I’m Not People Watchin’

What follows is a near copy of a post I did within my own organization’s Intranet … I wanted to repeat it here for those of you outside our little walled garden that invited to join the Twitter experiment.

I just got done inviting a bunch of people into Twitter. I knew I would be asked if I was interested in “tracking” people … the answer is a resounding no. I am interested in the tool and I am more interested in its potential for teaching, learning, and organizational purposes. I was talking with our CIO this morning about it and we were discussing the notion of using a tool like this (as part of a larger suite) to help us understand each other a bit better. It gives us a little insight into what both our collective and individual days look like. There are tons of good that can come from it … and yes, I agree there is the other side to that.

I hope you all know me well enough by now that I only care that you are doing your jobs — not the details of how you do it. We are all professional and work like mad to make it all happen, so I am not interested in tracking your minute by minute. We don’t do time tracking and never will as long as I get my way … our jobs are to explore and expose our audiences to the power of appropriate uses of technology for teaching and learning. That means thinking, researching, engaging in conversations, and all sorts of stuff that will never show up on a time tracking sheet. So when I ask that you do something silly like join Twitter and indulge me in it, all I am after is an opportunity for myself (selfish) and you to better understand an emerging space online. The question of privacy is age old and I think we all have a grasp on what should and shouldn’t go on.

At the end of the day, you decide what you do and don’t engage in. I just wanted to be clear that there isn’t a drop of pressure to participate — and I don’t want you to be worried about it if you choose to sit this one out. Honestly.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blog posts.

One thought on “I’m Not People Watchin’

  1. A lot of the newest tools lately are so incredibly focused that their mission isn’t implied- it’s explicit. My favorite thing to do is see where we can apply someone else’s itch-scratching. Funny enough, I blogged about that last night on elgg.

    It’s not hard to perceive that Twitter’s microblogging provides us with hours of insight into people’s distractions and procrastinations; but as you said Cole, it also provides bigger brush strokes to our ways of approaching work.

    But the microstrokes can work in private uses as well. For example, I can envision a project team quickly updating through IM what they got accomplished. Programmers can twitter their newest release as announcement. Deigners can update which modules were completed and up for review. No, not as sophisticated as BaseCamp or Project. It can, however, make daily scrums super easy and keep everyone on task instead of distracted of writing lengthy staff notes no one will read.
    Dos Centavos. Thanks for the forum!

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