More importantly, how do we measure influence and reach, given that people can reach our blogs, Tweetstreams and FaceLinkedNingSpace networks, text or IM us, or heaven forbid, actually speak to us using a phone!
We honestly don't know for sure, but we asked ourselves some questions and share them here for you to consider for your situation:
If you send out a weekly email newsletter, is it better to have the CEO as a subscriber or have four or five direct reports on a subscriber list who will send the same email to the CEO to act on when we touch a topic near and dear? The former puts your name on the CEO’s radar *if* he makes time to read enough of your messages, while the latter puts the decision of what is near and dear in the hands of a (presumably trusted) underling.
Is it better to post something to our FaceLinkedNingSpace pages, because that post provides personal context, starts conversation that the rest of our friends can follow along and helps you steadily build an audience over time; to blog amid a topic-based community, where a your post may "go viral" on the blogosphere and get thousands of “one time” hits and trackbacks; or is it worth the effort to use blogging and social networks in combination by drawing the attention of your friends and followers to your blog via a post and URL from your social network pages?
Is the link you embed in a Tweet going to pull audiences to your content? If you get 10% clickthrough when the industry average is a couple of percent, what can you learn and leverage from that Tweet or all Tweeted content? Is the viral effect of reTweeting or Tweetstreaming useful in growing your audience or will you disenfranchise long time followers who have become accustomed to receiving email responses “in a few minutes”?
We have a lot more questions than these, and are still searching for ways to meet our individual needs and aspirations. We both agree on how to answer the question at the top of this post: we don't think email is dying, it’s merely settling into the roles it was always best suited to play. Email is not being replaced entirely for notification, messaging, and collaboration by these other technologies, nor will any of the newcomer applications succeed email as the single killer application. For the moment, there *is* no killer application. We need to experiment more with the existing and emergent set of applications going forward to get a better handle how we all interact online.
In the meantime, please share your thoughts with us both, using whatever technology is appropriate.