Social Media defeats e-mail

Last week I read an interesting article about the use of social media in comparison with e-mail. Although I do find myself still e-mailing a lot (too much!) apparently e-mail is degrading to a secondary form of communication:

On the PC e-mail is still ruling for communication purposes. On the mobile phone however, mail has been surpassed by social media. From recent research executed by the UK-based company TNS it appears that we use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter a factor 1.4 more than e-mailing. On average we spend 3.1 hours to these services, whereas e-mail gets only 2.2 hours of our attention span. In addition, all respondents indicated that they will use much more social media on their mobile phone. The PC is being switched off.

According to the researchers the popularity of social media on mobile phones have to do with ‘instant gratification’, such as short messages being sent and read. Next to that, the variety of communication is appealing to many: public messages, private messages, video, pictures, status updates, geo-locations. Much more attractive than a simple e-mail. The number of users is increasing dramatically as well, mainly due to the enormous uptake of smartphones such as the iPhone or Android. It is expected that next year more smartphones are being sold than ‘normal’ mobile phones (shall we call them ‘dumb’ phones?).

The biggest users of social media are found in emerging markets by the way, such as Malaysia, Russia and Thailand. On average people in these countries spend 8 hours per week on social networks. In the west of the world this average is much lower. According to TNS this is due to the fact that we see the internet as ‘normal’, a given. In emerging markets people are grateful for each new form of communication.

Punch line of the story: we are a bunch of spoiled kids not realizing the power we have in our hands.

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iPad goes corporate?

I see it all around me. Corporate VP’s and other honchos showing off their iPad proudly as if they have discovered fire. And even more so, Corporate IT also seems to have a sheer interest in the little device. Although it still hurts to admit that they are having a device in their hands made by that company ‘with a shiny logo making toys’, it seems that their arrogance in this matter is melting. Suddenly Apple is ‘OK’.

Yahoo wrote an interesting article about how the iPad is invading the business world. It discusses some cool uses in restaurants and refers to an article from BusinessInsider about how VCs are using iPads in boardrooms, too. Status-increasing and time efficient. Both aspects land well in the VC world.

We get many questions from our customers about how to use the iPad in business, if there are more companies using iPads and what the security issues are. A few weeks ago we were at a large pharma company demonstrating the concept of one of our new apps. “Yeah, but our corporate IT is not so happy about Apple. It’s insecure, it uses an exotic programming language and that’s why iPhones are banned, too. Can you build your app also on another platform? Like Android, or so?”. Anybody who has a remote understanding of programming knows that Android is not more secure and I dare too say even more exotic. But that’s how marketing people are sometimes being influenced by IT. And most marketing people how little understanding about the geek-tech talk to parry these statements: “Uhm… OK!”

To provide a service to people who want to know more about the use of iPads in business we’ve started a new blog solely dedicated to this subject. The blog, creatively dubbed: iPadtoWork.com collects articles related to the use of iPads (well, also iPhones) in a corporate environment. It’s just a collecting blog, no more, no less (and it’s still a bit under construction, so working on the logo..). But it could be a good start bookmarking this site and keep up to date on these exiting developments. And start talking back to those IT guys.

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