Twick or Tweet?

Alyssa Rosenberg at FedBlog made me want to step up my game by getting on Twitter with this post. (Speaking of which, I heart FedBlog, especially now that they seem to have hired a full-time blogger.) But I am resisting lest the temptation to live-tweet boring meetings overwhelm me. It feels kind of like a broadcast version of instant messaging, a technology for which I am still trying to find an appropriate professional application (beyond “hey let’s get lunch” or “trapped on phone pls call me on other line”). Hmm.

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Paulette Neal-Allen

We use IM at work… as a matter of fact, I’m using it right now. I’m working on a project with a coworker, who happens to be in the next office, but there’s people in cubicles off the hallway between us so to work together with her on her computer with her tools, and me on my computer with my tools, we’d have to be on a speakerphone at each desk. But there would be a lot of dead air on the speakerphone while she works for a few minutes and then I work for a few minutes and then she tests what I do and so on… this way, when she’s ready for me to test something she changed in the database, she just IMs me and then I do my thing and IM her back, and we can both multi-task on other things between times.

Does that help give you ideas for actual useful IM at work?

As for myself, I’m having trouble finding an appropriate professional application for Twitter… I’m off to read the article you pointed to! : )

Alyssa Rosenberg

Kate, I’m going to get a FedBlog group up on GovLoop soon; I hope you’ll join us. And feel free to chime in on posts; we could use a little more discussion in comments!

Paulette Neal-Allen

yes, but it’s easier to type-and-enter than new mail, who is it going to, do I need a subject, type, alt-enter or click on send. That is, it’s easier for me. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. : -)

Paulette Neal-Allen

Re-reading my comment, the first “Yes, but it’s…” should have been “the transaction does work on email, but for me it’s…”

Tom Shoop

As the guy who formerly handled all the Fedblog posting, I’m glad you think that making room for Alyssa has improved things. But you’re right that she only seems to be a full-time blogger. She’s actually squeezing all this blogging in around her regular work!

Kate Yemelyanov

Well, seeing as how you were running the place and trying to blog you were lucky to do one post a day. But more FedBlog is, by definition, better FedBlog.

Elizabeth Rosas

I completely see the value of IM in the context of what Paulette is describing – some years ago, we implemented Lotus Sametime to use in a similar way. That fizzled, unfortunately. At the time, I think only a small subset of our employees were familiar and comfortable with IM, so the uptake was relatively low – but in my area, where the demographics are somewhat different (younger, more Web-savvy workers), it was very valuable to be able to communicate in a quick, informal way vs. having to be in a room together or deal with the asynchronous nature of email.

Delia Santiago

On the Twitter front, NASA has a ton of Twitter accounts– see a partial listing on nasa.gov at http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/home/twitter.html. Some are more official than others, and many NASA employees Twitter during work and share ideas, links, etc. that are quite work related. You learn pretty quickly to not “live tweet boring meeting” and soon find it a great way to create community. I do a hybrid work/ personal style but do not formally identify my work position on my twitter account.

Also, see a great post at http://www.opennasa.com/2008/06/15/social-media-whats-the-point/

As for IM– it can be very valuable for communications, even increasing productivity with short IMs vs. interrupting someone at their desk or with a phone call, but it can be a terrible distraction as well.

Tracy Kerchkof

The most effective use of twitter by far has been on NPR’s talk of the nation science friday. I know its not government, but I think it could be a useful example.