I've had several discussions with my Twitter pals over the last year about how being forced to fit our thoughts into 140 characters or less has made us slightly more succinct elsewhere. For me, quite frankly, that is a miracle. I'm someone who may be considered to be... loquacious.
I never considered how I might purposefully apply the style of microblogging to my life in more useful ways. Then last week one of my online pals, Hutch Carpenter, posted the following Tweet:
This launched us into a discussion about how we -- and those reading our thoughts -- might benefit from us being concise across the board. Especially in the work environment where we all receive more email than we really need. And, let's face it, half of what people write in emails just gets scanned over anyway. Why not take this 140-character succinctness out for a professional spin?
We came up with the "2009 email brevity challenge", or what has sometimes been called "micro-emailing." Both Hutch and I have committed to scaling back our work communications to be as close to 140 characters as possible -- for the whole year. Yes, the whole year. We understand that some emails need to be longer than 140 characters (I'm not sure my boss would appreciate it if I sent her multiple 140-character emails when she needs a detailed project report). For the rest of the emails, however, we're going to try and give our co-workers' weary eyeballs a break. More than that, we are going to start logging these communications and tracking monthly the average number of a characters we use in our sent work-related emails. I'll post monthly reports here on this blog.
Everyone is welcome to join us. If you're interested, leave a comment here or email me via the form below or send me an @ on Twitter. I'll start a list at the bottom of this blog of everyone participating and each month when we log our time, I'll include all of your results as well.
Who's coming with us?