Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Is this closure? The technology equivalent?

I've been having this feeling for a while now. Maybe the last 4-5 months. But, this is going to be the first time I will admit it aloud.

Yahoogroups & Googlegroups are outdated. Blogs, websites are almost there too. Email is fast getting there!

People just don't check emails & groups as often any more!
What do they do instead? They check their SMS, Facebook messages, etc much more often than email! Hotmail and yahoo.. I can probably find 10 regular users (combined) on my mailing list. Gmail.. maybe a lot more.. but even then I'm willing to bet that the people below 20 who use it regularly are VERY few. 8-9 months ago, I was sort of taken aback to find out that a lot of teenagers / less than 21 year olds creating hotmail / yahoo ids. When I asked them why they aren't using Gmail, their response was.. "It doesn't matter which one.. I just need that to get to my Facebook. I hardly check it anyway! If people want something important, they just message me on FB chat, or SMS me if they can't find me online!"

I think it is the new reality. The future is about text messaging, instant messaging, Facebook messaging, and maybe facebook private messaging.

The best observations of the changing times I can probably give are all from my Ultimate Frisbee experience. The first few clubs in India (Chennai Ultimate, Bangalore Ultimate, etc.) use yahoo groups to communicate. The clubs that formed a little later use googlegroups. And the clubs that formed most recently (Pune Ultimate, etc.) use Facebook groups! Thats probably an accurate description of the changing trends & times. All this in a span of 4-5 years!

The older teams (Chakraa, LiveWires, L2F, etc.) use yahoogroups and email to communicate. The newer teams (Stall 7, FlyWild, etc) use purely Facebook groups, instant messages and SMS to communicate.

Chennai Ultimate Frisbee's communications are also moving slowly with the times. 3.5 years ago, we used to be completely Yahoo Groups based. But these days, we use both Yahoo Groups, and the Facebook fan page to communicate news / events. I suspect that even the regulars are increasingly getting their updates from Facebook rather than from our Yahoo Groups. You don't even have to guess about the rest of the people.

I'm waiting to test out the Facebook Messages email service that Facebook will be rolling out. If we find that's stable enough, and offers most of the features that we used to be able to do on yahoogroups and traditional email, Chennai Ultimate will take a bold step towards completely migrating to a Facebook based communication. I believe that going forward, this will help us reach out more effectively to new fans who're looking to be in touch with us, new talent who're looking to start playing, and also provide news about us more effectively to our existing fan base.

I guess in relationship terms.. we call this "closure". We stop hanging on to the past, and accept the inevitable. Now, I'm excited! :-). The future looks bright!

p.s. Don't get me wrong. Email will probably always exist. So will blogs and websites. And maybe even Yahoo Groups and Google Groups. But, I'm talking about the primary mode of communication. Make no mistake. It will be Facebook & SMS.

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Blogger Srini said...

if u r switching from ur yahoogroup to facebook
make sure that, all ur members are on the FB
u might be losing a few precious members in the circle

2:52 PM  
Blogger Rangasayee said...

You're probably right. I'm an incoming student at ISB co2012. The new class is using facebook groups despite the creation of a google group, which as of today is hands down a better repository for docs and easier to query.

10:14 PM  

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