by Mike Masnick

Is Email The Best Method For Real-Time Alerts?

from the just-wondering... dept

It's been pretty common for a while now to see airlines offering email alerts for last minute changes (e.g. "your flight is late"). In my experience, though, those emails almost always arrive too late to matter: I end up getting them after I've landed. Still, it seemed like an interesting idea to hear that Chicago's airports will now be offering last minute emailed information about which lots are full, so that travelers looking to park at the airport can avoid full lots after getting messages sent to their mobile devices. But is it really that efficient? As the article notes, many other airports just offer that info up in response to a phone call, or broadcast it over AM airwaves -- both of which are much more real time. Given the delays that email (and, similarly, text messages) often face, is email really the best solution for real-time communication?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Keith, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 2:43pm

    No Subject Given

    In my experience and opinion, e-mail has not been the best solution for anything other than informal chat. There is a definite need for a solution to this problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Amit, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 2:52pm

    Email = snail mail

    In this fast paced world email is mostly equivalent to surface mail or snail mail, the only difference being it is digitised and is faster. But there are still a lot of delays and very few people can read email on the go as compared to making a phone call or listeneing to AM

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 2:57pm

    Actually, not too bad

    The dedicated microstation radios only (by definition) work when you're close; regular ones, like traffic reports, would be too infrequent to be dependable. So multiple modes is reasonable -- you might be in a restaurant and check your mail before leaving, then discover you could allow extra time.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Charlie Hedlin, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 3:00pm

    Seems to work well for me

    I have been at the airport and gotten my text messages of delays and gate changes before they were posted to the screens or anounced.
    I distinctly remember sitting at the gate and getting a text message. It had a new gate number. I commented to my wife and a stranger we had been talking to. About a minute later the change was anounced.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Pericles, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 3:22pm

    No Subject Given

    Yeah e-mail tends to be a bit of a problem for some things and not for others. I remember getting a "New Music Tuesdays" e-mail from iTunes at about 2am on thursday morning. Most dealyed e-mail I think I have ever gotten. Can't say I've had much trouble otherwise though with other businesses or contacts. Not really sure behind the reasoning for their delay but my "New Music Tuesdays" e-mails rarely arrive on Tuesday.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mikester, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 4:02pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    This past July I received an email from my mother with a picture attached (~1Mb). The sent date was February! What in the world this email was doing floating around the internet for 5 months, I'll never know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    sun818, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 8:24pm

    call me on my cell phone.

    this is when voice technology comes handy. have an automated system phone your cell phone and let you know what's up. email although not as reliable, is an easier method to mass notify. recording the outgoing message and calling the cell phones cost more money than an e-mail system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Gary Potter, Nov 2nd, 2005 @ 7:52am

    DFW Terminal D

    Mike, the new terminal D at DFW has sinage that tells you how many open spots there are on any level of the new parking garage. Bad picture but you'll get the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous, Nov 2nd, 2005 @ 11:26am

    No Subject Given

    Push v. Pull

    I want the email to "tap" me; I won't always pull the update via a call or radio.

    Of course, the provider should offer ALL these channels and let each consumer choose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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