Twitter as a substitute for co-workers

I work alone in an office in my home. Except for an occasional visit from one of our cats, my contact with other living things is minimal until my wife returns home from her job.

Twitter has become my substitute for on-site coworkers. Instead of half-overheard hallway conversations as people pass my office door, I instead eavesdrop on the disjointed postings of my Twitter buds. (My Twitter profile is here.)

I joined Twitter when it was first being discovered by the Internet illuminati like Robert Scoble.

It quickly became a form of social interaction for me. In exchange for reading quick, short texts from the lives of people I follow, I wrote quick, short texts about my own life. Equally inane, perhaps.

Some of my followers follow me and read my words as I read theirs. Most don’t. Most are well-known bloggers who couldn’t be bothered with an unknown like me.

But that’s not the point. Twitter-mates are the same as workmates everywhere.

When Jason Calacanis and Dave Winer have a spat at Gnomedex, it’s as if they are just outside my office throwing Nerf balls at each other. And when others join in the Nerf barrage, we followers gleefully peek out our Twitter doorways to watch.

Oh…got to run. Just got a Twitter from Nick Starr: the Krispy Kremes are in the break room.

  • Nick Starr

    Thanks for the plug, btw my twitter profile is at: if you want to find out when the birthday cake arrives in the office ;-)

  • BarbaraKB

    Ditto. Twitter is better than the old water cooler. I learn lots more there for my work.

    Found you thru Dave Winer tweet.

    Me at Twitter: .

    I am now following you… ;-}


  • Randy Stewart

    God, I’m totally the same. So glad Winer linked to your post. I get the best random stuff via Twitter. While not a substitute for “real” coworkers, it sure does make it a little less lonely around the house.

    Randy Stewart

  • Laura Athavale Fitton

    You are ABSOLUTELY right. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen for the last two months that Twitter is my “water cooler.” But it’s a water cooler mashed up with an amazing social media & technology wire service/curated RSS reader. My office is just down the hall, you’ll see on the door!

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  • Shava Nerad

    lol! I explained twitter to my son as “office small talk, emphasis on the small, open minded on the office.” Since he, as a modern high schooler, lives on IMs, he gets it.

    Open door policy…:) Management by twittering around?


  • Gordon R. Vaughan

    Yeah, so many different uses for Twitter. I use it this way to an extent, too. Sometimes it helps to have a little conversation in the background, and I like knowing what’s going on in the tech world just as it’s happening.

    Twitter’s a great service. I try to not waste folks’ time with random tweets, though I guess that has a place, too, depending on how you’re using it.

    I’m at