emails. So, I don't care what, if anything, succeeds email as the most favoured way for people to waste their time. When I want to communicate with someone I look them in the eye, open my mouth, and behold - out come the words. It takes no time at all, enables efficient, productive discussion, and is usually an enjoyable experience. For the few literate Facebook and Twitter users, it's called "talking" - you should try it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Why does all communication have to become ever quicker, ever more immediate, ever more "seamless"? Rediscover the simple joy of writing, and receiving, a well-written, thoughtful letter. Holding a hand-written note that someone else has taken the time and the trouble to write just for your benefit makes a direct physical connection between sender and recipient that no electronic message can ever come close to replicating. The written word also has the benefit of being a permanent record of communication that will persist long after Facebook and its imitators have disappeared from our collective consciousness.

  • Comment number 53.

    e-mails sent snail mail into quasi-extinction. So I don't see anything wrong if another invention liquidate e-mail itself. Only I don't see the possibility of that except the computer is not at the centre of the new invention that might.

  • Comment number 54.

    Yet another hazard to meet out on the roads.
    What took mankind hundreds of thousands of years to perfect in communication skills will soon be fizzled out in decades by brainless numbskulls texting their digits out.
    Whats wrong with the good old speech method? Much safer!

  • Comment number 55.

    I don't understand the question because it has e-mail as an aspect of it.

  • Comment number 56.

    Just look at music...we have had cassette tapes, VCD, Laser Discs, CDs, BluRay, MD, 45's...etc. Formats will always change as there is so much money to be made. And if you don't keep up with the new fad, you will be left behind. With voice recognition, Cloud and Virtual Reality, we won't even need to know how to write in the not too distant future.

  • Comment number 57.

    I dont touch Facebook under most circumstances nor twitter.
    Linkedin I use.
    FaceBook or Twitter can glorify all they want.
    If I want to use email I do. Systems in this country can not support what they are talking about but I talk about something with their might to make it happen in 4 years time.
    Larry of Oracle said NCA. He has now bought so many products that companies are now going back to square 1 to rewrite them before he will managed to integrate them. Testers and Data Analysts are now the most sought after people in IT.

  • Comment number 58.

    Standing back a bit from this blind headlong rush to be part of everything, I once had a mobile phone. Result, no escape from other people's "priorities" 24/7. The most mindless, stupid, calls, non of them urgent, and as for witnessing folk having an argument with someone on a mobile just defies cost and logic. I dont want to be constantly "in touch". As for "Facebook" the school girls E Mail system, I've seen it and it reflects a large section of our community's values. A total lack of dignity whereby the most juvenile time wasting components are added to, is it a wall or something ? Who really cares ? E mail is here to stay, one can be short, sweet, to the point and private. If it really is a social life folk are after, let me help - it is the other side of your front door. As for that mobile I mentioned, do I miss it ? Are you kidding ? I saved £300 / year at least and my time is my own. Try it.

  • Comment number 59.

    Are e-mail's days numbered? Oh no, I'm hopeless at maths. Unless it means... Oh, of course, now where's my right winged quill pen?

  • Comment number 60.

    As far as I can tell its only the quite sad in society who think Facebook is anything other than a juvenile hindrance, likewise its only the very saddest individuals who think that being constantly messaged or emailed or facebooked somehow makes them that little bit more important. I make it quite clear that those working for me do not use facebook or any other silly anti social media or use text messaging while at work, they can do what they like at home.

    Strangely I couldn't care a jot whether this infringes on their 'human rights' they know the rules, there aren't many but the above is enthusiastically enforced. I think this Suckerberg fellow is probably living in his own little world, I don't think an invention that requires people to become so engrossed that they can hardly bare to switch computers or phones off in case they lose an imaginary friend, is going to last a very long time. I think this fellow is panicking because the number of people using this nonsense is falling, the more switched on in society are beginning to realise its more of a pain in the backside than a help.

  • Comment number 61.

    Let's be realistic here, this is email for kids.

    Anyone with a mental age over 10 isn't really going to be on Facebook are they? That is unless they are socially inadequate, insecure, illiterate and need pretend friends.

  • Comment number 62.

    These idiots state that "the changes would help users communicate faster and more seamlessly with their friends". Are they mad? What could be quicker than standing next to them in the pub having a chat? Is this what we have become? Are we losing the plot or what?

  • Comment number 63.

    I do hope not. I belong to the generation of oldies who has only just got used to mails, attachments, Twitter etc. I get older and the pace of change gets faster - not a good combination.

  • Comment number 64.

    Facebook is becoming popular and popular everyday at the same time its becoming so boring for old users because people are misusing it and it is being used mostly for stupid purposes.Emails will always be there and play a good role as far as communication is concerned because it is good security wise

  • Comment number 65.

    Whatever happened to talking face to face or the joy of receiving a hand written letter addressed to you

  • Comment number 66.

