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TalentCulture | September 23, 2014

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#TChat Communication Tools: You Can’t Use Them ALL

Meghan M. Biro
  • On January 16, 2012
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/
Meghan M. Biro
by
January 16, 2012

What’s your morning communications, social media routine like? Mine’s getting more complicated every day. Personally, just email requires checking at least three accounts on three devices. At least one is Gmail, so I green-light Gmail chat and also Google+. Then it’s on to open a Skype window – many clients, friends reach me through Skype instant message. And to make sure I’m truly open, AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are active, too. They’re a bit old-school, but a few of my clients still use them, so it’s not really negotiable in my world.  Then it’s on to Yammer to check up on the latest and greatest with my teams.

Twitter comes next. Hootsuite, Old School “regular” Twitter, and TweetChat  helps me monitor multiple Twitter streams and also makes it simple to cross-populate Facebook and LinkedIn with content. Another communications tool I’ve been checking out is the open-source Trillian, which automates the  management of multiple chat clients on both desktop and phone.

When it comes to corporate communications, it’s a whole new ball of wax, Facebook page admins, several WordPress log-ins, all the email and communications platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber and more. There are even ways to communicate via song (Spotify) and visual interest (Pinterest). Granted, not all of these apply to professionalism, but in our connected world, they sure do influence it.

The new tools can also be overwhelming; it’s a matter of choosing and experimenting. But when do we finally just pick and stop experimenting? What works best for workplace collaboration and productivity? Do you stop communicating? Ever?

Actually, no. Facebook is saved for stolen moments between calls and meetings on my end. I’m trying to use it more frequently, and in a way that does not make my friends have to deal with all my tweets (always a work in progress). Let’s not forget Facebook messaging – again, I’m trying to make it work into my weekly routine. And LinkedIn – the ole social standby – is a great business communications tool, so there’s always a browser tab open for it. Mind you, this is all before my first cup of coffee.

Does your social blend in a way that feels comfortable and consistent yet? Do you sense a theme emerging here? I think many people are trying to determine the very best way to manage communications tools both for  business and for pleasure.

The irony: in this flurry of activity, there hasn’t been  a single F2F social interaction, not even a cat sitting on the keyboard. Over the past year, actual live phone conversations have dropped off a tad. I’ve been making a point to schedule more meetings in person and to call people via Skype, Google Voice, or cell. Sometimes there is simply no time for in-person meetings. I live my business and social life, increasingly, in the world of social media. Some days it doesn’t seem healthy. Some days it feels just right. Some days I wonder how I ever existed without it. Some days I long for more IRL “In Real Life” contact with people.

In this week’s TalentCulture World of Work #TChat – brought to you through the wonders of social media, of course – we’re looking at the good, the bad and the ugly of social communication and workplace collaboration tools. The beauty of  Twitter Chats are clear – hundreds of people worldwide can have a discussion in real time, regardless of physical location – but it’s not clear which other social and workplace communications tools deliver a similar value.

And we have a hashtag where people can show up and share content, insight and fun with us 24.7. It’s become a unique online community and we look forward to continuing the conversation this year. We are going with the connection flow and enjoying every moment.

So let’s come together to explore which communications tools add value and which merely distract us from being productive. Because you can’t use them all. Or can you? Join us Wednesday night on #TChat The World of Work January 18th from 7-8 pm ET (6-7 CT, 4-5 pm PT), where social media and communication topics are in the hot seat. Join meKevin GrossmanMaren Hogan, Sean Charles and Kyle Lagunas for a very special #TChat.

Questions we’ll be discussing this week are here: