Email’s pulse is still beating strong

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when my email inbox was inundated with jokes, photos, chain letters, etc. from friends, family and acquaintances. It seemed everyone in my address book was passing along inspirational notes and lighthearted narratives, presumably to lend me a chuckle or perhaps to reach out and remind me they’re around.  Nowadays, however, I only have one or two contacts that send me these silly, often times unwanted but usually appreciated, literary gems, like this one I received this morning: 

Why such a long password

We laugh -- but her ID is safe!

During a recent password audit by a company, it was found that an employee was using the following password:

“MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofySacramento.”

When asked why she had such a long password, she rolled her eyes and said:
“Hello! It has to be at least 8 characters
long and include at least one capital.”

Of course, the main purpose of email goes far beyond sharing “Darwin award winners” and “right place, right time” photos. In fact, with “social” platforms such as Facebook and Twitter providing places for folks to post their images and clever messages, email is more free to do what it does best; allow people and organizations to share important information and documentation with a much larger audience than any of the “social” platforms can provide. Worldwide there are approximately 2.9 billion email accounts, nearly three times that of Facebook and Twitter users combined, making email “the most used, most valuable and highly-prized real estate on the Internet.”

As we begin building our WordPress websites and are thinking about how we can integrate our Facebook and Twitter feed into our interface, it’s important to also consider how email will play a part in the functionality of our sites, particularly for those of us who have designs on doing this commercially. Website Magazine recently published an article on the Top Ten Email Plugins for WordPress. The article argues “anyone trying to establish a presence on the Web should be using email marketing to build, inform and engage with their audience.”

With so much of our attention focused on the impact “social” tools have on our web presence, it might not hurt to step back and remind ourselves of the importance email has in our daily lives, both personally and professionally. With so many users still dependent on it, email isn’t going away any time soon.

By the way, did you hear the one about the guy who lost his left arm and left leg in a car crash? He’s all right now.

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