Are you twittering away your career?

The New York Times ran an article today entitled, “How Twitter Can Help You at Work.” While it cited some positive examples, it did not address what I believe is the biggest obstacle to business adoption: frivolous tweeting.

I signed up for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a few other social networking tools last year in my quest to understand which ones actually add value to a business person. Twitter by far has been the most disappointing. And it has nothing to to with the tool itself. I like the ability to communicate in short form with a community of users. But the amount of tweeting that is done on subjects of no interest casts doubt on what business professionals are really doing all day and limits the dispersion of really useful information. The fact that someone just got up, is listening to his new favorite band or had a crappy sandwich for lunch really isn’t interesting. The frequency of these frivolous tweets causes me to wonder about a person’s professional credibility and miss out on useful information lost in the clutter.

Can Twitter help you at work? Maybe. Can it also damage your reputation? Most certainly. Will Twitter users ever decide to make the medium a valuable professional tool for work? What do you think?