Email ain't going away

Here’s one of my conversations lately (this conversation pretty much happened this way the other night):

FAMILY FRIEND: “Can you email me photos of your new baby as soon as possible?”

ME: “I’ll put them on my Flickr.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “What’s that?”

ME: “It’s where I share my photos.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “Why are you being a jerk, just email them to me!”

ME: “I will put them on my Flickr account. Flickr is a much better place for you to look at photos, plus I can get them there from my cell phone without doing any work so you’ll get them faster.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “How do I get to your Flickr account and why can’t you just email me your photos?”

ME: “Just visit my blog, I link to my Flickr feed there.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “I don’t know where your blog is.”

ME: “Go to Google and search for my name and you’ll find my blog.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “I don’t get why you can’t just email me them. Well, can you at least let me know when your new baby arrives via email?”

ME: “Yeah, I’ll do that on my Twitter account, which will also show up on my Pownce account, and on my Facebook account, among others, just watch those places with your RSS Reader.”

FAMILY FRIEND: “GGGggggaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.”

MARYAM CHIMES IN: “Don’t worry, he’ll email you. I’ll make sure of it.”

ME: Realizes this is pretty stupid but has a plan. I’ll email everyone when my Twitter account, Zooomr account, Flickr account, Facebook account, Pownce account, Plaxo account, YouTube account, Kyte account, Jaiku account, and my blog are all updated with baby stuff.

Yes, the birth of our baby is about to bring the world more email. :-)

Anyone have an email system that’d watch all the above for mentions of “Milan” or “Baby” and send out an alert to a preset list of people?

And now you know the trouble that these Web 2.0 sites will have in getting everyday people to try them out.

UPDATE: Barbara gave me heck for not having a Tumblr account, so here’s my Tumblr account. Heheh.

Comments

  1. I’m sure there’s an RSS to email convertor somewhere you can sign them up for,

    Me… I’m going to have to get my mother online. I spend too much time on the phone telling her stuff everyone else finds out online!

  2. What if you got someone to write an Apple Script or an Automator action or something to do that?

    Why not e-mail a link to your Flickr and Twitter account pages when the baby is born? For them it’d be like clicking a link.

    I do feel your pain, for most of the people my age, if its not in an IM client, they don’t know how to do it.

  3. I’m sure there’s an RSS to email convertor somewhere you can sign them up for,

    Me… I’m going to have to get my mother online. I spend too much time on the phone telling her stuff everyone else finds out online!

  4. What if you got someone to write an Apple Script or an Automator action or something to do that?

    Why not e-mail a link to your Flickr and Twitter account pages when the baby is born? For them it’d be like clicking a link.

    I do feel your pain, for most of the people my age, if its not in an IM client, they don’t know how to do it.

  5. Yes, yes, but what if you had an RSS feed with EVERYTHING? A “Scoblecast” of sorts? That requires just one link? What if they had a reader, easy to use, that could quickly–and neatly–parse it. And then you could control what person or what groups of people got to see what content? What if…actually, I should probably stop writing and just go change the world. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  6. Yes, yes, but what if you had an RSS feed with EVERYTHING? A “Scoblecast” of sorts? That requires just one link? What if they had a reader, easy to use, that could quickly–and neatly–parse it. And then you could control what person or what groups of people got to see what content? What if…actually, I should probably stop writing and just go change the world. Thanks for the continued inspiration!

  7. I think that’s where Facebook or Jaiku or Tumblr (as BarbaraKB notes) make things sort of nice: a one stop place for people to see all of your stuff.

    Still, I like the post because it does really capture what the “real” people who aren’t fascinated by each new Web2.0 app that helps us sign up for another service. (I can almost her my mother as the part of FAMILY MEMBER).

  8. Finally, someone declares the core problem of Web 2.0.

    These tools are merely great ideas used by early adopters if we don’t effectively manage the conversation such that these tools create value for everyday people. This does not mean we layer the conversation with off-putting with marketing-speak. This means we need to create everyday value for people with everyday conversation in everyday channels.

    And we can’t expect the traditional marketers to do this. Technology threatens their profit model, and they’ve got their finger in their ears singing ‘la la la I can’t hear you’.

  9. Barbara: only on a tech blog can you put out a list of all these things and get heat for not being on yet another one. Heheh.

    Seth: one problem that all leads to the “what is RSS” conversation. Or I have to go over their house and set it up for them.

  10. And it’s even harder to get them to JOIN Flickr so that you can appropriately set Friends/Family filters on the pics.

  11. For sure! Web 2.0 geeks will know more about your baby, see pictures sooner, and know more up-to-the-minute info on your baby than most of your family. What a strange world.

  12. Finally, someone declares the core problem of Web 2.0.

    These tools are merely great ideas used by early adopters if we don’t effectively manage the conversation such that these tools create value for everyday people. This does not mean we layer the conversation with off-putting with marketing-speak. This means we need to create everyday value for people with everyday conversation in everyday channels.

    And we can’t expect the traditional marketers to do this. Technology threatens their profit model, and they’ve got their finger in their ears singing ‘la la la I can’t hear you’.

  13. Some people are lazy. They were lazy to adopt computers, then to adopt email, and now to adopt the glory of web services.
    Soon… very soon :)

  14. Barbara: only on a tech blog can you put out a list of all these things and get heat for not being on yet another one. Heheh.

    Seth: one problem that all leads to the “what is RSS” conversation. Or I have to go over their house and set it up for them.

