starbucks cards work lots of places


Originally uploaded by jon.swanson

There is a discussion going on in a twitter thread (and over at about which and how many social networking applications we need to use.

This morning I was ignoring those conversations entirely. I was, instead, helping our neighbors who are moving. They are able to do the move in small bits. Today I was helping move some stuff into Ed’s office space. We had to remove the door to the office and one of the hinge pins was incredibly tight. Desk in, I started to put the pins back and knew that I had to pound that same pin back in. Countless times before I’ve done that and bruised the door (and my knuckles) while pounding pins in. This time, however, I pulled out my wallet, pulled out the starbucks gift card, and used it behind the pin as I pounded.

Door and knuckles intact, I opened the door and walked off to other parts of the project.

It takes me back to purpose and flexibility and creativity. In looking at all the networking tools, what are we trying to accomplish? Who are we trying to connect to? And how elegantly simple are the tools–an attribute which may make them useful for things far beyond what they are intended for.

Twitter has great usefulness because it is so easy to use. It works across platforms (computer, phone, PDA, etc). It isn’t designed for longterm memory. It limits how much you can say in any one message.

Because we don’t expect too much from it, many of us are delighted by ways that we can use it to touch people in ways we didn’t expect. I twittered a wedding and met some new people. I almost twittered the sermon yesterday (not mine, someone else’s) and may try that some other time. People who know each other already can stay in touch, and those who don’t can get in touch.

Sometimes the best tool may be the thin piece of plastic rather than the multi-tool. It just depends on what you are trying to do. And how focused on the task rather than the tool you get to be.


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