40 years of email triage

imageSo email is 40 years old?  How much has it changed your life?  Can you honestly say that it’s changed your life for the better?

It’s not something many of us like dealing with.  We spend our lives trying to reach inbox zero, deleting messages that shouldn’t have been sent to us, and trying to respond to key business messages that might have been better as a phone conversation.

email seems to be the bane of our lives – much more of an intrusion than social media seems to be.  We constantly check our messages on our phone.  We’re always on, always connected, always rushing to respond to that business critical email.

But was it always like this?

Not at all.  If you’re lucky enough to remember the days before instant delivery of email straight to your inbox, you’ll remember the peace and quiet in your working day.  What happened to the time we spent before we became productive?

Well here’s a timeline showing just how far we’ve come since that first email was sent:

1965: Email started from users logging on to the same host based mainframe

1966: Sage system had a limited form of email

1971: The first email sent using the @ sign from one DEC 10 to another

1978: the first email advertisement goes out over the university network

1982: The word email first used – and the first smiley emoticon used

1989: AOL’s “You’ve got mail” message recorded

1990: first spam started to appear from botnet machines

1997: Microsoft buys Hotmail (And releases the first version of Outlook)

1998: The film “you’ve got mail” is released and the term spam  referring to junk email is added to the dictionary

1999: an email claiming that Bill Gates will give you money if you forward the email begins to circulate on the internet

2003: CAN-SPAM Act comes into force

2004 Internet acronyms officially recognised by Oxford English dictionary

2004: The ability to add other types of media to emails is introduced

2007: Gmail becomes available

image

Thanks to reachmail for the infographic that gave me the inspiration – and Wikipedia of course

As you can see fro this screenshot – even after 40 years.  We still get it wrong sometimes.

Have we got it right yet?  Like our 40 years of social media and the Internet – it seems like we’ve still got a heck of a long way to go!

image credit:flickr and Flickr

 

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

 

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4 thoughts on “40 years of email triage

    1. Neil Pellinacci

      You’re quite right – I’ve looked at the oldest message in my GMail “sent mail” 25/08/2004, it was the reason I installed Firefox (GMail didn’t work in Opera) and quickly became very useful the following month during my first trip to Canada.

    2. eileenb Post author

      You squirrel!
      do you really still ‘need’ that email or are you just keeping it for sentimental reasons :-0
      the delete key is on the right of the keyboared – and it works white well!!

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