  15. And it’s even harder to get them to JOIN Flickr so that you can appropriately set Friends/Family filters on the pics.

  16. For sure! Web 2.0 geeks will know more about your baby, see pictures sooner, and know more up-to-the-minute info on your baby than most of your family. What a strange world.

  17. I think that’s where Facebook or Jaiku or Tumblr (as BarbaraKB notes) make things sort of nice: a one stop place for people to see all of your stuff.

    Still, I like the post because it does really capture what the “real” people who aren’t fascinated by each new Web2.0 app that helps us sign up for another service. (I can almost her my mother as the part of FAMILY MEMBER).

  18. I think it’s time to start a new Web 2.0 company: Spammer (or, “Spammr” if that’s not too passe yet).

    You simply create an account, tell it about all your various feeds, then create “recipient profiles”–email address, name, and what feeds you want to send them updates on.

    Recipients can easily opt-out of receiving further updates, and/or configure which ones they get (overriding your initial presets, after which point, you can’t change).

    Okay, who’s going to raise $10M VC funds first? GO!

  19. Nice post and I feel your pain, Robert. However, my family and non-geek friends have started checking my Flickr page more and more after I put my foot down and said “Look, this is how I do my photos. Look at them if you want, otherwise you’re going to miss out.” I set my mom up with a Flickr alert for when I post new pics and she spreads them around to the fam. Similar thing happened with my friends during baby shower season.

    My blog has quickly been replaced by my Flickr page for non-geek communication. I should just redirect everything there!

  20. I think it’s time to start a new Web 2.0 company: Spammer (or, “Spammr” if that’s not too passe yet).

    You simply create an account, tell it about all your various feeds, then create “recipient profiles”–email address, name, and what feeds you want to send them updates on.

    Recipients can easily opt-out of receiving further updates, and/or configure which ones they get (overriding your initial presets, after which point, you can’t change).

    Okay, who’s going to raise $10M VC funds first? GO!

  21. Nice post and I feel your pain, Robert. However, my family and non-geek friends have started checking my Flickr page more and more after I put my foot down and said “Look, this is how I do my photos. Look at them if you want, otherwise you’re going to miss out.” I set my mom up with a Flickr alert for when I post new pics and she spreads them around to the fam. Similar thing happened with my friends during baby shower season.

    My blog has quickly been replaced by my Flickr page for non-geek communication. I should just redirect everything there!

  22. In a similar vein, I got an e-mail from my sister the other day, she wanting to know what this ‘Firefox’ thing was and whether it really was better than Internet Explorer.

    One of the hardest things to remember when you live in the Bay Area tech cocoon is how people outside our sphere use the Internet. We are most definitely NOT the world. We’re not even close. You can fight it, or you can accept the fact that they are on a different part of the adoption curve, and they’re not going to change as fast as you.

  23. In a similar vein, I got an e-mail from my sister the other day, she wanting to know what this ‘Firefox’ thing was and whether it really was better than Internet Explorer.

    One of the hardest things to remember when you live in the Bay Area tech cocoon is how people outside our sphere use the Internet. We are most definitely NOT the world. We’re not even close. You can fight it, or you can accept the fact that they are on a different part of the adoption curve, and they’re not going to change as fast as you.

  24. It’d be pretty simple… just setup a CRON job to search for a specific term, such as “baby has arrived”… once it finds it, crank out emails using sendmail.

  25. It’d be pretty simple… just setup a CRON job to search for a specific term, such as “baby has arrived”… once it finds it, crank out emails using sendmail.

  26. Here is one potential solution: “we are about to leave to the hospital. Here is a link to my personal website [add link to your blog]. Here is a link to the photo album we will use to publish his pictures [add link to flickr collection]. You can check those every hour or so. I will update them as soon as Milan is ready to say hello.”

    I wish you the very best for the delivery.

  27. Here is one potential solution: “we are about to leave to the hospital. Here is a link to my personal website [add link to your blog]. Here is a link to the photo album we will use to publish his pictures [add link to flickr collection]. You can check those every hour or so. I will update them as soon as Milan is ready to say hello.”

    I wish you the very best for the delivery.

  28. Yep. That’s what I’ve been saying all summer at all your conferences up there in mighty Silicon Valley. I still have to email everybody, even if I only email them the link to Flickr or my KyteTV channel. Shit, I still email out the best posts from my blog. Most of the world does not read RSS and does not go to social networking sites.

    I fully expect to email my own daughters when your baby is born. Myself, I will learn from your Twitter account :-)

  29. Yep. That’s what I’ve been saying all summer at all your conferences up there in mighty Silicon Valley. I still have to email everybody, even if I only email them the link to Flickr or my KyteTV channel. Shit, I still email out the best posts from my blog. Most of the world does not read RSS and does not go to social networking sites.

    I fully expect to email my own daughters when your baby is born. Myself, I will learn from your Twitter account :-)

  30. I hate email. I’ve spent the last 5 days trying to get mine cleaned out. I’m down to 5357 messages in my inbox with 2116 unread. I wish there were a better way. I feel bad not to respond to people who email me but then I get so overwhelmed. I hate the idea of adding even more email into the system.

    I’m going to get my email down to zero messages in the next month though.

  31. I hate email. I’ve spent the last 5 days trying to get mine cleaned out. I’m down to 5357 messages in my inbox with 2116 unread. I wish there were a better way. I feel bad not to respond to people who email me but then I get so overwhelmed. I hate the idea of adding even more email into the system.

