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The E-Mail Rebellion

Magazine article Information Today

The E-Mail Rebellion

Article excerpt

Ever had one of those days, when at the end of it, you said, "Man, all I got done today was my e-mail"?

Last fall, I heard David Snowden speak at the ASIST meeting in Philadelphia. As you may know, Snowden is one of those knowledge-management gurus. I'm afraid I lost my notes, so I may not have his words exactly right, but what I heard him say that day, and what has stuck with me ever since, is this sentiment: "E-mail is the biggest drain on productivity that companies have ever enacted upon themselves."

There are some days when I certainly would agree with this. Other days, I don't.

The barrage of spain, of course, is one thing. Daily--and even at the office--I receive countless offers for products to restore, enhance, or extend my body parts. There are the messages from the Far East, sent to me in characters my computer doesn't recognize, so they display as gibberish. And of course there are those urgent pleas for assistance from the Nigerian money-scammers. All of these are easily identified as items for deletion. They eat up some processing time, but trashing them doesn't take a whole day.

No, it's not the spam that gets to me. …

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