chapter  20
10 Pages

Don't Blink or You'll Miss It: Issues in Electronic Mail Research: Michael E. Holmes

I N the preceding chapter, Garton and Wellman observe that reviewing elec-tronic mail research is a Sisyphean task. The metaphor is only partly apt;Sisyphus was condemned to roll a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll down again, so he had to repeat the effort. He enjoyed a temporary completion of his onerous task. In contrast, no survey of e-mail research is likely to be complete, or even temporarily so. The rapid diffusion of organizational e-mail has earned it vigorous popular and scholarly attention, but has also accelerated its technical and social development. E-mail remains a moving target. The title of this commentary on Garton and Wellman's effort underscores the rapidly changing nature of the state of the art in e-mail and e-mail research.