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MobileNomads.info: "The (non)sense of push communication"

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#1
nickcornaglia

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I have seen articles here and on other sites about the beauty of Push email. How everyone HAS to have it. And if they don't have it....when will they get it? I am one who has never had the need for Push mail. I sync two POP3 accounts automatically every 15 minutes and personally, that is plenty fast enough for me.

While reading Iliumsoft.com's new blog, they linked to this article on modernnomads.info that raises the same question I do. "Is Push Mail really worth it?"

"It is amazing how much hype is generated around push e-mail, where there is no real added business value. It is just a technocratic show off and its only benefit is that it will provide some stress relief for e-mail addicts."

The above quote may not truely define what the article is all about as it does detail some of the positives of Push eMail as well, such as automatic OTA synchronization of Contact, Calendar and Tasks.

Give it a read and discuss your thoughts.

http://www.modernnom...hp?article_id=7

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#2
chucky.egg

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I wouldn't say anyone has to have it, but for me there are real benefits to it.

Last week,whilst I was on leave, a colleague emailed me something just before he left work, but I needed more info. Without Direct Push I probably wouldn't have got it in time to reply before he left - and my project would have been delayed by a week.

Before I had it I thought I didn't need it - the same way I thought Bluetooth was unnecessary when I had IrDA.

It's not the Holy Grail. but the convenience and instant-ness of Push has without question helped me.

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#3
Webreaper

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Last week,whilst I was on leave, a colleague emailed me something just before he left work, but I needed more info. Without Direct Push I probably wouldn't have got it in time to reply before he left - and my project would have been delayed by a week.


Hmmm. If it was that important, why not just 'phone the guy? ;) :)

I have to say, I agree, can't understand the need for it. It's only really the same as send-receiving regularly anyway....

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#4
Monolithix

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Personally timing isnt a key factor for me, like encece a regular check period on pop3 is perfectly adequate. However what DO like about exchange email is keeping my PC/laptop/smartphone/ppc all synced when i read, reply or delete an email. Fantastic!

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#5
PaulOBrien

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Amen to that Mono.

I love the fact if I blat my phone, get a new phone or whatever, contacts, calendar, mail etc. etc. are back on in no time at all.

I'm a push mail junkie now tho, thank goodness for flat rate GPRS!

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#6
Sonicr360

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Personally, I completely agree with Paul. You need a Mail Server to get the most out of this.
Is it REALLY worth the extra costs? Probably not!!
For Business customers... again I do not see the real benefit. If you have POP3 accounts configured, is it REALLY REALLY that hard to initiate a SEND/RECEIVE???? Come on!! dont be lazy or ignorant that you NEED push Email because "you needed more info".

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ever heard of a telephone??? a TELEPHONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sometimes it really does amaze me why people believe we need this type of technology. Its as if they rely on this MORE than their right arm.

So.... whats more important to you.... push email or losing a part of your body you really rely on?

Finally, if you run a Mail Server (Exchange) you can use a POP3 connector and some allow you to retrieve emails in 2, 3, 5, 10 in fact any schedule you want!!

In summary.... Do I use it? NO! will I use it? NO!
Is there a real requirement for it, or is Microsoft simply using it as competition against the RIM's?

A question we can all answer...!

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#7
chucky.egg

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Hmmm. If it was that important, why not just 'phone the guy? ;) :)


That's the point - without Push Email I wouldn't have known to call him, or at very least was unlikely to catch him in the office before he left for his holiday.

With Push Email I knew within a few seconds (of him sending the email) that he'd finished, but I also knew that there was more info I needed. A few seconds typing my reply meant that my project didn't stall

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#8
chucky.egg

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Personally, I completely agree with Paul. You need a Mail Server to get the most out of this.
Is it REALLY worth the extra costs? Probably not!!
For Business customers... again I do not see the real benefit. If you have POP3 accounts configured, is it REALLY REALLY that hard to initiate a SEND/RECEIVE???? Come on!! dont be lazy or ignorant that you NEED push Email because "you needed more info".

HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ever heard of a telephone??? a TELEPHONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sometimes it really does amaze me why people believe we need this type of technology. Its as if they rely on this MORE than their right arm.

So.... whats more important to you.... push email or losing a part of your body you really rely on?

Finally, if you run a Mail Server (Exchange) you can use a POP3 connector and some allow you to retrieve emails in 2, 3, 5, 10 in fact any schedule you want!!

In summary.... Do I use it? NO! will I use it? NO!
Is there a real requirement for it, or is Microsoft simply using it as competition against the RIM's?

A question we can all answer...!


Entitled to your opinion, but wrong on many counts IMO

Compare it to voice calls - how about every 15 minutes your phone bleeps to say you missed a call 12 minutes ago. How convenient would that be, and why shouldn't email be as "instant" as SMS and voice calls?

