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By Guy Kewney  |  Posted 2005-04-30 Print this article Print

E-mail, finally, is no longer the key to contacting that elusive sales prospect. Once direct dialing was installed, the telephone enabled salespeople to bypass the receptionist. Suddenly, you could meet a senior executive at a trade show or seminar, and get a direct line—literally—to his or her desk.
Voice-mail blocked that access avenue. E-mail breached the fort again ... and its been blocked, not by technology, but by excess. Ironically, its spam that has freed us from the tyranny of mail—nobody can read all their incoming mail, and the proportion of messages that simply arent answered is now a majority. "Mark all unread" is the magic incantation.
And then, when the judgment day dawns and you have to explain why you didnt respond to something that turned out to be vital, you have spam. "It must have gotten into my spam folder," you lament, hastily moving it from "read items" to "junk" before anybody can see. The real reason, however, that you dont want e-mail on your mobile device is that the stuff has to be deleted. Ive used lots of mobile e-mail. Its all stuff that shows just how bad mobile user interfaces really can be. Count the number of "clicks" it takes to delete an incoming message, multiply that by the number of messages you get in a day, and run away. And if you want to know how to reach that elusive sales prospect, its easy. Instant messages. Remember, you read it here first ... Contributing columnist Guy Kewney has been irritating the complacent in high tech since 1974. Previously with PC Mag UK and ZDNet UK, Guy helped found InfoWorld, Personal Computer World, MicroScope, PC Dealer, AFAICS Research and NewsWireless. And he only commits one blog—forgiveable, surely? Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.


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