My name is Ali Swerdlow, and I am officially the first employee of the Email Experience Council. I started less than one week ago and my first day went a little something like this: ("Hit it!")
"Hi Ali, welcome aboard. Next week is OMMA, and you are organizing our booth and all the materials we need to have to communicate who we are and what we do. Cool?"
That all sounded fine to me and our booth at the event got set up without any issues... And then the show floor opened.
It was at this point that I realized how big this event was. OMMA was jam-packed with people who were looking for strategic direction and support on a variety of digital marketing issues, especially email. The level of depth of the questions they were asking was amazing. All day and night, they were talking about business issues and looking for direction. The floor was really abuzz. I was both excited and a quite frankly, a bit overwhelmed with the interest level that everyone demonstrated.
The quest for more information peaked at the conclusion of the session we moderated, "Email Liar's Club." The panel and audience were extremely interactive as they played the game. EEC members provided email related case studies (one of them was fraudulent). The audience had 15 minutes to ask questions to determine which case study was not real and which panelist was the "liar." We received overwhelming accolades for our "game show format" being both entertaining and relevant; people enjoyed it and valued the expert insights.
Toward the end of the session, when the audience was going crazy asking questions and bonding with the speakers, Paul Beck and Jeanniey Mullen did something that no one expected. They announced that the organization had just set its very first email-related standard, releasing the "official spelling of the word email" -"email," no hyphen.
Paul provided an overview of the research and survey efforts taken to come to a formal position and then provided a great historical recap of the spelling of other words like "online," which evolved over the years from the combination of two separate words in much the same way: electronic mail, to e-mail, to email.
To our delight, this announcement was met with rounds of applause by all. It seemed to indicate to me that the EEC is changing the way email is being recognized by the industry and realizing its new role as the digital backbone. Adoption of this spelling has already started to take place in style guides of many of our EEC members. Members of the audience vowed to support the spelling and to spread the word among colleagues and clients.*
I was proud to be a part of the EEC at that moment. It is amazing to me that my first week ended with such an active participation in the way email is evolving. I am wondering what will happen next week!
If you haven't checked out the EEC yet, I encourage you to visit our brand new Web site, which launched yesterday.
*[Editor's note: Per the AP Style Guide, at MediaPost we have been hyphenating the word "e-mail." We will take the EEC's recommendation under advisement.]