    I’m going to get my email down to zero messages in the next month though.

  32. I photographed my Aunt & Uncle’s 50th Anniversary celebration and when I told folks I’d put the photos on Flickr all I got was blank stares. Many of these people are on dial-up (yes, it still exists) and would gripe like crazy if I sent them a 10MB email with all the pictures. I’m just going to email them all a Flickr link.

  33. Collecting rss feeds into emails, or even into regular mailings could be one of those ‘so simple why didn’t I think of it?’ kind of apps.

    Being that email is like the opposite of Ajax and other tech-hype buzzwords, such a service might actually be useful to the world.

  34. I photographed my Aunt & Uncle’s 50th Anniversary celebration and when I told folks I’d put the photos on Flickr all I got was blank stares. Many of these people are on dial-up (yes, it still exists) and would gripe like crazy if I sent them a 10MB email with all the pictures. I’m just going to email them all a Flickr link.

  35. Collecting rss feeds into emails, or even into regular mailings could be one of those ‘so simple why didn’t I think of it?’ kind of apps.

    Being that email is like the opposite of Ajax and other tech-hype buzzwords, such a service might actually be useful to the world.

  36. I’d get the same response from the 99.99% of the non-superGeeks I know. My family (and close friends) would really give me shit. All those sites are so impersonal, why would I clump them in with the masses. An email is perceived as one-to-one, more personal. And, I have to agree with them.

  37. I’d get the same response from the 99.99% of the non-superGeeks I know. My family (and close friends) would really give me shit. All those sites are so impersonal, why would I clump them in with the masses. An email is perceived as one-to-one, more personal. And, I have to agree with them.

  38. e-mail seems to still be the default standard of online communication among the masses. I think RSS could solve a lot of problems out there but as long as the “RSS” of RSS is front and center people will just look glassy-eyed. RSS needs to be fused with Browsers and e-mail clients. Thankfully Firefox and Thunderbird gets it and hopefully will make it more seamless.

    I personally wish e-mail could be totally reengineered so that is was;

    1.) More secure
    2.) Tied in with Secure FTP services so whenever big try to send a honking big file or group of files like photos it would sent them to a server and create a link automatically.
    3.) replace the concept of e-mail newsletter with RSS feeds but encapsulate them into e-mail.

    Even though I use a newsreader I would prefer it to be a tighter part of an e-mail client or browser.

    Yes, I get the same old “send me an e-mail” from my older relatives. The really sad thing is most of them on still on dial-up and complain because they can’t download my e-mail!

  39. e-mail seems to still be the default standard of online communication among the masses. I think RSS could solve a lot of problems out there but as long as the “RSS” of RSS is front and center people will just look glassy-eyed. RSS needs to be fused with Browsers and e-mail clients. Thankfully Firefox and Thunderbird gets it and hopefully will make it more seamless.

    I personally wish e-mail could be totally reengineered so that is was;

    1.) More secure
    2.) Tied in with Secure FTP services so whenever big try to send a honking big file or group of files like photos it would sent them to a server and create a link automatically.
    3.) replace the concept of e-mail newsletter with RSS feeds but encapsulate them into e-mail.

    Even though I use a newsreader I would prefer it to be a tighter part of an e-mail client or browser.

    Yes, I get the same old “send me an e-mail” from my older relatives. The really sad thing is most of them on still on dial-up and complain because they can’t download my e-mail!

  40. Hook ‘em up with a Google alert for Milan Scoble!

    Sigh. Us geeks really do seem to speak a different language, don’t we? Although I am glad to say my mom finally knows to automatically check flickr if she wants to see new pictures of her grandbabies.

  41. Hook ‘em up with a Google alert for Milan Scoble!

    Sigh. Us geeks really do seem to speak a different language, don’t we? Although I am glad to say my mom finally knows to automatically check flickr if she wants to see new pictures of her grandbabies.

  42. Yes, it’s hilarious to make fun of the N00Bs. All those same people who will be the ones who make your Web 2.0 company successful or a failure (depending on whether or not the NOOB masses care enough to adopt your Neato-keen web service).

    Get over yourselves. No one gives a rat’s ass about 99% of these web services, not because they don’t understand them, but because they provide little or no value to people who: A) are not paid to blog about them for a living; or B) don’t enjoy spending their every waking moment engaged with a screen of some sort.

    Most people use computers some times, and other times want to be away. They don’t want to learn 25 new web services, even if they provide some level of “improvement” over the way they do things now. It’s not enough to bother learning, especially when it won’t be kewl in a week and will go out of business in two.

  43. Yes, it’s hilarious to make fun of the N00Bs. All those same people who will be the ones who make your Web 2.0 company successful or a failure (depending on whether or not the NOOB masses care enough to adopt your Neato-keen web service).

    Get over yourselves. No one gives a rat’s ass about 99% of these web services, not because they don’t understand them, but because they provide little or no value to people who: A) are not paid to blog about them for a living; or B) don’t enjoy spending their every waking moment engaged with a screen of some sort.

    Most people use computers some times, and other times want to be away. They don’t want to learn 25 new web services, even if they provide some level of “improvement” over the way they do things now. It’s not enough to bother learning, especially when it won’t be kewl in a week and will go out of business in two.

  44. I think you are missing the point which is that much like some people use cellphones for nothing but voice communication, some people use the internet for its most simple communication features.

