Twitterers Do It In Bed!
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 10 March 2012
This morning I ‘met’ @dboudreau and chatted with him about web accessibility conferences. I also came across a tweet which linked to a blog post from John Foliot about the recent CSUN 12 conference. After reading the post I noticed that his comments about the need for accessibility advocates to be willing to discard the view that HTML pages must conform with HTML standards if this gets in the way of implementing non-conformant approaches (such as use of WAI-ARIA techniques) which enhance accessibility of web resources for people with disabilities. This view was relevant to a discussion I was having yesterday with @mjday so I tweeted the link to him.
I then saw a tweet from @hdzimmermann which had been retweeted by @wowter which linked to a report on The Future of Research Communication (available in PDF format). The report looked very interesting but, at 24 pages, was too long to read on my iPod Touch, so I favourited it so I could read it later. As I was aware that the report would be of interest to others, I also retweeted it. My suspicion that the report would be of interest was confirmed when I noticed that, shortly afterwards, @PlanetClaire and @antoesp themselves favourited my retweet.
Looking at my recent Twitter interactions (a feature which is now standard in the mobile Twitter app) I realised that I did not know who @antoesp, who had favourited my tweet. Looking at her Twitter biography I found that she is:
PhD candidate in the Education and ICT (e-learning) program – UOC, Barcelona. Submitted my MRes thesys on digital scholarship, IoE, University of London.
She also provided a link to her academia.edu page from which I learnt that her current research activities include:
social media and course design, research ethics in online settings, impact of ICTs in higher education institutions, digital scholars and open faculty, open educational practices and new models of higher education.
Looking at a post of hers on Cloudworks I found we had shared interests relating to open scholarly practices:
Investigating the relationship between emerging digital scholarship and open scholarship in higher education settings.
I sent @antoesp, a DM (Direct Message) asking if she’d be willing to write a guest post on this blog about her interests in open scholarship and was pleased to receive a speedy response agreeing to my request.
I then got out of bed!
Before I got out of bed, however, I reflected on how the world has changed in the past five years. Until a few years ago the notion that you would engage in engage in online discussions about your work would have been the stuff of dreams – or perhaps nightmares! Was I alone in such practices, I wondered? And so I asked:
Anyone else willing to confess to sending work-related tweets & emails while in bed from their mobile device
It seems I am not alone with people responding:
*puts hands up*
yep, I do that occasionally
All the time!
Forgive me Father for I have sinned #manytimes
more often on laptop but pretty much everyday
guilty as charged m’lud
On the other hand a few people gave alternative views :
No absolutely not , you need to get out more Brian !
nope – would be more than my life was worth!
You’re saying there are actually people who tweet re work from bed? To quote Sheldon, For shame! For shame!
The most insightful comment, however, came from Chris Gutteridge who said:
I do the most productive work for my job before I out of bed, generally. Office full of distractions.
I find that using Twitter in the way described in this post is useful in catching up with background reading (the links which are shared) and hot topics (the discussions which are taking place). In addition, as I found in my dialogue with @antoesp, Twitter can provide a lightweight tool to carry out business transactions.
Tweeting in bed could, of course cause domestic problems. I should add that at around 9am this morning while I was engaging in discussions with my Twitter stream my girlfriend was reading the Guardian App on her iPad. We are both comfortable with making use of our mobile devices when we’re together – in a way perhaps because the technologies we use are so transparent to us that we don’t regard them as technologies, just as we don’t talk about the television technology, the cinema technology or the newspaper technology (although when it comes to sharing sections of the Guardian on a Saturday morning the print format is superior to the iPad app, especially when I want to read the Sport supplement).
However one comment highlighted addition possible concerns regarding such practices:
Yep, done that. But reading the Google Apps update blog at 3am was a particular work/life balance low.
This is a legitimate concern. But is it anything new? Weren’t work/life balance issues still relevant before technologies became so pervasive, with pressures to take home excessive amounts of reports to read, which may have also been read in bed (although report-writing was probably restricted to the living room or study)? What do you think? Do you tweet in bed? Do you think this is unhealthy? Or do you feel that this enables you to have the flexibility to adopt working practices which you feel comfortable with? feel free to leave a comment or, if you’d prefer to leave an anonymous view, respond to the poll.