    Memo to Mark Thompson.

    Stop promoting commercial ventures like Facebook, Twitter, and so on just because you and your board colleagues think they are trendy.

    Check your board membership. Anyone with a vested interest in this stuff, like shares etc?

    E-mails? When was the last time you were in open house prepared to deal with emails from those who wish to express views on what you are doing badly? Or do you only like twits and the socially inept?

    Yours truly but not in anticipation

  • Comment number 67.

    19. At 9:06pm on 15 Nov 2010, Its all Thatchers Fault wrote:
    · 12. At 8:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, Clive Hamilton wrote:
    I'm wondering how long it will be before its "cool" not to have a mobile phone!


    ################################

    Now!!

    I don’t have one, no wonder the country is in terminal decline, do you know what they do to your brain

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    "Allegedly" does to your brain!

    I do have a mobile but pnly as a tool because I'm self employed - its certainly not something I use regularly

  • Comment number 68.

    66. At 08:03am on 16 Nov 2010, Aneeta Trikk wrote:
    Memo to Mark Thompson.

    Stop promoting commercial ventures like Facebook, Twitter, and so on just because you and your board colleagues think they are trendy.

    Check your board membership. Anyone with a vested interest in this stuff, like shares etc?

    E-mails? When was the last time you were in open house prepared to deal with emails from those who wish to express views on what you are doing badly? Or do you only like twits and the socially inept?

    Yours truly but not in anticipation

    ---------

    If you search around on the BBC news site there's an editors blog on here somewhere.

    That would be the more appropriate forum for explaining to the BBC why they should be moulding their service according to your personal preferences and whims...

  • Comment number 69.

    I don't think e-mail is entirely past it's prime, but technology is moving on, and employers in particular are not as a general rule open to the possibilities presented by social media as a means of more open and accessible communication. Instead, they see it as the threat and as a time wasting activitity which should be blocked and ignored, when in fact, just as mobile computing and mobile phone have enabled the workplace to be anywhere, so social media presents an opportunity to share a few thoughts, comments, make friend, have a chat and work all at once. The software it not quite there yet, but with a few tweaks, meetings over facebook, networking, sharing ideas and so on are quite possible.

  • Comment number 70.

    I don't see how email at work can be replaced with anything that can do the job better. The bonus of email over telephone, video phone, conference calling, instant messaging etc is that you are not expected to reply instantly. This allows for reasoned and measured answers.

    In fact, the very 'instantcy' (sic) about messaging and twittering would not necessarily be beneficial at work. Every single person would consider their request to be more important than the next.

    I don't do Facebook or any similar social communication thing and I definitely don't Twitter.

    Facebook is a timebomb of trouble. What seems acceptable at sixteen might become acutely awkward at twenty. A club 18-30-type indiscretion could result in professional embarrassment at thirty. No, I don't do Facebook.

    Twitter seems simply self indulgent nonsense. I do not want to know what Stephen Fry is having for breakfast or what my MP is doing this afternoon. We are obsessed with the shallow paltry detail of other people's lives and Twitter is a part of that.

    As a nation and culture, we have traditionally embraced technology. But there have been various offshoots of technology that have gone nowhere. I don't see email joining Betamax, Laser Disks, tablet PCs and the Sinclair C5. However I would not be surprised if Twitter peaks quite soon and people see it for the self centered silliness that it is.

    And anyway? Do you all not think that there is enough information about you available to fraudsters and the curious et al, without adding to it?

  • Comment number 71.

    47. At 11:41pm on 15 Nov 2010, ziggyboy wrote:
    If e-mail disappears the I am totally stuffed. I don't write letters and rarely use the phone.

    Maybe they could bring back morse code or semaphore as I don't don't even use my mobile unless it's a dire emergency. I did join Facebook ( to view a friend's holiday pics - doh) but don't use it as it is a complete waste of time unless of course you want the world to know everything about you - which I personally don't so will be cancelling my membership.

    I don't understand the twits who twitter either.

    Sorry but I like living in the dark ages of reality.


    Why apologise? I like living in the dark ages of reality, too. And by the way... Morse code isn't quite dead yet. Ask any radio ham. di-dah-di-dah-dit, di-di-di-dah-di-dah.

  • Comment number 72.

    Anyone else think HYS has been deliberately 'sterilised'?
    Removal of the 'recommended' feature and pretty bland non-topics for discussion?
    I think so....

  • Comment number 73.

    At 07:41am on 16 Nov 2010, RitaKleppmann wrote:
    I do hope not. I belong to the generation of oldies who has only just got used to mails, attachments, Twitter etc. I get older and the pace of change gets faster - not a good combination.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    My sympathies. Believe me when I say I know exactly how you feel. I've only just figured out how to refill a different type of fountain pen that was a present about thirty years ago. Now if I could only find where to buy some ink! Without mentioning names, it's a good thing that not every computer works on the Windows system, as otherwise I probably couldn't cope at all.

