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Tweeting as Workstreaming

When working with others such as collaborating on a project or working as part of a team it is important to stay in contact, especially for web workers. The readings for this week highlight different ways you can do this and ways to keep people up to date on what everyone is working on through workstreaming.

I agree with Zelenka & Sohn (2008) that phatic communications (those that are more for social purposes, like a conversation around the water cooler) are important to keep conversations going and make social contacts (142). Since there isn’t a water cooler to do this around when web working, virtual ways are needed to do this. Zelenka & Sohn (2008) give a number of possibilities (besides email) that include instant messaging, chat rooms, video chat and status updaters (143-147). This week our class spent time working with a status updater: Twitter. This type of tool is defined as a way to keep all of your contacts knowledgeable about what is happening in your life (Zelenka & Sohn 2008, 147). It works both ways and allows you to know what is happening in your contacts’ lives as well. Indeed Twitter is an excellent way to keep informed. I also believe that it is a great way to get to know everyone. During this week, I was excited to leave little, concise messages about what I was doing or thinking and then reading what everyone else was doing or thinking. The limit allows for only the most pertinent information at the time of the post which keeps things incredibly simple and concise. This makes it easy to read, understand and get the point across.

After tweeting this week I agree with Skellie (2006) that Twitter is best tool for workstreaming in a group (1). It provides our class with a way to keep everyone updated about what each person is accomplishing and what still needs to be done. For a group it works well instead of using another tool like trying to mass text everyone or getting everyone into a chat room. In watching Jen Wigham’s video for this week, it is easy to see how Twitter has benefited the UpTake. During the RNC, they used Twitter as a tool to keep tabs on what was happening with the convention and with their correspondents in the field (Wigham 2009). Now the UpTake uses Twitter as more of a press release in order to keep people informed (Wigham 2009).