    Having N flavor-of-the-month social networking sites where you post announcements is well and good for people who wish to use the internet in that manner, but in this case you did the equivalent of sending a video message to a person with a monochrome cell phone that only supports text messaging.

    Also you could have avoided flustering them by just emailing them a link to your flikr acount. It would take 10 seconds and you’d avoid the somewhat arrogant “oh just search for me on Google” problem.

    Of course I’m sure the solution is some new web 2.0 interface that allows you to chain updates through a Rube Goldbergesque chain of Web 2.0 interfaces to send the equivalent of “I updated this page” to their inbox.

  45. I think you are missing the point which is that much like some people use cellphones for nothing but voice communication, some people use the internet for its most simple communication features.

    Having N flavor-of-the-month social networking sites where you post announcements is well and good for people who wish to use the internet in that manner, but in this case you did the equivalent of sending a video message to a person with a monochrome cell phone that only supports text messaging.

    Also you could have avoided flustering them by just emailing them a link to your flikr acount. It would take 10 seconds and you’d avoid the somewhat arrogant “oh just search for me on Google” problem.

    Of course I’m sure the solution is some new web 2.0 interface that allows you to chain updates through a Rube Goldbergesque chain of Web 2.0 interfaces to send the equivalent of “I updated this page” to their inbox.

  46. jcricket: wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? I’m not making fun of anyone, just playing back a conversation that actually happened.

    Actually I think I made the same point you did, but with a lot more style and fun.

    And, I’d rather not defend people who don’t look for better ways to do things. Email is hardly the best way to send photos around to people. For a whole lot of reasons.

  47. jcricket: wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? I’m not making fun of anyone, just playing back a conversation that actually happened.

    Actually I think I made the same point you did, but with a lot more style and fun.

    And, I’d rather not defend people who don’t look for better ways to do things. Email is hardly the best way to send photos around to people. For a whole lot of reasons.

  48. Welcome to the rest of the people. That’s how many, many still manage their lives, with email or SMS being their only digital communications. All my family have digital cameras. None have a photo web page – they get put on the computer and printed or emailed. They finally read my blog after 2 years, then only once a week or so. Having your life online is not the average experience.

  49. Welcome to the rest of the people. That’s how many, many still manage their lives, with email or SMS being their only digital communications. All my family have digital cameras. None have a photo web page – they get put on the computer and printed or emailed. They finally read my blog after 2 years, then only once a week or so. Having your life online is not the average experience.

  50. Robert,

    I have stopped calling it RSS when explaining it to new-tech…it is “This is ‘e-mail in a box’. It is right on your desktop and their is no spam”.

    -wayne

    P.S. Your move at Scrabulous, if you can spell your new family addition’s name on the board I’ll sponsor another microloan and concede.

  51. Robert,

    I have stopped calling it RSS when explaining it to new-tech…it is “This is ‘e-mail in a box’. It is right on your desktop and their is no spam”.

    -wayne

    P.S. Your move at Scrabulous, if you can spell your new family addition’s name on the board I’ll sponsor another microloan and concede.

  52. I too have conversations like this. I don’t know if people are too lazy to keep up with trends or what. I have clients that want to email me 1 photo per email, GRR! Im not up on everything but some people are still in the stone age.

  53. I too have conversations like this. I don’t know if people are too lazy to keep up with trends or what. I have clients that want to email me 1 photo per email, GRR! Im not up on everything but some people are still in the stone age.

  54. Congratulations! Yay! And I keep trying to tell people… the only business people or friends who understand all this social media and web 2.0 stuff are other techies – and even *we* don’t have it figured out yet.

    You’d be better off emailing them a link to the pics in your Flikr and let them discover it on their own, LOL…

  55. >Also you could have avoided flustering them by just emailing them a link to your flikr acount.

    Maybe I didn’t have a way to write down their email address. It’s a lot easier for THEM to do a search than force ME to figure out their email address and send them an email. Especially if we’re out walking around.

    Teach a man to fish and he’ll have food for a lifetime.

    Wait until I tell them to join Facebook. :-)

  56. >Also you could have avoided flustering them by just emailing them a link to your flikr acount.

    Maybe I didn’t have a way to write down their email address. It’s a lot easier for THEM to do a search than force ME to figure out their email address and send them an email. Especially if we’re out walking around.

    Teach a man to fish and he’ll have food for a lifetime.

    Wait until I tell them to join Facebook. :-)

  57. Congratulations! Yay! And I keep trying to tell people… the only business people or friends who understand all this social media and web 2.0 stuff are other techies – and even *we* don’t have it figured out yet.

    You’d be better off emailing them a link to the pics in your Flikr and let them discover it on their own, LOL…

  58. as someone said u need to put your feet down, people need help but usually don’t want to see the benefits of new skills(though once u know how to write e-mails it can’t be rocket science to start using web apps. And still we want such people to get that data, so be generous from time to time, but u just opened the talk for one of the issues the regular I-net users have

  59. as someone said u need to put your feet down, people need help but usually don’t want to see the benefits of new skills(though once u know how to write e-mails it can’t be rocket science to start using web apps. And still we want such people to get that data, so be generous from time to time, but u just opened the talk for one of the issues the regular I-net users have

  60. “I’ll email everyone when my Twitter account, Zooomr account, Flickr account, Facebook account, Pownce account, Plaxo account, YouTube account, Kyte account, Jaiku account, and my blog are all updated with baby stuff.”

