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Web 2.0 to replace workplace warfare?

Hi there! My name is Liz and I am in my last semester of coursework for my MS in Scientific and Technical Communication. I have been at this graduate school coursework thing for about 5 years now and I cringe to think I received my BS in microbiology way back in 2001. Don’t be frightened by that statement if you are an undergrad considering graduate studies, I also work full time and have a darling 18-month-old little boy at home, so I made this journey one course at a time. When I started into this whirlwind I was working full time, but not much else. Since then I have married, had a child, bought a house, got a dog, and changed jobs at least three times. When I graduate, I will have a lot of people to thank – I could never have done it alone.

I currently work as a sterilization microbiologist at a local medical device company. What that really means is that it is my job to make sure that the stents, balloons, guidewires, and grafts we make are free of microbiological hitchhikers when they are used in a patient. The bulk of my work consists of documentation and project management. In reality I spend most of my day writing reports and working with data – deciding things like which format works best to show our team metrics, how to display data to support a root cause analysis, and how to word a report so it generates the fewest questions during an audit. I love my job and I am glad my technical communication skills are valued in my department.

I remember the days of DOS and showing my mom how to use the browser on our old PC when I was in high school. You opened the program and you were positioned in a virtual study or library. If you wanted to surf the news, you would walk over and click on the newspaper sitting on the desk in the room; alternately if you wanted to look at a map, you clicked on the globe in the middle of the room. I see now why the interface was designed as such, even though at the time I thought it was cheesy. Shortly thereafter I discovered hotmail, msn messenger and I would never forget the sounds of chatting in ICQ. You hear the clickety-click of typing and the “uh-oh? that accompanied incoming messages. Chatting online is how I learned to type quickly and I am happy to report I can still hunt and peck 60 words per minute.

That said, I registered for this course to expand my tech experience since I seem to have fallen off the technology wagon when it comes to Web 2.0. The Internet is a vast sea of information and sometimes I feel like I still need water wings to stay afloat with the new technology. In the introduction to Connect! there is a list of ways in which we “web work? (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. xiv). I would like to think am a web worker, or at least partially so. I occasionally telecommute or work from home; however in the office I have the luxury of additional desktop real estate and semi-professional surroundings. I receive emails, text messages, and phone calls on my cell phone and I don’t know that I ever really stop working, but I am okay with that. I also work on a distributed team and as of late I find myself hosting a daily net meeting for a project that involves attendees from all over the U.S. Yet I still do not consider myself Web 2.0 savvy.

On that note and more than 600 words later, I am particularly interested in learning more about Web 2.0 applications so I can try bringing more “cubicle connecting? to my department and to the company (Zelenka & Sohn, 2008, p. xv). I always have my eye out for new and better ways to organize and store data. New software technology and new ways of thinking don’t happen overnight, so in the meantime my coworkers and I have devolved to throwing Nerf items at one another with post-it notes attached or using white board graffiti to communicate when email doesn’t suit.

Can the technology of Web 2.0 replace some of our workplace warfare as a means of communication?

Stay Tuned...

Comments

Your job sounds interesting and like a lot of fun.

I first remember getting a computer to type up book reports in elementary instead of using the typewriter. Eventually we got an internet connection. Even though our first internet connection was extremely slow, I probably learned to type quickly by using instant messenger when it was popular. I remember wanting to hurry and type the next message before my friend said something else or got offline. It was fun to hold multiple conversations at one time. It was kind of an adrenaline rush at times.

Now I always hear people talking about different websites like I should know what they are because everyone else does so I have to go check them out.

Thanks Liz! I really appreciate all of your advice and info on wedding stuff...you have no idea how much it will help!