Is Twitter the gateway drug to the Internet? I know. It's just 140 characters and it couldn't hurt to send or receive a few messages each day - y'know - just between friends. I'll keep my Facebook page open just in case there is some update from a colleague, our competitors or our suppliers. I can manage my Second Life avatar that is building awareness for our recruitment campaigns and don't worry; I am staying on top of my e-mail with my blackberry.
Many years ago I was the new guy in the office. A colleague came hustling down the hallway with the question barely out of his lips.
"Did you get my e-mail?" he asked.
"When did you send it?" I parried.
"Just now," I said. Well I haven't been in my office for awhile. Why don't you tell me what it said.". We dealt with his immediate issue and I reminded him that my priorities were face to face; telephone, e-mail and - oh yes, it was that long ago - mail.
What is the priority today. Add the Internet, the Company Intranet, traditional media updates and your personal and professional blogs to be filtered and how about that sharepoint function that lets you build and maintain documents with your web team and you will spend your entire day just checking your communication pipelines to see if some new info is at hand. And 99% of it will not affect a single decision you make today.
It is that 1% that may slip through the etheral mist of info floating your way that will kill you. Didn't you get the e-mail - the one that said give us your feedback or we will assume you agreed with the mutiny we scheduled for 3PM today. What kind of team player are you?
Timothy Ferriss, in his book, The Four Hour Workweek, describes beating down and re-directing the flow of needless info and delegating decisions to those who actually do the work. The media's infatuation with Twitter has told us that we can know instantly: that fresh bread is ready; the recipe for brioche is at hand; and that your candidate on the hustings just got off the bus in downtown Yahk.
What do your employees need to know? How many sources of information and communication are you expecting them to manage. Are you repeating communication across your internal media channels? On Purpose? It's time to get cosy with your systems folk and look at the IT plan and it had better include more than how many desktops, laptops and servers your organization will need in the coming three years. Its going to need to include a media channel analysis for your staff and policies on what information goes where. If your internal communication has been handled by an adept clerk or summer student off the corner of his or her desk you may want to revisit that decision. HR needs to be looking at "E2E" communication before burnout and turnover take their toll.
Tweet. Your communications plan is due.