    To paraphrase Raymond Chen, now you have eleven problems :-)

  61. “I’ll email everyone when my Twitter account, Zooomr account, Flickr account, Facebook account, Pownce account, Plaxo account, YouTube account, Kyte account, Jaiku account, and my blog are all updated with baby stuff.”

    To paraphrase Raymond Chen, now you have eleven problems :-)

  62. Doesn’t Yahoo Pipes pretty much do that? You can aggregate RSS feeds, massage them around, and do whatever you like with the results.

  63. Doesn’t Yahoo Pipes pretty much do that? You can aggregate RSS feeds, massage them around, and do whatever you like with the results.

  64. No, email is not going away.

    Each medium (email, IM, twitter, blog, IM etc.) has a different coefficient of response and is useful/appropriate for different situations.

    BTW I would suggest using Tumblr instead of Twitter for your linkblog, it would remove the need to having to click to the twitter page then to the right url instead of just directly to the url. In fact, you could create a second tumblr acct just for links.

    In fact, I’m using tumblr to aggregate both status type and link updates. What is interesting is that Google Adsense is not able to deal well with this use case and often serves up unrelated ads.

    Check it out. http://tumblelog.jauderho.com/

    Now that I think about it, you could potentially use Google Alerts to email yourself and set up a rule to forward to people. It’s a little hackish but doable.

  65. No, email is not going away.

    Each medium (email, IM, twitter, blog, IM etc.) has a different coefficient of response and is useful/appropriate for different situations.

    BTW I would suggest using Tumblr instead of Twitter for your linkblog, it would remove the need to having to click to the twitter page then to the right url instead of just directly to the url. In fact, you could create a second tumblr acct just for links.

    In fact, I’m using tumblr to aggregate both status type and link updates. What is interesting is that Google Adsense is not able to deal well with this use case and often serves up unrelated ads.

    Check it out. http://tumblelog.jauderho.com/

    Now that I think about it, you could potentially use Google Alerts to email yourself and set up a rule to forward to people. It’s a little hackish but doable.

  66. Robert states “Email is hardly the best way to send photos around to people.”

    KodakGallery (formally Ofoto) does a great job of easily sharing photos with groups of friends, family, or colleagues using email.

    But the best part is that it is very easy for the recipient to view them at their leisure. And that is the whole point of sending pictures.

  67. Robert states “Email is hardly the best way to send photos around to people.”

    KodakGallery (formally Ofoto) does a great job of easily sharing photos with groups of friends, family, or colleagues using email.

    But the best part is that it is very easy for the recipient to view them at their leisure. And that is the whole point of sending pictures.

  68. Rob- go back and re-import your Twitter feed to Tumblr, but do it as Text WITHOUT titles. Otherwise it appears as a double post. In Tweets, title and text are duplicative.

    I’m a big Tumblr fan. I let it aggregate my links, Tweets, and Viddler Videos!

  69. Rob- go back and re-import your Twitter feed to Tumblr, but do it as Text WITHOUT titles. Otherwise it appears as a double post. In Tweets, title and text are duplicative.

    I’m a big Tumblr fan. I let it aggregate my links, Tweets, and Viddler Videos!

  70. Email is the ultimate API. Everyone has it, everyone knows how to use it, it works cross platform on many devices it’s mobile it’s everywhere no company can stop it (even if they want to… spam).

  71. Email is the ultimate API. Everyone has it, everyone knows how to use it, it works cross platform on many devices it’s mobile it’s everywhere no company can stop it (even if they want to… spam).

  72. Congratulations from me as well. I’ve been off the net for nearly 4 years. Just got back on, so still trying to figure out all these blogs and other sites. For now, just using email, so I can relate to your family/friend.

  73. Congratulations from me as well. I’ve been off the net for nearly 4 years. Just got back on, so still trying to figure out all these blogs and other sites. For now, just using email, so I can relate to your family/friend.

  74. Haha, I laughed a- I’ve had the exact conversation with more than one person. Very good point though, it’s hard to get “normal” people to adopt all this web 2.0 technology, someone needs to work on that. Maybe I will….hmmm

  75. Haha, I laughed a- I’ve had the exact conversation with more than one person. Very good point though, it’s hard to get “normal” people to adopt all this web 2.0 technology, someone needs to work on that. Maybe I will….hmmm

  76. Hello Robert. I have come across this too, with family, and even with some people inside the online marketing space. Overall, I think the answer is to be polite and educate as much as possible, as you have done. But – one must also be firm. People need to get with the program, and usually, if you take a few minutes to show them how easy it is, they move beyond resistance and can embrace the change. For my non-techy family members, I make more exceptions. But for business colleagues in the online marketing industry – I will make very little accommodations. If you want to know where I am and what I’m working on – well, read my blog, my twitter or get on Facebook. I’m out there. I think it is incumbent upon them to do some work to seek out the information. As I do for others I care about. Give to Receive! :)

  77. Hello Robert. I have come across this too, with family, and even with some people inside the online marketing space. Overall, I think the answer is to be polite and educate as much as possible, as you have done. But – one must also be firm. People need to get with the program, and usually, if you take a few minutes to show them how easy it is, they move beyond resistance and can embrace the change. For my non-techy family members, I make more exceptions. But for business colleagues in the online marketing industry – I will make very little accommodations. If you want to know where I am and what I’m working on – well, read my blog, my twitter or get on Facebook. I’m out there. I think it is incumbent upon them to do some work to seek out the information. As I do for others I care about. Give to Receive! :)

  78. Put together an RSS (with tumblr, feedburner, etc.) that has just the posts about the baby and then subscribe them to it using http://www.r-mail.org/. It sends RSS direct to email. If that is a too much of a pain, twitter their name, email and/or phone number followed by the word MilanWatch and I will take care of it for you.

