Sigh. Here we go again. The New York Times used a slow news day to vent about email and hint that Generation Z will one day free us from email.
A fan of ‘Just Use Email’ told me about this article knowing it would ‘trigger’ me (to use a Gen Z word). It worked (ha). Thusly triggered, I’m now firing back. Pew-pew.
Who is Gen Z First, what is Gen Z?
Writer Josh Spector published yesterday a collection of 40 one-sentence email tips. It’s worth your time to peruse if you’re a fan of just using email.
Normally, when I see articles giving ‘tips’ on how to use email better, I roll my eyes and start reading only to discover the same ol' trite. The problem with most of those articles is that they subscribe to the notion that email is the bomb or that email is a time bomb.
Wait! Is that a typo? Have I lost my mind at ‘Just Use Email’? Aren’t we all supposed to bemoan, wail, and gnash our teeth each year we have to crawl through our lives without encrypted email to save us from the terrors of the internet?
What if I said to you that the tantrums over unencrypted email were lies? A conspiracy to destroy email as we know it? An attempt to put email in the hands of Big Tech to profit over the huddled plebeian masses?
I’m a confident WordPress user and part-time developer. But on this Independence Day, it’s time to declare my independence from WordPress’s “democratization of publishing” and leave WordPress behind. At least for this site.
I’m becoming more convinced that most basic websites would be better off without WordPress and other popular CMSs (Content Management Systems).
Feel free to read no further. This post is outside the scope of the Just Use Email website.
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I’m making some considerable changes to the site to handle the traffic volume (among many other needs) and the feed will be changing
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If you can’t get that feed in your RSS reader yet, wait a few days and try again.
In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in email newsletters. Some are touting email newsletters as the great savior of email.
One theory is that it was related to the pandemic lockdowns and people simply wanting more information to absorb. With standard newsstands shutdown in big cities, email newsletters seemed to fill a void.
Another theory is that with Big Tech ‘cancelling’ certain types of information found on their websites, email newsletters were the way to get information that might be otherwise removed from social media sites.
Can’t Apple’s email do almost all of Basecamp’s new Hey email’s top 20 features?
The reason Hey’s email service caught my attention is that Basecamp specifically calls out Apple (among the other big email providers). I was a bit surprised when I read Hey’s Top 20 features.
The Hey Email service was started by long-time internet developers Jason Fried, a co-founder of project planning software Basecamp. He and his business partner, David Heinemeier Hansson (frequently referred to as DHH) have been in the news lately for some rather loud missteps about how they handled some workplace controversies.
Say what you will about email. Go ahead. Trash it. Say it sucks. Talk about your bloated inboxes, the proliferation of spam, and that your particular email client doesn’t do something shiny.
Tell me your woes. Tell me about how great Slack is, how amazing instant messaging is and how you can emoji your way out of almost any meaningful connection. Talk about ghosting, blocking, banning, bullying, notification hell, and all the other fun that comes from modern-day messaging apps.
We all know the occasional frustration of using messaging services or attempting to comment on a blog or forum, like Reddit or LinkedIn: we type out what appears to be a reasonable message, or comment, and then the “service” tells us that our message was too long. Or it accepts the message, but later when viewed by other readers, the text is truncated after a few lines with a tiny ‘see more’ link that someone must click or tap to, well… see more (nope, first try didn’t work so tap/click again).
Fans of instant message apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as promoters of group messaging apps like Slack, have no ability to create a subject heading for a message or series of messages.
This is debilitating far beyond how it may first appear.
If you start a one-to-one message with a contact on one of these apps, your entire history is one long contiguous thread.
Major disadvantages of this should be apparent to any serious (non-casual) user of these formats.
I noticed a most unusual post published yesterday by a Swiss man named Kasper Etter on a blog he calls Explained from First Principles. The post is simply called Email, but when combined with the title of his blog, you can see what he’s doing there.
It’s a very long post with lovely text and illustrations and even a handy PDF version for those who want to print it out all 141 pages and take it on your next 5 plane rides.
The concept of instant messaging, in its various forms, has been around since dialup days. Recall the scene in the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail when the two characters, Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, respectively played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, suddenly realize they are both “online” at the same time and begin to use instant messaging.
In the early scenes, the two characters are pen pals, using America Online’s email to communicate under pseudonyms.
Blogger Lars Wirzenius asked followers last year what they liked and disliked about email. He then summarized those email likes and dislikes here.
The dislikes about email were typical and, in my opinion, represent several myths about email that disgorge into modern discussions about productivity and communication.
These knee-jerk prima facie reactions to using email are not invalid entirely, but misunderstandings must be clarified. I’m not covering all of the dislikes people mentioned in his post as some were extreme edge cases or didn’t apply to the average Joe.
If you haven’t already, read the About page to get a sense of what this website is about and what my purpose is in sharing it with you.
We have much to look forward to, but first let me say a hearty welcome for just stopping by.
I don’t have all the answers. But I hope to be able to inspire and motivate many to more purpose-filled and focused work (and leisure) by just using email for an increasing amount of communication and tasks related to our digital lives and businesses.