Email overload is a common workplace occurrence associated with decreased productivity, an inability to focus on important tasks, even mental and physical stress. But a new communication medium called activity streams may come to replace email, at least in certain situations. “In an activity stream, users subscribe to posts from other participants, who broadcast or selectively publish messages called news items.” Twitter is an activity stream, for example, and many individual business are developing software suited to their own needs.
What’s the Big Idea?
Alleviating email overload permanently, however, remains a goal on the horizon. Anyone who regularly uses Twitter will understand that some of its limitations, such as being overrun by a particularly chatty user, would apply equally to activity streams in the office. And the ease with which streams can organize group projects, by being visible to a select number of people, has encouraged many companies to create their own solutions, proliferating different streaming platforms rather than finding a standardized solution. Do you think email’s days are numbered? What do you think will replace it?