  79. Put together an RSS (with tumblr, feedburner, etc.) that has just the posts about the baby and then subscribe them to it using http://www.r-mail.org/. It sends RSS direct to email. If that is a too much of a pain, twitter their name, email and/or phone number followed by the word MilanWatch and I will take care of it for you.

  80. I got a second hand converted sister to firefox when a some guy suggested it.. but was made a friend by one her friends on facebook which I was holding off of

  81. I got a second hand converted sister to firefox when a some guy suggested it.. but was made a friend by one her friends on facebook which I was holding off of

  82. Sign them up with R|Mail (http://www.r-mail.org/). It’s basically the same thing as RSSFwd but it lets you subscribe anyone’s email address. They will be notified by (drum roll…) email that they’ve been subscribed and be able to confirm it (or not). You’d only have to do it once for each family member if you set up a combined feed with FeedBurner or something for family.

    You can also generate an R|Mail widget for your blog that lets people subscribe by email directly. Then, if you manage to actually get them to your blog, they can do the hard work themselves without dealing with any scary RSS.

    I’ve been using R|Mail for years now instead of an RSS reader. It’s the only way I can deal with feeds. I like GMail better than any RSS reader I’ve found.

  83. Sign them up with R|Mail (http://www.r-mail.org/). It’s basically the same thing as RSSFwd but it lets you subscribe anyone’s email address. They will be notified by (drum roll…) email that they’ve been subscribed and be able to confirm it (or not). You’d only have to do it once for each family member if you set up a combined feed with FeedBurner or something for family.

    You can also generate an R|Mail widget for your blog that lets people subscribe by email directly. Then, if you manage to actually get them to your blog, they can do the hard work themselves without dealing with any scary RSS.

    I’ve been using R|Mail for years now instead of an RSS reader. It’s the only way I can deal with feeds. I like GMail better than any RSS reader I’ve found.

  84. Seems like I have had the conversation above with the same family friend. My family is now just starting to come around to photo sharing online and blogs. I love it – ‘Why don’t you just email me them!’ Heard that before.

    Grandma just told me last weekend, “I checked out your blo…g site, but you hadn’t updated.” Check it out again, Grandma.

    I’ve known two guys who have live blogged the birth of their children. Makes for an interesting day at work when you can’t stop refreshing the browser.

  85. Seems like I have had the conversation above with the same family friend. My family is now just starting to come around to photo sharing online and blogs. I love it – ‘Why don’t you just email me them!’ Heard that before.

    Grandma just told me last weekend, “I checked out your blo…g site, but you hadn’t updated.” Check it out again, Grandma.

    I’ve known two guys who have live blogged the birth of their children. Makes for an interesting day at work when you can’t stop refreshing the browser.

  86. Yahoo! Pipes can help here. Build a Pipe that pulls in your feeds, and only shows posts that contain predefined keywords. People can subscribe to Yahoo! Pipes via e-mail, if they have a Yahoo! account.

  87. Yahoo! Pipes can help here. Build a Pipe that pulls in your feeds, and only shows posts that contain predefined keywords. People can subscribe to Yahoo! Pipes via e-mail, if they have a Yahoo! account.

  88. Seems like in the time it took to have that conversation you describe you could have asked for their email address and sent them a link to your Flickr page. The family friend is satisfied and you don’t come off looking like the jerk the friend thought you were sounding like.

    And I think you no longer have capacity to add them to your Facebook list, do you? So that wouldn’t help.

  89. Seems like in the time it took to have that conversation you describe you could have asked for their email address and sent them a link to your Flickr page. The family friend is satisfied and you don’t come off looking like the jerk the friend thought you were sounding like.

    And I think you no longer have capacity to add them to your Facebook list, do you? So that wouldn’t help.

  90. Hi Robert
    Why don’t you have an email of your blog available via fedblitz or some other system? It’s so easy even a caveman like me can do it.
    I look forward to seeing photos of the new youngun….and best to Maryam.

    Ciao from Torino/Venice Italy today
    D

  91. Hi Robert
    Why don’t you have an email of your blog available via fedblitz or some other system? It’s so easy even a caveman like me can do it.
    I look forward to seeing photos of the new youngun….and best to Maryam.

    Ciao from Torino/Venice Italy today
    D

  92. Robert,
    I am so very much with you on this one. I get that conversation all the time from various clients and friends and associates. There is this wierd in built resistance to actually Listen to what was just said and instead they view that the path of least resistance to them is equal to the path of least resistance for you.

    Net result we bump heads trying to do the easiest thing for both of us.

    Heres the interesting twist in our society though. If you were using any other mechanism ( post, courier, family friend ) to move the photos to them then they wouldnt think twice about acquiescing to your requests. As soon as the computer is added then the asker is suddenly imbued with a right to be far more rude about their demands !

    Wierd but there we go. Lets keep up the good fight eh.

  93. Robert,
    I am so very much with you on this one. I get that conversation all the time from various clients and friends and associates. There is this wierd in built resistance to actually Listen to what was just said and instead they view that the path of least resistance to them is equal to the path of least resistance for you.

    Net result we bump heads trying to do the easiest thing for both of us.