  • Comment number 74.

    You can stick social media - there's too much trivia in today's society.
    I'll stick with functional email and the occasional text thanks.

  • Comment number 75.

    An email address is needed to register on facebook.

    Emails are no way out of date. You need it for registering on sites, receipts of shopping online goes to your email, and of course employers inviting you for interview can be done via email too.

    I say the 'email age' is well and truly alive.

  • Comment number 76.

    More hype from Facebook no surprise there. For sure emails days are numbers just as telegrams were. The question is how long have they got?

    I would submit probably longer than Facebook, given the vagaries of the internet and the risk of left side competition. This is an example where Facebook has got the concept wrong. Had they embraced email as a full service they would gain more users. Now they have locked in to the social network idea they have excluded themselves from competing in the other space at a time when google and others are seeking social networking type features.

    I give it 10 years and Facebook will be gone.

  • Comment number 77.

    73. At 08:48am on 16 Nov 2010, Raymond Hopkins wrote:

    At 07:41am on 16 Nov 2010, RitaKleppmann wrote:
    I do hope not. I belong to the generation of oldies who has only just got used to mails, attachments, Twitter etc. I get older and the pace of change gets faster - not a good combination.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________
    My sympathies. Believe me when I say I know exactly how you feel. I've only just figured out how to refill a different type of fountain pen that was a present about thirty years ago. Now if I could only find where to buy some ink! Without mentioning names, it's a good thing that not every computer works on the Windows system, as otherwise I probably couldn't cope at all.


    I'm so backward, I've only just figured out how to carve heiroglyphics! Next week, smoke signals.

  • Comment number 78.

    IT experts (i.e. software salesmen) were predicting email would be replaced by Instant Messaging 5 years ago but it never happened. In fact Email is Instant Messaging with the added abilities to store, sort and search messages plus the ability to attach other files to messages. If a more spontaneous form of communication is required people can always chat on the phone – be it Skype or old fashioned land line.
    Some people will doubtless find a use for Instant Messaging but not to the extent that “email's days are numbered”.

  • Comment number 79.

    In a world with more communication than ever there is less communication than ever just banal chitter. email has been largely hijacked for advertising and worse etc. Business just ignore 99% of emails. I followed an internet lead to persue a substantial purchase never had a reply. Even better from a major UK business with the trading name of an unsullied maiden lady I had a letter address to "Hi, well hello there" with a contract. Shows how far we moved on I was disappointed it didn't sign off with "have a nice day" or something nice and creative!!

  • Comment number 80.

    How sad that some have used this topic to whinge on about the last government (please : get over it).

    Anyway, to answer the question, yes email's days do appear to be numbered. That's progress.

  • Comment number 81.

    72. At 08:46am on 16 Nov 2010, its_dave_here wrote:
    Anyone else think HYS has been deliberately 'sterilised'?
    Removal of the 'recommended' feature and pretty bland non-topics for discussion?
    I think so....

    ============================================
    For whatever relevance I thought that a given?
    The BBC want to look like everything else out there in the media(they even put psudo adverts between TV programmes) but of course don't or won't (being in need of fat licence fees) sail as close to the wind as the private sector.
    HYS discusses nothing of weight and relies on some contibutors arguing back & forth making literally dozen of post per topic. Take them out and as a modern email medium its not that relevant.

  • Comment number 82.

    At 7:54pm on 15 Nov 2010, betahail wrote:

    "What'll new labour do when they get back in power, no emails to snoop on?"

    Oh dear, the lack of understanding that people have of the technology they are dealing with. If all communications ends up centralised on Facebook and maybe one or two competitors, snooping on it is made massively, astronomically easier.

    The key to the email system and indeed the Internets success and global reach is its decentralisation and its open standards, allowing everyone to join in but no centralised control.

  • Comment number 83.

    time to go back to the phone, to hear a voice and the way one speaks, what one types does not give emotion, feelings or anything, just a set of letters meaning...?

  • Comment number 84.

    No something will come after Facebook – The new way is to have an app that collects all your email in one spot. I have 2 or 3 emails accounts and they all end up in one spot. Don’t have to log into Facebook, don’t want games, don’t want that silly wall thing.

  • Comment number 85.

    Probably not, BBC.

    Just as I won't be buying a DAB radio to replace my FM one, neither will I be buying this software. (Nor a 5.1 home cinema sound system, 48" plasma TV, Blu-ray DVD or any of the electronic junk with which the present-day BBC seems to think I should fill my home).

    Can the BBC please return to its job as a medium of communication for information, education and entertainment rather than being a marketing device for the electronics and IT industry?

  • Comment number 86.

    Face-what?

  • Comment number 87.

