Is E-Mail Still the King of Social Media?

I just realized that our "Emergency Management Mail List" (a Yahoo! Group) is now over ten years old! It made me think about the importance of e-mail as a medium and how far we have come from the early start of communication across the Internet and where things stand now...
First, about this 10 year milestone:  I have been so busy that I missed our list's birthday (it was actually back on Feb 17th). In the ten years (and a month) since our start in February of 2001, we have shared almost 20,000 messages among our group of over 2,300 emergency management professionals. 
Milestones, such as ten year anniversaries, are a time for reflection and thanksgiving.
My reflections include remembering back to when I had more time to do things like starting up a mail list. And also back to the early days of the Internet and how much things have changed.  And that, how now, in a day of Tweets, Blogs, and Facebook pages, e-mail is still the king in communication in my book.

The difference between e-mail, which I think of as the second "social media" tool after Usenet, (I just dated myself -_-) and the "new social media" is that, as a push technology, it always gets to the intended recipient. You do not need to go look for it, it comes to you. That makes it a bit of a chore to read e-mails but unlike our "feeds" and "streams" where we might see only a few recent postings, we actually get around to reading all of our e-mail (eventually). 
I also want to thank all of you who contribute to the discussion and share information -- that is what the list is all about. In particular, I want to thank Lloyd Colston and Ed Kostiuk who actually do most of the moderation nowadays. The moderation process certainly adds value to the list. As a result, there are not flame wars, advertisements, or other junk that can clutter a list.
In addition to moderating, Lloyd servers as Vetter-in-chief, making sure that everyone who asks to join has a good reason for doing so. I suspect only 1 in 10 get through this process. We are currently at 2,379 members and 22 pending. Those who want to get on the list need to let Lloyd know who they are and he confirms the appropriateness of their professional involvement in the field. It is surprising how few applicants make it through the process. This certainly adds to the quality of the list.
As advertised from the start (see message #1) we created this mail list as a way to foster open communications among emergency management professionals and to support a wide ranging discussion
that includes all aspects of the emergency management profession. 
After 10 years I guess we can say "mission accomplished" So, now on to the next ten years!


Popular posts from this blog

The Six Principles of CERC - Crisis Emergency Risk Communication

What is an Emergency Management Consulting Firm?

Free “How to Search” Training Guides are Now Available for SAR Personnel