Twitter and Facebook, the new virtual watercooler

I have no idea of how many telecommuters are out there, but I do know their numbers are increasing. I’ve been one of one for many years, I WFH (work from home) 4 days a week and visit the office 1 day a week. The one thing you miss with working with virtual teams is those more casual conversations that used to happen in the hallways and around the watercooler (or break room).

It seems for some of us, that twitter and facebook is the new virtual watercooler. For me at least it’s a handy way to track the goings on of my mostly past colleagues (and a few that are still present).

I know that one of my overseas colleagues is mad for cricket and tweets on the fortunes of his home team. I wasn’t surprised when one of my past colleagues was quoted in the Economist on his views on Cloud Computing, because I have followed his writing efforts on twitter. A past member of a team I managed has turned into quite the wine connoisseur. This is all courtesy of social media.

While not a substitute for real world interactions, Twitter and Facebook are not a bad placeholder for the social discourse I miss by not getting out of the house.

About the Author Kathy Alice

Kathy Alice Brown is a SEO expert specializing in Technical SEO and Content. In her spare time she loves to get outside.

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Mike Troup says April 26, 2010

I believe you made the best statement about using tweeter and facebook being the casual conversation site. Although I work out of my home in a small office, I still have the need to stay in touch with others on a more personal basis. In addition to doing so with current associates, these sites also allow us to relocate lost friends and former business associates.

Kathy Alice says April 28, 2010

Thanks for pointing that out! I am connected to a few of my college classmates and I would not be in touch with them if it hadn’t been for facebook.

Randy Kirk says May 12, 2010

I must be old school. I do the same thing, but through email. Maybe my associates are on Facebook or Twitter, but I don’t think so. Those who are on Facebook seem to put up stupid stuff or only brag about their farms.

But email seems to be where the action is for real conversation.

My 14 year old is on skype 10 hours a day with his friends. Seems better. It is hilarious to watch his friends totally doing homework or whatever and occasionally look up to say something like they were in the same room

Kathy Alice says May 19, 2010

I agree the Farmville (Mafia Wars, etc..) thing is a annoying. A quick tip is you can hide Farmville posts, look for the “hide” option on the individual post.

I still do tons of email. But for real time conversation nothing beats IM (instant messenger). Facebook is third on my list of where great conversations happen.

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