Anti-social girl joins Twitter
Posted by Kathi Chenoweth on October 29, 2008
I joined Twitter last week. Now, I’ve gone on record as being anti-social, so this didn’t seem like something I would like. I’m only following 15 people so it’s pretty quiet so far. But here is what I have observed:
Twitter is like working in cubicles.
You know how in cubicle-land you are intently focusing on your work, and then you hear the person in the next cubicle start talking on the phone? That is the ‘beep’ of twitter: Hello!!! Bring your attention HERE, right now!
You look at the tweet, and you see a one-sided conversation. But wait! Twitter improves on that. You can go find the other side of the conversation. So instead of being annoyed at your co-worker who is interrupting your focus by discussing something trivial very LOUDLY on the phone – you can now hear BOTH SIDES of the trivial/loud conversation! Great, huh? Please note that NONE of the fifteen people I am following are having annoying conversations. I just said that for dramatic effect. The people I follow are always interesting.
These eavesdropped conversations are sometimes even work-related. Even better, if you don’t understand something the person is referring to, they will include URL’s with more information. Now that’s something you can’t get from eavesdropping through the cubicle wall!
And if you are really interested, you can just butt in to the conversation. Imagine doing that to your cubicle neighbor. But in Twitter, the person expects and encourages you to eavesdrop. Cool.
Twitter also improves upon cubicle land by allowing everyone to talk to themselves while they work, and have their mumblings be heard across the entire office floor and beyond. When your crazy-talks-to-himself coworker mumbles from his cubicle “why won’t these numbers on the spreadsheet add up?”, he doesn’t expect an answer does he? But in Twitter, he gets responses. Someone may just commiserate– “I hate spreadsheets too”. Another person may offer help –“here try this cool tool for fixing spreadsheets”. Another may just distract him from his miseries — “free tacos at Taco Bell today!”
I don’t currently work in a cubicle, but I spent many years doing so early in my career. I also had some worse-than-cubicle experiences as a consultant. Cubicles for all their faults (lack of privacy, distractions) had some real benefits (collaboration, sense of belonging, “knowing what is going on”).
If, like me, you had a love/hate relationship with cubicles, then you may want to give Twitter a try. I’m going to stick it out. Here’s hoping more than ten people decide to follow me.
This entry was posted on October 29, 2008 at 2:23 pm and is filed under social network. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.