Here’s an interesting story from the NY Times about an IBM employee who switches from E-mail to a range of social networking tools.
I stopped using e-mail most of the time. I quickly realized that the more messages you answer, the more messages you generate in return. It becomes a vicious cycle. By trying hard to stop the cycle, I cut the number of e-mails that I receive by 80 percent in a single week.
It?s not that I stopped communicating; I just communicated in different and more productive ways. Instead of responding individually to messages that arrived in my in-box, I started to use more social networking tools, like instant messaging, blogs and wikis, among many others. ((Suarez. Luis. “I Freed Myself from E-Mail’s Grip,” New York Times 29 Jun 2008. 5 Jul 2008 <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/jobs/29pre.html?_r=1&oref=slogin> ))
Much of the communication he seems to be talking about is in house, and I don’t believe that it was all as simple as the article implies. But I suspect that there are some veins of insight in Luis’ story regarding a shift from single link professional connections to social networks and personal learning networks.