Twitter Productivity

I’ve been using Twitter dilligently over the past couple days, and it’s been fun, but not too fun. Every once in a while I glance over at it to see what people are saying, inadvertently learning quite a bit about what’s hot on the Internet. I witness people taking meals, getting sick, going out, coming back from meetings, grumbling about what they’re working on, and exulting about things that are going well. It’s pretty astonishing at how well this plugs a certain void in my daily routine, without disrupting it too much.

An interesting thing happened tonight as I was thinking about heading upstairs to watch some TV. I saw a few people break off to go watch TV, collect a pizza, and so forth, but there were a fair number of people who were working. So I decided to stay up and work a little too…heck, other people were working on cool stuff, so I figured I would bang on my website a bit. And so I did, spending a bit of time adjusting the typography on my new theme (it’s based on K2; you can see the staging site at if you’re interested in seeing the mess things are in right now). You know how it’s easier to work in the office if other people are working next to you? This had a very similar effect. Eerie!

It’s also very strange how I’m getting to know people through their twitterings. I’ve been making it a policy of adding everyone who adds me, just to see just how far this can go before it hits overload. I guess the people who I’ve added happen to be people who mostly work on stuff. This is way better than Instant Messaging or sitting on the IRC channel. The Twitter style of interaction is a usable side-channel of chatter, encouraging people to just emit information one-way without the expectation of receiving an immediate reply. IRC and AIM, by comparison, carry with it the expectation of two-way conversation. Twitter is also a kind of performance space, because your tweets help create the shared social context. The odd thing is that your twitterspace is shaped by who you’re following, which isn’t the same from person to person.