Social Media or Email?


The debate over social media replacing email is one that continues to gain momentum. While many, including the Wall Street Journal, claim that “email no longer rules,” others disagree and are offering their own studies to back their conclusions.

Like most things, it’s really all in how you look at the numbers – and both sides have compelling arguments.

Social-networking supporters point to statistics published in a recent Nielson survey that social site users have passed the 300 million mark (fueled largely by the ridiculous growth of Twitter 1,382% and Facebook 228% which combined represent 72 million) in comparison to only 276 million email users. While email faithful are quick to point out the social growth represents dozens of network sites while email is, well, simply email.

WebProNews recently published a compelling top 10 list of why social media is not replacing email. My personal favorite being “email notifies us of updates to our social network sites.” Tough to argue that one. Conversely, Mashable posted a story that claims, “social media member community growth has exceeded email” – by a whopping 1.7%. But wait, there’s more. Exact Target just released a survey claiming consumers use email more often than both social media and texting.

Confused yet? Me too. The fact is both platforms will continue to evolve. And supporters of both platforms will continue to offer statistics that favor their theories.

As for me, I offer this simple question… If social media is truly becoming more powerful than email, then why do I see a spike in my blog statistics every time I send an email notification of an update? Hmmmmm….

Oh yeah, did I mention Business Week’s article questioning if Google Wave could replace both Email AND Facebook? Here we go again.

Are you ready for the next “Wave”?


A new method of collaborative communication is being introduced that may change the face of social media. Later this year, Google will unveil its new web tool called “Google Wave.”

A “Wave” integrates email, social networking, document sharing, chats, video, photos, texts and a host of other features. The feature set will only grow because Wave is open source.

In the article “Is Google Wave a Twitter Killer?” David Coursey of PC World states, “It could be the Twitter that everyone really wants. Maybe it’s the Facebook, too.”

TechCrunch has an overview of the tool in the article “Google Wave Drips With Ambition. A New Communication Platform For A New Web.” You can also view the entire developer preview at Google I/O. It starts getting interesting around the 8 minute mark.