You know when you’re working on something and all of a sudden you see it all around you? Well, that’s happening to me now. For MADS we’re working on a project about technology and the way it arranges the world / how people experience the world. Quite a broad topic. As you might have guessed, if you say ‘tech’, I say ‘web’, so that’s where I’ve taken my research. How do people use the web to structure their life? And to experience it?
And what do you know, all of a sudden I am reading about the internet and what people use it for (see here, for a Universal McCann Social Media Tracker study (pdf) on the internet worldwide, found at Marketingfacts), and having conversations with people at work about it (I find it decidedly odd that there are people that have iPhones but are too scared of setting up a delicious account!).
I admit, I’m quite the geek-girl, and use quite a lot of online tools* and am always amazed when other people don’t use them. Or don’t know about them. This is how I order my online existence, and hence, my online world. I read my email, scan 5 or 6 newspapers, have about 530 RSS feeds (although I only manage to keep active track of about 100 or so). What I’m curious about is what you guys do/use online? How many applications do you use and why do you use these? Which ones can’t you live without? Yep, that is a call for a little audience participation.
* my most frequently used web2.0 tools: yahoo mail (x3), delicious, facebook, bloglines, tumblr (x2), flickr, typepad, linkedin, backpackit, last.fm and am starting to use friendfeed. Have killed all other social / business networking sites. And have set up my own homepage. *end geek alert*
Every Friday, round about 4 pm, work at our offices stops for about 20 minutes, and we have our Friday Afternoon Tea and Cake Break. It’s an institution. Well, it’s on its way to becoming an institution. See, our offices are a 5 minute walk from Borough Market so cakes are in easy supply. Couple that with a strong belief on my side that work isn’t all about work, et voila, Friday Cake Break was born. We make a nice cuppa, have a piece of cake (every week a different one) and chat. About everything under the sun, except for work. A colleague recently asked why I was so obsessed by cakes. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice piece of cake as much as the next girl, but it’s Friday Cake Break is not about the cake. Yet it couldn’t work without the cake. But it soooo not about the cake. It’s about making work more human and dare I say it, more fun.
So what am I trying to say? Work should be more fun. It should be about interacting with human beings, who have their own pet peeves and hobby horses. It should on occasion be silly, sad, fun and dramatic. When did we start separating work and life? I shudder when people ask if I am any different at work than I am outside it. Ehm. No. Decidedly not. I tried that for a while in my twenties, it made me frightfully unhappy and I think also crappier at my work. I can’t and won’t turn myself off between 9am and 6pm. And I don’t think anyone should. There is a difference between colleagues and friends, between clients and buddies, and my behaviour takes that into account, but I am the same person. I have good days and bad, and love to laugh. And stop every now and then, have a nice cuppa and piece of cake and talk about what movies are good, or what books, or who’s good on Idols (although I must admit, I don’t have a TV, so when the conversation rolls that way, I listen more than I speak… actually I should do more of that in general, listen more than speak).
It’s all about the cake. But it’s never about the cake.