All great blogs have great readers that spur on conversation. I do not believe this is a great blog, but Nick Wall made a great comment in my post on email governance that I wanted to highlight and encourage others to weigh in on.

I tend to believe that email itself needs to evolve into a more modern tool – it has been around in its current form for a while. Fundamentally it’d be a big step forward if the concept of “one copy” that was behind the now defunct Google Wave could be realised – at the very least for communications that remain internal within an organisation. That way planned spaces for communication could exist upfront and integrate with other systems – a little like a ‘file plan for communication’

This would of course require some significant changes to the email protocol, or clients adapted to perhaps deal with two separate protocols that visually render the same (or very similar) in the one interface for scenarios where some people ‘in on the conversation’ are inside an organisation and others not.

In its current form if there was an easy way to manage email I’m sure someone would have discovered it by now, hence I wonder if it is email that needs to be governed or organisations need to govern themselves and how they do things more carefully to remove the need to use the tool for communication that requires retention.

I think that there are two reasons why email has not evolved into a more modern tool that lends itself easily to governance 1)no one has asked for it but instead they’ve only use the buzzword “social”. 2)the current email culture is so enormous that no tool can change it since people are so used to using email in a certain way which is why google wave failed.

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts as the collective wisdom of all of us is greater then that of just one one or two people.