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Ian Wilker

It's all those things, but for me the best phrase would be "virtual watercooler" (credited to Thomas Vander Wal. I'm the guy whose cubicle is right next to the watercooler, and as the tweets roll in on my IM and the notifications flash and fade on my screen, I get an ambient sense of what's happening out there among the hundred or so people I'm following. Sometimes I pop up and join the conversation, but most of the time I'm just giving a smidgeon of attention to Twitter; keeping half an eye on it helps me "pre-sort" what I want to give serious attention to. This is a really great thing for someone who suddenly is bereft of the geek community I had in NYC.

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