Referring to an August 2008 story in the New York Times by Sarah Jane Tribble, I scribbled the following Twitter message last night:
Based on whoever watched my stream at that second and chose to respond, here are the 14 answers, in order of arrival:
- The hangover. -Lee Stacey at @pilchardmusic
- The geeks in the corner texting each other from within the same room. – Jamie Scheu at @scheuguy
- The walk in the office hallway or crossing the downtown quad seeing friends and strangers and making quick small talk. – Meryl K. Evans at @merylkevans
- Happy hour. – Stephanie Kieras at @smkieras
- An association where the meeting never ends. – PR Newswire at @prnewswire
- Speed dating. – Nancy Friedman at @fritinancy
- The insane asylum. – Seth Gray at @sethgray
- The water cooler. – Adam Snider at @ink_slinger
- Quick conversations in the elevator. – Ed Bennett at @ed_bennett
- The one night stand. – Craig Kessler at @craigkessler
- A good potluck supper party where everybody brings something to the table. – Liz Polay-Wettengel at @lizpw
- A party line. – B.K. DeLong at @bkdelong
- The water cooler. – Sherry Dedman @sherryness
- The corner or neighborhood coffeeshop. – Avelino Maestas at @avelino
The cliche of a water cooler is used many times, including twice above. I associate my use of Twitter as a combination of PR Newswire’s never-ending meeting and Avelino’s coffeeshop. Both provide imagery without necessity of description, and fall in line with Tribble’s metaphors.
But when I combine meetings and coffee, one idea comes to mind: COFFEE TALK!
To refresh your Saturday Night Live memory, watch this Hulu video (forgive me for the commercial; I didn’t put it in) to understand why:
If I can impart you with one piece of advice about Twitter, it’s that the social network is about people and companies talking among themselves. Collaboration.
To see this in action, check out Shel Israel’s blog where he has an entire category of posts about Twitterville, the title of his pending book. Also visit Laura Fitton’s Twitter for Dummies community as she writes a book of the same name.
Both Shel’s blog and Laura’s wiki enable anyone to vote ideas up and down and contribute content. They have no desire to write books solo. They turn to me for inspiration and I turn to you.
How do YOU define Twitter? And if you’re not using it, why not?