    No

    Emails will remain a valuable type of communication, especially in business where you want to keep records, do not have time to monitor live communications and are looking for good support of the telephone which is still by far the best form of instant communication.

    Commentators are often so wrapped up in the personal use of the internet, that they forget the HUGE business use.

  • Comment number 88.

    For those very few of us that don't buy into the Facebook phenomenon (that's mostly tech-savvy people who realise the true implications of using Facebook and it's ilk), email will always be the preferred method of communication.

    Companies especially, while they might use Facebook, are never going to abandon email.

    Then again, most companies I've dealt with have an appalling record of dealing with and responding to email, so they may as well not bother. I suspect it's because they don't make money out of you by answering email, as opposed to having you on hold for half hour trying to get through to their premium rate Calcutta based 'customer service' line while they constantly assure you that your call is important to them.

  • Comment number 89.

    Email is universal, so its not dead yet. Social network sites and still have some way to go in order in order to be a suitable replacement for email. For example, you can not use facebook to send emails to other social networking sites or to IM services such as skype or yahoo messenger. The day all these systems start to speak to each other is the day that the idea proposed by facebook will have a chance of taking place.

  • Comment number 90.

    "E" mailing will NEVER be numbered
    Face Book is too open and never will be of any use for "E" Mailing
    "E" Mailing is between two people or a Company
    FACE BOOK is NOT
    Everybody that is a member can read whatever is on there

  • Comment number 91.

    Facebook have constantly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with personal data. I have a Facebook account and it is a bit of fun and a good way of keeping in touch, but I guard my personal information carefully. Trust them with my emails and serious messages- NO CHANCE.

    To say email is past it's time is merely corporate spin. That's what they want us to believe.

  • Comment number 92.

    Everything has days numbered even Facebook ; live for today tomorrow may never come

  • Comment number 93.

    Sorry BBC, my computer seems to be broken.
    I was actually looking for the debate about the millions of pounds of UK taxpayers money about to be given away to alleged victims of tortute but all I can find is debates about facebook, how to teach children how to read and how to measure how happy I am.

    Have you been taken over by Hello or Chat?

  • Comment number 94.

    I often wonder where the Beeb gets it's reporters (sic although not sure sometimes) hype R us perhaps.
    No of course email isn't going anywhere don't be ridiculous.
    As far as Farcebook is concerned I will just reminded you that Murdoch once paid a small fortune for a old dinosaur call Myspace. At the moment they are ridding high true but they now have further to fall when they so and they surely will,

  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    12. At 8:34pm on 15 Nov 2010, Clive Hamilton wrote:
    I'm wondering how long it will be before its "cool" not to have a mobile phone!
    **********************************************************

    'mobile' phones are already uncool. It's all about smart phones now!

  • Comment number 97.

    93. At 10:22am on 16 Nov 2010, devilzadvacate1 wrote:
    Sorry BBC, my computer seems to be broken.
    I was actually looking for the debate about the millions of pounds of UK taxpayers money about to be given away to alleged victims of tortute but all I can find is debates about facebook, how to teach children how to read and how to measure how happy I am.

    Have you been taken over by Hello or Chat?

    ==============================================================

    Ouch !!!! but credit where due, you at least got a total "not on topic" observation published......probably for at least being a valid point. Some progress suppose?

  • Comment number 98.

    Maybe the ego bubble will burst like the economic bubble and facebook will tumble down in tales of bonus greed and insane plans to rule the world. Email - it is probably changing and young people don't use it much already but so what. It is all such a load of irrelevance.

  • Comment number 99.

    E-mail, which uses the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), is a core service of the Internet since its early days. A huge world-wide network of SMTP servers is needed for people to communicate by e-mail. This network is one of the most well-known and best established of all the Internet.

    Facebook may develop a new web-based client for e-mail, such as Google and Microsoft have done before. But this is not going to change anything at all, just some people using this client instead of gmail or hotmail.

    Such web-based e-mail clients can be integrated in other apps, such as Moodle for example. It is just one more app, and in no way a replacement for e-mail.

  • Comment number 100.

    No - I don't think that e-mail's days are numbered. There, that at least keeps me withing the guidelines of being relevant.

    As I type there have been 93 comments either published or rejected. Of these there are 18 whao are either directly or indirectly critical of BBC for picking this as a topic for debate. It's a similar proportion on the earth shatteringly newsworth 'How can happiness be measured' discussion.
    I'm not sure why it has gone so downhill in recent months but clearly a lot of your users are getting fed up.

    Can I suggest you just open up another debate and ask people to submit their views on all aspects of the HYS forum.
    I know that it is possible to contact BBC direct by e-mail etc (see, back on subject again) but from my experience that is very unsatisfactory too.


    It's a shame that you did away with the 'recommended' function because I'm sure a lot of people would agree with this post but that is just a symptom of the disquiet.

 

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