First off, I am in the Google ghetto, as apparently the only person for whom Google has yet to turn on the Priority Inbox feature. I even pay for a premium account, and still I am not cool enough.
People in the tech industry, whether entrepreneurs, investors, business development or whatnot, suffer famously from email overload. I use a tiered system of email accounts to deal with it and prioritize emails.
It is hard enough to get noticed as an outsider when you send an email, but it is possible with a pithy subject line and succinct opening paragraph. Now, you are at the mercy of the machine. Is there going to be an SEO business for emails to try and find your way into the priority inbox? For many harried execs, an email in the non-priority queue might as well be in the spam folder.
Is this the end of the serendipitous connection? Does that matter? Are we now doomed to insularity?
It certainly means that having a warm introduction to a targeted contact is more critical than ever. It also means that the conference business is going to see a rebound, because you need to find your targets in person, not digitally.