Archives for : digital pollution

Digital carbage and how to reduce it

Digital carbage

I’m afraid we will drown into digital carbage one day. That day is not necessarily in the far future but it can be this week or next.
One of the biggest soure of digital carbage is corporate e-mails with attachments. In every corporation, in every project there are working groups that still (in the year 2013) share a lot of information via e-mail. These people often add information to e-mails in form of attachments that makes it worse.

Attachments and versions

The problem with sending e-mail attachments is that when you send it to n persons you would instantly create at least n+2 different versions of the file. The situation is even worse if you added multiple attachments to your e-mail that you’re going to send – let’s say to 5 colleagues (3 from your office + 2 contractors or whoever).

By doing that you will create following versions of your file(s):
– one in each recipient’s mailbox (ouch – which one is original now?) – that is n
– one on your harddisk (so-called original) – that is n+1
– one in your sent-mail folder (is that original?) – that is n+2

When each recipient saves the attachment(s) from e-mail to harddisk more versions will be added.

My question is – which version is correct?

The solution

The solution is elegantly simple – use cloud services and shared documents. There are a number of such services while most popular are Google Drive and Microsoft Skydrive. Even Dropbox would work however it could impose some file locking issues. I know about corporate policies and rules (I worked at Ericsson for many years) but this is no excuse for polluting the digispace.
One document in one place shared to those who have to work with that. Easy. Simple. Done.
Any thoughts on that?