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Tech Wiz, email becomes IM then SMS, then signal and then…

The concept of value is often something IT professionals chase. IT is less than it is understood, and more that sometimes people forget. I started as an IT professional in the real down of true IT. The IT department was managing and moving the information of the entire organization. Before that time, many companies operated as independent units. Local units may be a better way to describe that. The telephone was the primary mode of conversation. IM and Email were possible, but well email existed then. It, email was just starting in the early 1990’s to be more than a hodgepodge system. In fact, I started my second IT career as a mail system consolidator in the mid-90’s as companies realized the value of eMail.

Not, what you think they realized by the way. Many companies had grown their email system organically. Some companies I worked with had created their email system, Many companies I worked with had multiple email systems deployed. The result of this was an inability to send one email to everyone in the company. It also produced other interesting problems that I remember thinking about, but that would be a couple of years later. The driver for the initial email consolidation was the explosion of internet email that became real around the beginning of the 1995 middle of the decade. Companies began to consider this SMTP email thing, as something of value. When is the last time you thought about @ something?

When I look back, I also at times evaluate where I was to see where things could be. The reason I bring up email is that of its relevance arc. Once, (1980 to roughly 1988) email was possible but not relevant. You, other than to a CompuServ or AOL user, could expect 2, 3 or 4 days between sending an email and the person responding to you. IT truly, compared to today, was snail mail. Now, it is normally seconds between sending and delivery. Then depending on how long the reply is, as little as seconds to get a message back. Even if that person is in Singapore and you are in Alberta Canada. Email though isn’t as relevant now as it was then. It rose to prominence as the primary way to communicate through the mid-90’s. By the early 2000’s we were introduced widely to the concept of IM or instant messages. From there the explosion of SMS, IM and the ability via Signal and Whatsapp to communicate with anyone for virtually free in real time changed the world we were in. The evolution and devolution of email are interesting because SMS and IM is going to evolve as well slowly. What lies beyond the horizon in the messaging world?

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3 points

Written by DocAndersen

I am a long time blogger and technology poster.I focus on what is possible, but I also try to see what is coming. In recent years I have been focused on sharing the memories of my family, as part of my Family History Project.

28 Comments

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    • But in fairness can you not say that about every aspect of our world today? The art world has few who survive, and many who struggle. The world of education the same. The reality of where we are is the system is in a state of flux. Systems built for innovation and discovery in the 80’s and 90’s are struggling now. They don’t get the same level of interest now that the did. Let’s make it through this period and see what we have on the other side!

        • I do hear that argument Alex. But I can’t agree with it. My twins, would not be on this earth if not for medical technology. The value of technology is that it can change lives. The reality of humans is we don’t listen. Technology is and of itself is neither good or bad.

          • Technology and science are amoral; they don’t care how they are used. It is up to humanity to decide the best implementation, but humanity is obsessed with avarice and makes the stupidest possible choices

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