The thirtieth anniversary of the first e‐mail was celebrated recently, but no one knows the exact date or what the original message was. This lack of certainty is typical of research on e‐mail – there is now a substantial body of knowledge, but little attempt has been made to co‐ordinate it. This article looks at the origins and features of e‐mail and brings together findings on such issues as information overload, aggression and unsolicited commercial e‐mail (“spam”). Information storage and retrieval issues are covered, as are the results of user‐impact studies. The article identifies scope for further research on human‐computer interaction.
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