    Heres the interesting twist in our society though. If you were using any other mechanism ( post, courier, family friend ) to move the photos to them then they wouldnt think twice about acquiescing to your requests. As soon as the computer is added then the asker is suddenly imbued with a right to be far more rude about their demands !

    Wierd but there we go. Lets keep up the good fight eh.

  94. Yep the more I read the comments the more Stunned I am about how rude the internet is making people. Robert you were asked to do someone a favour and then they demanded how you were to reciprocate and you were considered rude for not agreeing to that request.

    I really am impressed , if this had involved physical transactions of photos there is no way your friend would have been so rude as to demand on the delivery methods.

    I really am stunned that people think you were being rude you were doing the favour you would expect to be able to set the terms .Gosh I rally am amazed if only because it highlights how much people dont understand what they are doing online.

    Thank you again for the blog entry.

  95. Yep the more I read the comments the more Stunned I am about how rude the internet is making people. Robert you were asked to do someone a favour and then they demanded how you were to reciprocate and you were considered rude for not agreeing to that request.

    I really am impressed , if this had involved physical transactions of photos there is no way your friend would have been so rude as to demand on the delivery methods.

    I really am stunned that people think you were being rude you were doing the favour you would expect to be able to set the terms .Gosh I rally am amazed if only because it highlights how much people dont understand what they are doing online.

    Thank you again for the blog entry.

  96. Death of email denied – Scoble

    Sorry Scoble, I’m with the boring old farts on this one. In a convincing impersonation of a hyperactive teenager here he reports a conversation between a proud father and a family friend about how to send baby pictures. His side

  97. I have had to put my foot down because otherwise I’d spend more time in Hell-mail than I want.

    I’ve made it clear where they need to get information. If they choose not to, well, I guess they stay in the dark.

    I guess it helps that my mother is also an IT geek and does a lot online. Now if I could only walk her through downloading and editing her pictures to her computer without her having a meltdown that requires me to talk her down off the ledge, I’d be golden!

  98. I have had to put my foot down because otherwise I’d spend more time in Hell-mail than I want.

    I’ve made it clear where they need to get information. If they choose not to, well, I guess they stay in the dark.

    I guess it helps that my mother is also an IT geek and does a lot online. Now if I could only walk her through downloading and editing her pictures to her computer without her having a meltdown that requires me to talk her down off the ledge, I’d be golden!

  99. E-mail is King of the Hill

    I just read a great post by Robert Scoble here: E-mail ain’t going away. I really liked this post because it reminds me of the early days when my partner Bruno Carsenti and I thought out the Podmailing concept. You

  100. Congrads on the baby. My mom just had her 9th, his name is Gideon Parry, after my Grandfather. I’m the 3rd of my siblings, I have three weblogs.

  101. Congrads on the baby. My mom just had her 9th, his name is Gideon Parry, after my Grandfather. I’m the 3rd of my siblings, I have three weblogs.

  102. Oh please, Robert wasn’t being polite. He’s on the cutting edge of every technological advancement and he’s expecting everyone (99% of whom aren’t paid like he is to care about the new-sk00l stuff) to keep up. You can see it in the “just google me” response.

    It’s actually quite rational for the average busy (family, job, school, kids, friends, other interests) person to avoid learning all these brand new interfaces. Like I mentioned, Robert (and others) will abandon 90% of them once the “true” killer apps emerge. It’s actually good for the tech elite to experiment like this, but everyone else is quite smart to wait until the tipping point occurs and they can be assured what they’re learning won’t be obsolete in 2 weeks.

    Here’s a test. Send your friends a link via email to wherever they should go (flickr, tickr, mickr, facebo, friendkyte, whatever). Hopefully that service is actually user-friendly enough for an average person to use it without instructions from you. If an average person can’t figure out how to browse your photos/view your videos, etc. on whatever service you use then you’re using a service that’s not ready for prime time.

    When is the industry going to stop blaming the average user for failing to be technical geniuses?

  103. Oh please, Robert wasn’t being polite. He’s on the cutting edge of every technological advancement and he’s expecting everyone (99% of whom aren’t paid like he is to care about the new-sk00l stuff) to keep up. You can see it in the “just google me” response.

    It’s actually quite rational for the average busy (family, job, school, kids, friends, other interests) person to avoid learning all these brand new interfaces. Like I mentioned, Robert (and others) will abandon 90% of them once the “true” killer apps emerge. It’s actually good for the tech elite to experiment like this, but everyone else is quite smart to wait until the tipping point occurs and they can be assured what they’re learning won’t be obsolete in 2 weeks.

    Here’s a test. Send your friends a link via email to wherever they should go (flickr, tickr, mickr, facebo, friendkyte, whatever). Hopefully that service is actually user-friendly enough for an average person to use it without instructions from you. If an average person can’t figure out how to browse your photos/view your videos, etc. on whatever service you use then you’re using a service that’s not ready for prime time.

    When is the industry going to stop blaming the average user for failing to be technical geniuses?

  104. jcricket: we’ve had discussions like this with every new technology. Every single one. Some people are late adopters, luddites even. My ex father in law enjoyed telling me he never used a computer and never will.

    By the way, I was like this LONG before I ever started getting paid by the industry.

  105. jcricket: we’ve had discussions like this with every new technology. Every single one. Some people are late adopters, luddites even. My ex father in law enjoyed telling me he never used a computer and never will.

