Eileen posed a question in her blog recently.

"with everyone over the age of 6 using IM for social related chat, and interaction, just how do we get the message out about corporate Instant Messaging as a useful business productivity tool "

Simple: IM is more productive than e-mail. Or put another way more and more e-mail is a waste of time. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I'm Canada en-route to Seattle for a Microsoft event, one of the event dinners has a competion for simple equations which tell people something about messaging. Mine is V = 1 / (r*B)

And its more complex form is V = ( 1+log(S) ) / (r*B)

The expected Value (V) of a message to a recipient is inversely proportional to the number of recipients (r) and the size in Bytes (B). The value of the mail increases with the log of the number of sentences (S) in it. A mail with 10 sentences has more "content" value than a message with one, but not 10 times more. A message has some overhead, so increasing from one sentence to two doesn't double the byte count. Net: Short, targeted messages are valuable; we know that from Instant messages and SMS texts. But more and more people tell me much of their mail is Big, vague, widely distributed, and of low value. To borrow from Marx "E-mail contains the seeds of its own destruction". That doesn't mean it is doomed, but if it dies off it will because of things which were part of it. Voice mail now means we don't have any confidence of reaching someone by phone, and the result has many people don't bother with the phone any more. We could be going that way with mail - unless people develop strategies for using mail and other kinds of communication (voice and IM)

With this in mind, and since it is Friday, which means a little levity, I thought I would post an old piece on how not to have your mail read. The top 5 ways are, in ascending order.