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#9
Dr Who

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and why shouldn't email be as "instant" as SMS and voice calls?


From someone who has never used Push and has no need of the service that is as succinctly put an argument as I have seen in favour of Push email. Why not indeed?

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#10
dearsina

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Luddite rhetorical questions of necessity have no place in a forum for mobile technology. We should be asking “can we” rather than “should we”, and if the answer is yes, then we should do it, not for the reasons we know, but for the reasons we don’t know.

There are excellent papers written about the erroneously perceived correlation between the increased speed of communication and increase in productivity and how there in fact is no proof that we today get more work done than an era where the fax machine was the most advanced piece of technology in an office, and we can easily trace our footsteps backwards and question every technological advance, but such a narrow and narcissistic perspective could be fatal in the business world, it doesn’t really matter if we really need instant (push) email, because your competitor will get it, and all other things being equal, and admittedly somewhat hypothetical, those 14 minutes saved could turn out to be camel back breaking straws.

I could argue that the difference in push and pull email could be up to 29 minutes assuming a dialog of email received, email read, email answered, email sent, email received back and how much can happen in those 29 minutes, but it’s a highly contested argument as seen in the posts above, and more importantly, it completely misses the point.

If we focus our efforts on discussing minutes saved and lost in push versus pull we are missing the bigger picture. Push email is about elevating email from an unreliable and (relatively) slow medium of communication to the reliable and instant medium it was intended to be. Push email, Blackberrys and its copycats (WM5, OpenHand et al.) are and will continue to change our relationship with email, as fundamentally as GSM (mobiles) changed our relationship with the telephone. Do we (strictly speaking) need a mobile phone? Many asked that question a decade ago, not so many are asking that today.

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#11
rsearley

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I accept support requests and sales orders by email, whilst near a pc i used to check email every 5 minutes or so, which meant my pc was running virtually all the time,

this extended into a habit of ritually checking email whereever i was.

now that i have push mail, i can fairly much leave the pc off, and my constant need to do a manual send receive has gone away, i can wait for the messages to apear on the phone, then decide if i need to power up the pc or not

for some i can see that it is not essential, but like most things it has its benefits

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When? Where? Why?.

#12
Jasonkruys

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Luddite rhetorical questions of necessity have no place in a forum for mobile technology. We should be asking “can we” rather than “should we”, and if the answer is yes, then we should do it, not for the reasons we know, but for the reasons we don’t know.

There are excellent papers written about the erroneously perceived correlation between the increased speed of communication and increase in productivity and how there in fact is no proof that we today get more work done than an era where the fax machine was the most advanced piece of technology in an office, and we can easily trace our footsteps backwards and question every technological advance, but such a narrow and narcissistic perspective could be fatal in the business world, it doesn’t really matter if we really need instant (push) email, because your competitor will get it, and all other things being equal, and admittedly somewhat hypothetical, those 14 minutes saved could turn out to be camel back breaking straws.

I could argue that the difference in push and pull email could be up to 29 minutes assuming a dialog of email received, email read, email answered, email sent, email received back and how much can happen in those 29 minutes, but it’s a highly contested argument as seen in the posts above, and more importantly, it completely misses the point.

If we focus our efforts on discussing minutes saved and lost in push versus pull we are missing the bigger picture. Push email is about elevating email from an unreliable and (relatively) slow medium of communication to the reliable and instant medium it was intended to be. Push email, Blackberrys and its copycats (WM5, OpenHand et al.) are and will continue to change our relationship with email, as fundamentally as GSM (mobiles) changed our relationship with the telephone. Do we (strictly speaking) need a mobile phone? Many asked that question a decade ago, not so many are asking that today.

sina
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Excellent! I agree wholeheartedly, and saves me writing almost the exact same thing.

"We should be asking “can we” rather than “should we”, and if the answer is yes, then we should do it, not for the reasons we know, but for the reasons we don’t know." - If it weren't for this kind of thinking, would the smartphone ever have been born?

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#13
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I use it every single day, and it's crucial to my business.

Most of my customers now contact me with suport problems by email rather than phone, and it's simply made things far more efficient and profitable.

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#14
Socrates

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Hmmm. If it was that important, why not just 'phone the guy? ;) :)

I have to say, I agree, can't understand the need for it. It's only really the same as send-receiving regularly anyway....



I can't always pick up the phone and talk to a customer while I'm sitting in a different customer's office running the meter on their billing. However I can glace at my email and see if it's an emergency or not.


Plus I also prefer to have customers underlings leave a paper trail of EXACTLY what they told me rather than having them go go their boss later and play he said she said when they forget to describe the problem correctly to me over the phone.

Edited by Socrates, 10 July 2006 - 07:51 PM.

