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Dec 07 2008

School Work Online

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Homework HotlineUnderstanding the buying habits of home buyers and being able to communicate with them is crucial to catering to the new markets, be it the emerging black diamond or the young Y Generation.

The new social network site “HomeWork Hotline” – a meeting place for learners, parents and teachers – reminded me of this this brief article by Sandy Pullinger of nFold:

“Email is dead. Long live instant messages!

Social Networks Rule?
A new friend recently suggested that by 2010, email would no longer be in use for business communication. He suggested that social networking would replace it. We were discussing how the candidates for US president were using social networking to campaign for votes, and ways to use social networking for business. Perhaps I’m immune to the bug, or it hasn’t caught me yet, because I seem to put off or ignore new social messages, from even my best friends.

To chat now or email later, that is the question.
Yet the idea stuck until I met a journalist who reckons that instant messages have already become more important than email. As a long-time user of AOL, Skype, MSN and Google chat software, I could immediately relate to the idea. And the more I think about it, the more I agree that this phenomenon still feels more important than social networking. Having just dealt with yet another 1,000 emails I’m reminded that “if everything is urgent, nothing is”. To deal with the deluge, some people use different email addresses for different reasons: friends, work, family. That’s never solved the problem for me.

Different Strokes for Different Folks
My poor friends and family have learnt over the years that I am a reluctant email correspondent; mainly because I suffer from email overload at work, so that it has become a chore rather than a pleasure to write an email. At least I prefer that excuse to sheer laziness. And yet, I am seldom too busy for a quick chat on Skype – even now that I increasingly use it for work. Somehow a quick chat is more personal and interactive than a quick email. But for some reason, I have still not activated Skype or MXit on my mobile phone, unlike millions of teenagers in South Africa who daily chat to their friends this way.

The pen is mightier than the sword
I’m amazed at how sms, instant messages and email have already changed our language. We use shorter words, emoticons and shortcuts to say more in less time. And yet we never seem to have any more of the time we’re trying to save.”

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