The problem with estimating

  Forum Editor 00:06 06 Jun 2003

total email traffic is that even the most informed of statisticians can only take a stab at the number of emails that are sent via corporate LANs and WANs. This figure alone must reach staggering proportions if my personal experience of the volumes going over my clients' networks is anything to go by.

Even so, 31 billion is a huge figure by any standards, and it's obvious that people are communicating as never before. What they are communicating about is another matter altogether, and of course a large part of the total is made up of spam messages.

Email has made better communicators of us all in my opinion, and many people who wouldn't dream of writing a conventional letter to a friend or relative are quite happy to tap out a quick email. It's the speed with which the thought can be followed by the action that makes email such a useful tool. Something can pop into my head now, and a minute or so later my thoughts are on a computer that's on the other side of the planet.

I've got clients in Hong Kong, and one day we timed an email from my London office to a desktop in a client's Hong Kong offices. It took around eight seconds to do the 5980 mile distance. The ability to communicate with that kind of speed is invaluable, and when you think of the millions of other messages that are flitting around the world at the same time you realise what an amazing technology email really is.

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