Is Twittering really costing $14 billion in lost productivity? – I say no…

Sorry this is the second Techcrunch article I’ve blogged about in a row now – very lazy I know. I assure you I do read more widely… Anyway, in answer to Mike’s question – Is Twittering really costing $14 billion in lost productivity? – I’m going to have to say no. Whilst the mathematics of Pat and Florian seems to be accurate, I can’t help but think they’ve come at it from the wrong direction,   and one that many businesses also automatically start from. Too often with web apps/social media tools industry automatically assume that they are consumer tools and therefore will automatically erode productivity.  As a result businesses take the hard-line approach and lock-down. An approach I, on the whole, just can’t agree with…

Whilst I’m sure in some cases people do waste away hours repeatedly twittering or grooming friends’ pictures on Facebook, that as many people use these tools positively/responsibly and thereby improve productivity.

How? Well a twitter with my colleagues might be a quicker way of getting an answer to a question than typing them an email and waiting for a response,  or the ability to quickly reach-out to my peers via twitter to obtain an answer to a question or to gauge opinion rather than call/email can be instant in impact… Equally I respect my employer for keeping the tools open and trusting me to use them wisely, in doing so this helps with morale and as a result productivity. Happy people equal productive people.

With regards to my own use of Twitter, whilst I’m not a heavy twitterer-poster at all, I’m certainly a twitter-voyeur and like to monitor the feeds throughout the day. I find it a great supplement to reading as a means to stay informed… In short, just in this one small example I actually believe Twitter improves, rather than erodes,  my productivity…But hey, that’s just me – I know I look at these things through rose tinted spectacles…  

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One response to “Is Twittering really costing $14 billion in lost productivity? – I say no…

  1. Lost productivity – nonsense. I’ve never been more prouctive at upsetting people than since I started using Twitter.

    But seriously, it all comes down to what you use it for. If all you are going to do is post nonsensical snippets that mean and convey nothing of use (and I can think of oneTwitterer who is a prime example of this), then yes, that will burn time and money.

    Used properly, Twitter will aid productivity through improved communication, awareness and presence.

    Of course, there is a fine line between useful and useless.

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