Should universities forget eMail and use Facebook instead?

Neilsen Online has just released a report stating that social networking is more popular than eMail, writes ZDNet blogger Zach Whittaker, which leads him to the question: Considering eMail is one of the main ways students hear about things from the student unions and campus officials, is eMail becoming a thing of the past? "University eMail often, if not always, comes as a web mail solution, allowing users to login through a browser. I, on the other hand, use a desktop client, which suits me as I use the IMAP protocol," Whittaker writes. "Students aren’t expected to keep their browser open at all times in case something comes through the wires. From my research, most students check their eMail up to 5 times a day. Last year, there was a security threat on campus when a suspected device was found in the library. Immediately, eMails were sent out to all 19,000 students to avoid campus and those on site, to evacuate. I didn’t get the eMail, but if I got the message through Facebook (as I was on it at the time), I wouldn’t have dragged my arse up to campus. If Facebook was used to spread the message, many more people would have been alerted to the fact there was an incident on campus, but it wasn’t…"

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