The evolution of communication, we made email social.

I hate yahoo mail. I hate hotmail even more. In fact, I used to hate email in general. I began hating it less when I switched over to gmail a year or two ago. I thought by now everyone would have joined the hate hotmailrevolution, but I was mistaken. I was sadly mistaken. In fact, the number of gmail users are dwarfed by yahoo and hotmail users by millions. Why? Identity.

People are tied to their email address like an insulin pump is to a 150 pound eight year old.

But everyone has this email address

I have all my contacts stored there and emails that I still need.

How else will my cousin in South Africa, who has actually inherited a bunch of money and needs my help to get it out of a US account, notify me about all natural penis cream.

Ok, maybe not the last one as much. Fact is, people want to move on to better email services but feel they can.

Will the same happen with social sites?

The debate regarding the future of social sites is two fold. One, a new social site will emerge that all the facebook and myspace users will switch to. Two, users won't move onto a new social sites because they have made all their friends on one of the major social sites and it would be cumbersome to switch over. Hmmm, sounds familiar.

Personally, I agree with the second train of thought. Unless a new social site does something unique , by unique I actually mean unique features and not design, it will never be successful. I'm tired of reading about a new unique social network that turns out to be bad version of facebook with more AJAX. Would a new email service would be good idea? Of course not.

A social site is just email on steroids (which it probably got from Clemens former trainer). The basis of both services is communication. Social sites just makes your email address book viewable by the contacts in it.

Is email getting outdated?

Yes it is. Kids don't send emails to each other. They write on each other's walls, poke or send messages. Remember when you used to email pictures? Now you throw them up on picassa, flikr or facebook. In my opinion social sites will lead to the end of email. However, this won't happen until two things occur.

1. A small culture change towards social messaging. Users perceive sending an email and sending a message on a social site as professional an non professional interfaces. Sites like LinkedIn are tackling this culture problem.

2. Social sites upgrades their current messaging system. This is probably Facebook and Myspace weakest feature. Although Facebook has some great features, their messaging feature isn't all that great. The input textarea box is way too small for me to send a 1000 word message to someone. No form of organization. I can't search, tag or archive messages. I can't send a message to more then 12 recipients or attach a file off my computer.