Inspired by a blog post by the Google Reader Team.
The concept of the water cooler and the discussions that happen around it, is ingrained into popular culture. The water cooler at my work doesn’t really serve in the typical discussion area. Mostly, people use it to get water. I believe that the internets are replacing the water cooler. If you have an interesting tidbit or factoid you share it on facebook or twitter. Your friends lol or comment back. A conversation develops, maybe it moves to personal messages or to email, friendships are maintained, trust is earned–albiet internet trust.
The water cooler serves us only with utilty now, providing hot or cold water as our mood strikes. We only trust it to give us water, when it’s full.