A Shared Digital Water Cooler Moment

Twitter on the night of the US electionThey say that in a era of multiple media channels we no longer have the shared water cooler moment’ the time after a momentous event when we get together with our friends and colleagues and discuss the event.

It does, of course, still happen – the momentous sports result (which has to be national in order to get group buy-in – perhaps England’s Johny Wilkinson moment in the Rugby World Cup final is the most recent one for English fans); John Archer’s death in the Archers (for the liberal Guardian readers) or the first series of Big Brother (admit it – you remember Nasty Nick). And, of course, the general election result in 1997.

But unless we are in a pub with friends, we normally have to wait until the next day in order to share the memories of the occasion with our colleagues.

But less than an hour ago I had one of the jubilant water cooler moments as I watched the US election result being declared. And although I was at home I could share the joy with many of my Twitter followers.

Maybe that’s the reason to get into Twitter – to be able to say, as I didI was up for Obama” – and to get an immediate response from someone who gets the reference to Labour’s victory in 1997, and the delight we shared that night.

But let’s hope that in the long run it turns about better for Obama than it did for New Labour.


  1. Hi Brian,

    I know what you mean! It was amazing at work this afternoon sharing and watching the jubilation on twitter as CNN were updating their site. I was racing out and posting the updates for our library patrons to see … highlighted the instant and borderless world we now live in! I’m so happy for the States… and so cool to experience that euphoria as the results became clear

    cheers Jo.

  2. Not as much fun as “I was up for Portillo” 😉

  3. As I posted on Jaiku this morning “Via Twitter I can see that Lee le Fever has a street party in Seattle, Stephen Fry is grinning in Madagascar & john Clease is tapdancing”


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