Yesterday, I bookmarked the 5 social software predictions from Gartner on Delicious because I didn’t have the time to check them out (that’s one of the things social bookmarking is about, right?).
Today I started looking at them, filled with enthusiasm. However, I stopped at the first prediction and decided to post about it.
Here are some thoughts on that first ‘prediction’ that’s about how the use of social networking services will affect the use of email, according to the $1,995 nine page report by Gartner, expensively called “Predicts 2010: Social Software Is an Enterprise Reality”.
Gartner claims that “by 2014, social networking services will replace email as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users”.
Well, I guess we all know already that social media like Twitter have an impact on private interpersonal email communications (less email, more Facebook and stuff, read here) but this prediction is about the email communication of business users.
Now, are we talking email marketing too here or is it just about business folks communicating with other business folks? If it’s the latter (and it seems to be indeed), I guess Gartner’s prediction should not come as a surprise.
Let me sell you an expensive insight here for a second: “according to a recent report by a blogging dude from the Social Email Marketing blog, business people communicate less via email due to the increasing use of Skype”. You don’t have to be a genius to guess stuff like that, right?
Whatever happened to the integration of email and social media?
So let’s take a look at what Gartner says further, and now I start quoting: “Greater availability of social networking services both inside and outside the firewall, coupled with changing demographics and work styles will lead 20 percent of users to make a social network the hub of their business communications. During the next several years, most companies will be building out internal social networks and/or allowing business use of personal social network accounts. Social networking will prove to be more effective than email for certain business activities such as status updates and expertise location”.
Gartner also predicts that “the rigid distinction between email and social networks will erode. Email will take on many social attributes, such as contact brokering while social networks will develop richer email capabilities”.
And this is what shocks me, to say the least.
First of all, those predictions are obvious and are not even predictions: it’s happening like right now. People at Gartner, there is no rigid distinction between email and social networks. Hello? Do you visit blogs, look at what ESPs are doing, interview email marketers?
The integration of email marketing and social media is happening all around you.
I must say that this first prediction I read is really poor, especially if you have to pay $1,995 for the nine page report that Gartner tries to sell with the press release.
Not so Delicious anymore.
PS: if anyone at Gartner reads this, you might want to check out some of the posts below, and if I didn’t interprete your findings right, feel free to comment. However, I’m afraid that by saying, and I repeat, that “the rigid distinction between email and social networks will erode” you don’t leave much room for interpretation.
PS2: tomorrow I’ll try to read and think about prediction #2. Hope it’s better.
I’m thinking about James Surowiecki’s book ‘The wisdom of crowds’ right now. Don’t know why.
The promised related posts (specially for Gartner, free of charge):
– StrongMail: integration of email marketing and social media pays off
– Social media and email integration: the facts and data
– StrongMail: social email marketing mainstream & user-generated content showing up in emails
– Main challenges for email marketers: social email marketing, engagement and email timing
– Looking back: (social) email marketing 2004 – 2010; are we there yet?
Join me in the Social Marketing Forum
1 thought on “Gartner’s prediction on email and social networks: disappointing”
The big barrier to a take-over by social networking is the stovepipe distinctions between the networks; a LinkedIn member can’t communicate with a Facebook member, etc. I still use email more than I want because it’s universal; there are no barriers. (And of course, that’s why there’s spam and other forms of information overload on email.)
Does Gartner–or anyone else–see signs of an open, multi-homed social network that connects people as universally as email but allows more identity and choice? On the email side, Google Wave has moved in that direction.
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