    By the way, I was like this LONG before I ever started getting paid by the industry.

  106. I’m with Robert on this one… Adapt (adopt?) or die!

    Sure it’s a bit condescending to tell people “just Google me”, but ultimately, you can’t have a community and connection without people actually participating, be it on or off-line.

  107. I’m with Robert on this one… Adapt (adopt?) or die!

    Sure it’s a bit condescending to tell people “just Google me”, but ultimately, you can’t have a community and connection without people actually participating, be it on or off-line.

  108. I’m glad you can get so excited about something Robert, I only hope you reserve some of that same enthusiasm for interacting with real people, face to face, like your new daughter. Time spent in front of screens with your “5000 friends” should be considered research/work, or a diversion, not real friendship.

    I find fascination with shiny new technology kind of pointless. After 20 years or so I’m impressed by the advances that have lasted (you won’t see me arguing in favor of replacing my Powerbook G4 with a 8088) but I’ve also grown smart enough to realize sitting on the side lines and jumping in as a late adopter is a far more rational real world strategy than trying everything out. You waste less money, time and energy that way, and still reap all the benefits.

    Which is my point about your conversation with friends. Early adopters and bleeding-edgers like yourself will always be a tiny minority. So (this goes to the tnkgrl too) if you want a wide community to interact with, you will be the ones who have to adapt until the market sorts out which new thing is “interesting” or “useful” enough for the masses to adopt it.

    Unless you’re just trying to be kewl. And I’ve seen you in videos Robert – that ship has sailed :-)

  109. I’m glad you can get so excited about something Robert, I only hope you reserve some of that same enthusiasm for interacting with real people, face to face, like your new daughter. Time spent in front of screens with your “5000 friends” should be considered research/work, or a diversion, not real friendship.

    I find fascination with shiny new technology kind of pointless. After 20 years or so I’m impressed by the advances that have lasted (you won’t see me arguing in favor of replacing my Powerbook G4 with a 8088) but I’ve also grown smart enough to realize sitting on the side lines and jumping in as a late adopter is a far more rational real world strategy than trying everything out. You waste less money, time and energy that way, and still reap all the benefits.

    Which is my point about your conversation with friends. Early adopters and bleeding-edgers like yourself will always be a tiny minority. So (this goes to the tnkgrl too) if you want a wide community to interact with, you will be the ones who have to adapt until the market sorts out which new thing is “interesting” or “useful” enough for the masses to adopt it.

    Unless you’re just trying to be kewl. And I’ve seen you in videos Robert – that ship has sailed :-)

  110. To follow on jcricket’s point @78, what is apparent is that the Web 2.0 brainiacs write software only for themselves to use and not real people. Until they try to solve real world problems with their products and stop trying to write apps THEY simply think are cool, they will continue to have relatively low adoption and not make a dent beyond their own virtual back yard.

  111. To follow on jcricket’s point @78, what is apparent is that the Web 2.0 brainiacs write software only for themselves to use and not real people. Until they try to solve real world problems with their products and stop trying to write apps THEY simply think are cool, they will continue to have relatively low adoption and not make a dent beyond their own virtual back yard.

  112. I personally think this highlights people’s laziness.

    While i do not expect everyone to use every social networking tool, i think it’s a good think for Robert to nicely nudge people away from email.

    I find it interesting that according to some comments that email is now looked at as the “common man’s” tool. or the accessible tool. far from it! it’s a pit of problems!

    Robert’s post could be rephrased like this:

    “Spoon feed me your information”

    “Here’s a spoon, here’s the food, already cooked”

    “NO, spoon feed me! my mouth. right in here, thanks.”

    email is a “push” tool, not a “pull” tool. that friend wanted EVERYTHING pushed, which requires no pull, which is lazy. it’s also intellectually lazy – go learn some new things! ween yourself from email!

  113. I personally think this highlights people’s laziness.

    While i do not expect everyone to use every social networking tool, i think it’s a good think for Robert to nicely nudge people away from email.

    I find it interesting that according to some comments that email is now looked at as the “common man’s” tool. or the accessible tool. far from it! it’s a pit of problems!

    Robert’s post could be rephrased like this:

    “Spoon feed me your information”

    “Here’s a spoon, here’s the food, already cooked”

    “NO, spoon feed me! my mouth. right in here, thanks.”

    email is a “push” tool, not a “pull” tool. that friend wanted EVERYTHING pushed, which requires no pull, which is lazy. it’s also intellectually lazy – go learn some new things! ween yourself from email!

  114. HA! I’ve fallen back on the ‘just google me’ phrase before now *grin* and I am SOOOO not even close to being an ‘e’ lister never mind up there in the scoble stakes.

    c’mon, admit it – it’s a ballache emailing pictures to every tom dick and harry when you can just send them all to one place for everyone to access.

    I came across something new today on techcrunch that you can annoy your relatives with instead *grin*
    http://storyofmylife.com/

    Sounds like the solution for all time – and they can do it right back atcha then too ;0)

  115. HA! I’ve fallen back on the ‘just google me’ phrase before now *grin* and I am SOOOO not even close to being an ‘e’ lister never mind up there in the scoble stakes.

    c’mon, admit it – it’s a ballache emailing pictures to every tom dick and harry when you can just send them all to one place for everyone to access.

    I came across something new today on techcrunch that you can annoy your relatives with instead *grin*
    http://storyofmylife.com/

    Sounds like the solution for all time – and they can do it right back atcha then too ;0)