Donnerstag, 31. Juli 2008

I don't want to be pushed be email!

Nokia stopped the development of Blackberry Connect for the new E-Series devices in favor for their own service. The new Nokia Email is in public beta now for selected N-Series and E-Series devices. It works great. Get an account, connect it to an existing email service you already have, install the client software and that's it. Every time, a mail gets pushed to my device, it makes a sound, which makes me looking up the Active Standby screen where it shows up.

No matter, what I am working on. I am just creating a new project plan ... ping ... I have a new mail. In a meeting ... bzzzt ... I have a new mail. In the car, while listening to a podcast ... ping ... the E51 builds up a connection to my car's radio, while my iPod continues to play the podcast (which I could not hear anymore, because my phone took over the radio) ... but I have new mail.

But wait. As beeing a GTD'ish self management geek, the first thing I do with every email client is disabling the new-email-notification. I recommend this to everyone. This helps me working on whatever, without beeing interrupted so often.

And now push email??? This is even worse than the desktop new-email-notification by a margin. With push email, incoming emails do not only interrupt me while working on my desk. They interrupt me everywhere, where I took my phone with me! Hurray!

I uninstalled it to get rid of the annoying pings, this is not the right thing for me. But this experience brought me to the thought:

Is push email the right thing for anyone?

Or is it just something, technologically possible, so everyone wants it? For those, who now the Hitchhiker's Guide through the galaxy (and probably most people reading blogs do): Is it like something from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation? I forgot the original wording from the book (please comment, if you know). But if people finally make their products work, they are so happy about it, that they miss that the products are completely useless.

Is push email such a thing? Blackberry built up their company on offering mobile push service. They became one of the largest suppliers for smartphones, just because they made push email working. All other smartphone developers have to catch up with Blackberry, so does Nokia now.

But what for???

I really can't think of a situation, where push email would really make sense to me. In my job, communication is essential. If I would ever be in a situation, where I urgently wait for an email, I could always set my good old "pull" email to refresh within minutes. But in fact, I might have been in this situation not more than a handfull of times in the last few years.  If someone needs to contact me urgently, he or she would call me on the phone. And if I can not take this call, then the caller would leave a message on my voice maibox. Email is something, that could wait at least a few hours. Something I will work through in batch. If anyone could explain, why push email is usefull, please drop me a comment.

So no mobile email?

No, don't get me wrong. I am an excessive email user. Waiting some 15 minutes at the customers waiting room, waiting for boarding a plane or other situations like that are great for working through my newly received email. As I work for a very large company, I get many mails which are not so important for me. There are some, which I quickly read and then delete, and some are completely useless for me. Working through all these not-so-important emails has a big point for me: when I am back at my desk, I will only find those emails in my inbox, I really have to work on. This saves me a lot of time and helps me focus on the things which are really important.

So mobile email is great ... I just don't want to be pushed by it!

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