My buddy Hutch Carpenter and I started a little email brevity challenge after the first of the year, in which we're tracking our sent work emails to see how loquacious we really are. And, more important, to determine if we can leverage the skills we've learned by using Twitter to make our communications more focused.
Hutch, obviously the more responsible of us two, posted his results last week. Being the awesome blogger that he is, Hutch also found a way to turn what he learned into an idea around social software for "guaranteed delivery." I won't rehash it because, well, you can just read his post. My lesson from January's micro-emailing measurement? I talk too much. My poor co-workers.
Clearly Hutch is the winner this month. My numbers above even omit forwards and calendar invitations. This represents pure, originally authored emails by yours truly. What's most telling to me is the following:
- Of these 662 emails more than 60 percent of them were sent to people within a 20-foot radius of my desk
- This says to me that I either feel the need to have a paper trail or am exceptionally lazy and don't talk to my co-workers face-to-face enough
- Of these 662 emails about 20 percent were "Oh yeah, and also..." emails meaning I am sending emails off too quickly without finishing the thought the first time. Not good.
- My email approach is similar to my Twitter approach -- and I have more than 18,500 updates on Twitter. I think this is telling me that I need to think more before I speak.
As Hutch said, February is a new month. I wish I had gleaned some bigger picture lesson out of this experiment as he did. However, I think because my numbers are so dismal I couldn't see beyond my own activity into how this impacted the bigger picture. That is a problem in and of itself. Let's see if I do better this month.