A few weeks back in the #awscchat, the discussion was revolving around how to keep things fun at work – especially in the midst of the perceived day-to-day chaos swirling around us.
Admittedly, I don’t have the most exciting time at my job. I’m in account management, which means a couple of things:
1). Even when I’m on vacation, I’m not really on vacation. The only “true” vacation (no emails, phone calls, etc.) I’ve had in the past decade was my honeymoon.
2). I’m constantly tethered to job duties through my smartphone. It’s not uncommon to receive a phone call from a West Coast client at 9:00 PM my time (ET) – and sometimes I receive client emails at 3:52 AM.
I’m not joking.
I just received one this morning.
My role is uniquely demanding.
If our company is enjoying a fun outing like a baseball game and a client calls with an issue, I’m the first person to leave the ballpark and handle things.
Call it the perils of being in accounts at a media shop.
So how do I cut loose during the day or squeeze some enjoyment out of the accounts grind?
I enjoy piecing together content and relationship puzzles on Twitter. I usually let Twitter run on an open browser window throughout the workday, and I’d say that I check it twice every hour and scroll through tweets.
I purposefully follow people and companies from wide-ranging backgrounds and from all over the world. I look for real-time patterns and trends to emerge from my Twitter stream and then make mental notes as to what topics are trending upward and downward.
In addition to this nerdtastic behavior, I also enjoy digging up the connections between Tweeps – discovering how closely linked we really are.
For instance, during a weekly #awscchat I saw a tweet from Y&R New York about an office ping pong competition and I replied back asking if they ever have tournaments with other agency folk in New York. I also mentioned that I knew of some serious ping-pong players at JWT in New York.
So how do I know about the ping-pong prowess of someone at JWT/NY when I live and work in Columbus, Ohio?
Through Twitter of course.
Through his tweets, I know that John is an avid ping-pong player and I know that he often plays against James Cooper, who works for JWT New York.
Despite not mentioning Cooper in the reply tweet to Y&R, the agency knew exactly who I was talking about and brought @koopstakov into the conversation.
I guess the advertising world competitive ping-pong scene in New York is not as massive as I thought it would be!
The referenced tournament was held in conjunction with New York ping-pong club SPiN, the same social club Laramie helped form when the brand was called Naked Ping Pong.
Is this an amazing, full-circle revelation of earth-shattering proportions?
But to me, this is kind of fun.
Drawing the connections from the Twitterverse and realizing how our degrees of separation from one another are steadily dwindling.
Are we no longer separated by six degrees?
That number seems a little large now in the digital age. I think we’re closer to maybe only five degrees or four degrees apart- especially if you’re actively growing your personal networks, both online and offline.
And for an insular community like competitive ping-pong players within the advertising industry, the only separation that matters is the gap between skill levels.
I guess The 2012 Advertising Week Ping Pong Open will have to sort that out!