The Wilsons, and Wikipedia, on Instant Messaging

Email vs. IM: the great debate?

A VC teased me today. Who could possibly resist the TechCrunch worthy headline “How AOL Ruined Email”?

I eagerly clicked over to Fred Wilson’s blog; the weekend “Musings of a VC,” however, was a fatherly recounting of progenies’ exploits, rather than the hoped for treatise on the future of email.

Wilson cites the kids on their hands-on evaluation of email: "Email is for old farts. And they wonder why we use it."

The Wilson kids diss email, but apparently think “any messaging paradigm” is da bomb.

Even though I fall into the “old farts” user base the Wilson kids deride, I am always open to widening my horizons; I clicked over to see what the encyclopedia of choice for today’s kids has to say about “messaging paradigms.”

Wikipedia on “Instant Messaging”:

In contrast to e-mails or phone, the parties know whether the peer is available. Most systems allow the user to set an online status or away message so peers get notified whenever the user is available, busy, or away from the computer. On the other hand, people are not forced to reply immediately to incoming messages. This way, communication via instant messaging can be less intrusive than communication via phone, which is partly a reason why instant messaging is becoming more and more important in corporate environments. Also, the fact that instant messages typically get logged in a local message history closes the gap to the persistent nature of e-mails, facilitating quick, safe, and persistent exchange of information such as URLs or document snippets, which can be unwieldy when done using inappropriate media such as phone.

While I just might become an IMer, I don’t plan on dissing my email anytime soon.

ALSO SEE: "Free Google GMail; The high price you pay"


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