The death of email has been reported frequently over the years, but the truth is: Email will never die, it is invincible.
Like HTTP, Email is built on open protocols (SMTP, IMAP, POP) and is also ubiquitous. Before the days of SMS, Skype and every other popular social messaging service, email existed as a way to send and receive messages from anyone over the internet.
Who is this purported killer of email? Chat!
Chat, which has also existed for many years (IRC? mIRC scripting? Wut up!), has made real-time communication over the internet easy and accessible. Chat solves many problems, makes team communication easier and I've used it for as long as I can remember being on the internet.
However, Chat is not the killer of email. Yes, chat reduces the amount of email back and forth inside of an organization, for sure, but chat is not a replacement for email—they are two different types of communication mediums.
How email and chat work together
The way I think about email and chat is this:
Chat is great for real-time, communication inside of an organization or group. Example: remote teams.
Email is for external communication outside of your organization. Example: communicating with clients.
Each still have their pros and cons. Chat being real-time generally expects a response quickly, but email is asynchronous so you may respond when you can.
And email is clunky, it's true, but the tools are getting better. And being able to communicate with anyone with an email address is something magical that's frequently taken for granted.
Pingly bridges the gap
Recognizing the benefits and differences between email and chat, Pingly bridges the gap and brings the two together into a single interface.
Pingly is a full-featured email provider. You can setup email on Pingly on your own domain in just a few minutes. The screenshot below shows how your Inbox and Channels (chat rooms) are accessible within the same interface so that switching between the two is a breeze.
Channels let you chat, share images, files and code snippets with your team...
However, one of the new ways Pingly helps bridge the gap between email and chat is being able to share an email or email thread with your team inside of a Channel.
Instead of forwarding an email (which is messy and prone to mangling the original thread), you can share it in a Channel. You can specify to share an individual email or the entire thread with an option to auto-update the thread in real-time as new emails come in. (Email sharing is currently in beta, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be a tester).