New York Times-When E-Mail Turns From Delight to Deluge
Where have we gone wrong?
Part of it has to do with how stagnant the format of e-mail has remained, while the rest of communication and social networking has surged light years ahead, says Susan Etlinger, an analyst at the Altimeter Group, who studies how people use and interact with technology and the Internet. E-mail is largely arranged along a linear timeline, with little thought given to context and topic.
“It’s become another timeline or feed,” she says. “It goes by and then it’s done. The current model of e-mail feels obsolete.”
She also says that while most e-mail providers are trying to block spammers and phishers from bombarding people, they have barely begun to tackle the problem of social spam — a plague of unnecessary and unwanted e-mail that includes alerts from social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumblr.
“The spam problem has mostly been fixed, at least, in terms of what is legitimately supposed to be spam,” she said. “It’s the unwanted e-mails that are so horrifying.”