This last week I’ve used Twitter more than I ever have. Previously, I used Twitter solely as a news aggregation point. I didn’t want to get involved in the petty arguments that are all too common on this online platform, so I contributed nothing. After a while, I stopped using the platform as political and social discord even permeated my feed, which I thought had been immune had it not been for the intensity of the last election cycle. Shortly after the election, I started following IT professionals on Twitter, but again, I didn’t communicate with anyone. Instead, I continued to take without giving in return.
For class, I participated in a Twitter chat with educators on #caedchat, I communicated with someone who I would later interview, and I made more connections with educators and IT professionals. From the twitter chat alone, I probably connected with ten quality connections who have already provided much to reflect on. Participating also helped me get over my fears of others reacting negatively to my ideas and has proven to me that many people prefer to help others rather than to tear them down.
It’s always hard to ask someone to spend their time to help you, especially if you follow the person and see the amount of content they post. I’m not the type of person that likes imposing himself on others, and I try not to take advantage of people’s time, knowing that time is the most precious commodity. After getting over these reservations, I asked an IT professional if we would allow me to interview him. What is interesting is that while we have these preconceived notions that these prominent individuals are big shots, most of the time they don’t see themselves this way and more often than not are happy to help. After posting the interview on Twitter, the person I interviewed was kind enough to retweet my post, and I received a dozen or so likes and even made some new connections. This sort of graciousness has served as an encouragement for me to continue developing professional relationships on my PLN.
For the remainder of the week, I pruned my Twitter of less than useful connections and worked on building my first set of lists. Seeing that I follow both IT professionals and educators, my primary feed sometimes gets inundated with posts that aren’t immediately relevant to my needs. I’m hoping that lists will help me filter out some of the noise. I will say that the connections I made from Twitter chats and direct interactions have been far more helpful than randomly following people from Twitter suggestions.
All in all, this week has been a success regarding my use of Twitter. It’s encouraged me to continue this journey of developing my professional connections.