E-mail. They say it's not for fun anymore.

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First I read the post, I only use email to communicate with old people. Then I came across the speech, Incantations for Muggles: The Role of Ubiquitous Web 2.0 Technologies in Everyday Life, from social media expert danah boyd where she says:

These days, email is primarily a tool for labor purposes. White collar professionals are often addicted to it; 20somethings see it as necessary for career seeking and both teens and retired folks are using it to talk with their family members invested in labor.

And now I'm thinking about the fact that I've never known a workday without e-mail. Well, not since I stopped working in bars and started working in offices. I'm thinking about how many times I check my various e-mail accounts everyday. And I'm thinking about what percentage of my e-mails are for work vs. play.

In order of frequency, my inboxes are filled with:

  • Work.
  • Spam.
  • Blog comments.
  • Notes from friends.

Then it hit me. E-mail is work. But you know what? I still think it's one of the fun parts of my work. Today I've been exchanging e-mails with copyeditors, designers, print buyers and fulfillment managers. We're reviewing proofs from the printer, which means you'll be seeing the second quarter issue of sascom in your mail box soon (give it two weeks or so). I'll be teasing the content for that issue here and there until then.

For instance? You might change the way you think about thinking when you read Thornton May's article in the second quarter issue, "Are you ready for the looming ThinkQuake." I was exchanging e-mails with Thornton yesterday to see what he was thinking about for the third quarter issue. I've come to look forward to getting his submissions, because he's always talking about something I haven't read about yet. Or - at the very least - talking about it in a way I hadn't considered before. Who else discusses cognitive cartography, cognitive re-engineering, statistical decision theory and game theory all in one article? Only Thornton May.

You see. That's why e-mail is still fun for me. Because I never know what's going to show up in my inbox next. It could be a pdf of the magazine's cover, a newly designed template for another blog from SAS or a thought-provoking article from Thornton May. That stuff may be work - but it's still fun for me.

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About Author

Alison Bolen

Editor of Blogs and Social Content

+Alison Bolen is an editor at SAS, where she writes and edits content about analytics and emerging topics. Since starting at SAS in 1999, Alison has edited print publications, Web sites, e-newsletters, customer success stories and blogs. She has a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and a master’s degree in technical writing from North Carolina State University.

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