Executives, does your e-mail address end in AOL?

Three different highly respected business professionals communicated with me today and each of them made comments along the lines of, “Oh—that CEO is so far behind in technology that their e-mail address ends in AOL!”

I’m always ok with it when a CEO, President, or owner is not an IT professional. In fact, it is often easier for an IT professional to do their job if the leader of their organization is not always getting in their way!

IT changes so fast, even faster than clothes go out of style. Perhaps executives need to check in with their peers, or even better, IT professionals to be sure their “IT fashion” is not out of date. Sure, LinkedIn is alive and well today, but will they be the CompuServe of tomorrow? Twitter and Face Book are all the rage, but some fear MySpace is on the way out. Google has plans to make all of them obsolete with Google Buzz.

Many of the executives I work with are NOT experts in IT—and I think that is just fine. That’s why they have good IT professionals they trust on staff and/or outsourced.


5 Comments

  • Marvin Fagel Vistage 302 April 3, 2010 at 10:07 am - Reply

    So,
    are you saying NOT to use AOL ??

    Marvin

    • Mike Foster April 3, 2010 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Marvin,

      I think if you have specific reasons you want to stay with AOL, then do so. You may also want to get an e-mail address marvin@YourCompanyName.com to use in addition and maybe even instead. That way, if someday AOL ceases operations, you will not lose your only working e-mail address. Do you already have such and address or is your @aol.com address your only one? You may also choose to forward mail from your @aol.com address to your @SomeDomainMarvinOwns.com so you keep hearing from everyone who already has your @aol.com address as you make the transition. You should contact your qualified IT professional and discuss the recommendations with them, and please feel free to discuss it more with me as well.

  • Mike Foster April 3, 2010 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Hi Marvin – after you sent me an e-mail, I do see in your signature line that you do have your business e-mail account separate and use AOL for personal e-mail. One of your options, if you want to transition away from your @aol address, would be to get a personal address such as marvin@MarvinsFamily.com or another domain you register.

    The situation the root of this blog entry refers to does not apply in your case since you also have a non-AOL business address too in case someone ever criticizes you about your personal address.

    The main point I wish to make is: Some professionals, IT and otherwise, feel top level executives should be e-savvy. I think it is fine when an executive trusts qualified IT professionals to handle the technology for them so the executives can use their executive skills to focus on “executive duties.” Whatever works best for you…

  • Marvin Fagel April 4, 2010 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I have and use my AOL account for personal correspondence.
    I also have a business account at
    marvinxxxxxxxx@(mycompany’sname).com that I use for official company business. I do not use my company email for any personal business. I also have a g-mail account that I’m considering using.

    • Mike Foster April 4, 2010 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Keeping personal and business e-mail separate is always a great idea. Good job!

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