Clark writes [emphasis mine]:
Email has grown gnarly in the decades past, as weâ€™ve started receiving dozens or hundreds of spam and bacn messages a day. I have multiple server side rules and filters just to keep it in check, and an inbox policy of flagging anything I care about before running a slightly-modified version of John Gruberâ€™s Inbox Sweeper to keep things tidy.
Reply-all gaffes, top-posting etiquette, plaintext versus HTML, attachment limits, inbox limitsâ€¦ everybody hits them. By comparison the simplicity and clarity of Facebook mail is impressive. A Facebook message requires (privacy controls pending) a symmetrically-acknowledged relationship between parties, and on top of that spam-murdering convenience itâ€™s self-threading, low friction, and lightweight.
In a nutshell, Facebook is better than email unless youâ€™re some kind of email expert. And for emailâ€™s successor to support all the expert features of email, none of its myriad problems would be solved.
Itâ€™s been a recurring theme this week, but the Pro users of yesteryearâ€™s products, the people with the biggest investment in old technologies, are not the people who should be calling the shots in the design of their successors. These are the people who complain that an iPad canâ€™t have third party software installed from anywhere but the App Store, ignoring the massive convenience and security gains the policy affords average users. These are the people who are still using slotted screwdrivers and Edison light fixtures and manual transmission cars.
I would specifically add that I find Clark’s argument that Facebook messaging improves upon e-mail only within the context of social communication; I find their messaging model incapable of replacing e-mail as a tool for work (email’s ability to run filters and rules, organize, and archive information comes a big workflow helper for email).
That having been said, however, maybe e-mail as a personal communications tool is for power users now (or, perhaps more aptly, once again).
My parting thought here isn’t to close your e-mail accounts and move to Facebook. Rather that â€“ as we enter a new year, reminding ourselves to take fresh perspectives â€“ is that it’s terribly easy to over-value past investments in our efforts build today what will stand tomorrow.
[Via Daring Fireball].