We need to stop feeling so guilty and the birth of #twitternar

Yesterday evening I participated in a conversation with @LouLouK @kazwccsocialnet and @808Kate about how the #lgovsm Friday lunchtime discussion session could improve and develop and increase the opportunities for people as well as ensure variety.

Now I’m not going to talk about the future development here in this post as we are also going to chat more at #ukgc11 on Saturday and then more will no doubt be shared etc afterwards. Feel free to join us for a chat about this on Saturday if you are attending – I think we suggested an informal lunchtime chat (even more informal than the open plan aspect) – not sure where just find one of us and join in.

So two interesting things happened during the conversation, the first being the creation of the term #twitternar (by yours truly) – it is like a webinar but supported via twitter and possibly slideshare or a blog posts – the second being the more important one – whether participation in the discussion is considered work.

The discussion touched on the issue of whether people who participate feel like they can contribute more during a lunch period or whether this just contributes to the perceived view that twitter is merely social. A comment was made that you could perhaps feel guilty if you participated during work time.  I have a few issues with this but can more than understand why this is the case for the majority of people.

1) Would phoning another public sector organisation to ask them what they are doing or to share what you were doing around a particular subject or topic be considered work or something someone would do in their lunch break?

2) Would attending a meeting with another public sector organisation to ask them what they are doing or to share what you were doing around a particular subject or topic be considered work or something someone would do have to schedule during a lunch break?

I think it is fair to say that these are generally considered a core aspect for most people’s jobs – using twitter to do the same thing which is what #lgovsm is really trying to achieve in my view but at a much reduced cost is a great idea. However the benefit is that using twitter means that no one will have to travel, some can participate whilst on the go (mobile) and there is really no limit to who could participate or attend – surely a win – win situation.

This is a new approach and a more cost-effective and efficient method of doing this. The conversation accepted that perhaps twitter might not be the best platform but we also accepted that the #KHub would offer new opportunities on top for increased discussion after the initial #twitternar.

So all I would say to people is Stop feeling so guilty and try to see this as a cost-effective way of doing what you would do anyway.


8 thoughts on “We need to stop feeling so guilty and the birth of #twitternar

  1. My organisation (a charity) has always been very flexible in this regard, and I hope will continue to appreciate the changing nature of the office workplace (and not, as I am sometimes just a little fearful, suddenly ‘wake up’ to a new world and react in a draconian manner).

    For the last few years I have overheard various discussions and grumbles about how local authorities try to tighten control of work hours rather than enabling greater flexibility of approach to delivering the work itself. But I think this is the first time I’ve been aware of a bunch of local authority workers actually collaborating to try and change the culture.

    Well done, and good luck 🙂

    1. Thanks Michael,

      There are many many more local authority workers trying to change the culture also but some are not able to even access twitter. I also feel lucky that my authority is a bit more forward thinking with regard to all things “social”. There is much more we can do and learn but the starting point of allowing access is a key building block for online engagement.


      1. Yes sorry, I didn’t mean to dismiss everyone else fighting those same battles; just that I haven’t been aware of them as I don’t work in the public sector.

  2. Technically that should be #twittinar but I fully understand why you may have chosen #twitternar instead… ;O]

    I always feel guilty when I participate in online discussions. Ridiculous really as they help me develop ideas for work. But if someone happens to look over your shoulder all they see is you faffing about on the Internet.

    1. Faffing about…..I could easily say the same of someone who has Excel open or word….we all use different tools to get our job done and if they think you are faffing then they need to understand some of the benefits you get from participating…surely the online learning course you guys did in libraries has had some benefits in raising the profile…

      twittinar or twitternar – I actually prefer twitternar 🙂


    2. To my mind it shouldn’t matter, as long as the work’s getting done effectively. I could cite numerous times that colleagues have sweated away at a project for days without really understanding the tools (eg not using styles in Word), and I could have done it for them in a couple of hours. It’s being productive that’s the issue, not what someone’s looking at an any given moment.

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