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#15
jimbouk

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Some superb points made above - apart from the guy who said we dont need it and he wont ever use it.

I wonder if he said the same about digital clocks and has an old fashioned clock by his bed. If so I wonder if he finds it frustrating if he wants to check the time in the middle of the night, he has to turn the light on so he can see the clockface?

Setting your device to sync/send-receive every 15 minutes is fine - but if there are no emails then it has a data cost for no benefit and potentially a 29 minute lag (as mentioned above) - as this could be the difference between meeting/exceeding a customers expectations and getting/keeping the business, I am all for it.

I run my own business. I pay £50 approx a year to rent an exchange server account off 4smartphone and think its money well spent.

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#16
adchaffey

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Compare it to voice calls - how about every 15 minutes your phone bleeps to say you missed a call 12 minutes ago. How convenient would that be, and why shouldn't email be as "instant" as SMS and voice calls?


I was having this exact discussion with a friend the other day. That's a great point chucky.egg, and the best argument I've heard so far.

On the other hand, I've actually resorted to closing outlook and only sending/receiving mail 2/3 times during the day and feel I've massively increased my productivity by not being interrupted every 10 minutes by more spam ! Then again, push email is a new technology/toy, so I'm bound to change my mind and accept it soon enough ;-)

Edited by adchaffey, 10 July 2006 - 10:08 PM.

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#17
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"We should be asking “can we” rather than “should we”, and if the answer is yes, then we should do it, not for the reasons we know, but for the reasons we don’t know." - If it weren't for this kind of thinking, would the smartphone ever have been born?


I couldn't disagree with that statement more. There is plenty of crap out there that I would never use just because it's there. Does anyone remember the VOQ?

I'm not calling Push email crap nor comparing it to the legacy of the VOQ...but I personally would never use anything just because the masses do or because it's the latest thing. Check my Smartphone history and you may not believe that...but I actually consider almost all of my smartphone purchases as upgrades in one form or another.

That said...

I use Comcast Cable as my ISP and my mail email address. I sync that and my work email via POP3 every 15 minutes. As said...this is fine for my needs. If ANYTHING is time sensitive...I'm just a phone call away. And anyone who would need me that immediately knows that.

BUT...
If Comcast or my office offered synchronization via an exchange server...I'd probably jump on it. It just seems so difficult and burdensome to find an appropriate Exchange service that is easy to use and second nature to set up.

Maybe it's my ignorance on this subject that causes my reluctance. I understand that there are free services out there, but that doesn't seem private enough for me. (Not that anyone wants to read my boring calendar and task list). But on the face, without my own server...it seems I'd need to forward my comcast mail to another server in order to get it on my phone. Is this correct?

Incoming Mail > Comcast Mail > Outside Hosted Exchange Server > My phone

Is that correct?

I don't know what I don't know. Tell me I wrong. Show my the beauty of Push. Just don't tell me I need it because it's there.

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#18
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null

Edited by Socrates, 11 July 2006 - 07:25 AM.

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#19
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...If Comcast or my office offered synchronization via an exchange server...I'd probably jump on it. It just seems so difficult and burdensome to find an appropriate Exchange service that is easy to use and second nature to set up.

Maybe it's my ignorance on this subject that causes my reluctance. I understand that there are free services out there, but that doesn't seem private enough for me. (Not that anyone wants to read my boring calendar and task list). But on the face, without my own server...it seems I'd need to forward my comcast mail to another server in order to get it on my phone. Is this correct?

Incoming Mail > Comcast Mail > Outside Hosted Exchange Server > My phone

Is that correct?

I don't know what I don't know. Tell me I wrong. Show my the beauty of Push. Just don't tell me I need it because it's there.


Its actually very simple. If you rent an exchange mailbox, you can set it up to collect all your mail from your other account for you, or you can auto-forward your pop mail - or domain owners can point their MX record to their exchange server.

As Exchange, WM5 and Activesync are all MS apps, the set up on your pc and device is dead simple - 4smartphone will even give you a download to set it all up for you. Otherwise you just add the exchange server account on your pc's outlook and in activesync.

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#20
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Personally, I like not having to reply to emails immediately. Not getting a phone call 2 minutes after the email was sent asking why I hadn't replied.

Believe it or not, I don't like phones. The only person I call is my wife. The only person who calls me is my wife. I like it that way. :)

The thing I hate about phones is that they're rude.

You can be having a conversation with someone, and someone phones you. The caller is interrupting you, but if you ignore them they get annoyed. Most people would take the call and ask the other guy you're talking to to wait. This is rude. I'd not expect someone to walk down stairs, barge into a conversation and interrupt - but with phone calls they do it all the time, and expect you to pick up.

But that's just me, a lowly software developer who's been brought up on technology from an early age...

Edited by Swampie, 11 July 2006 - 10:06 AM.

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