My Overflowing PLN

The cistern contains; the fountain overflows.”

-William Blake

Some of you may enjoy devoting time to one or two particular social networking sites. There is value in living a virtual life that is contained within the cistern, as William Blake would say. However, I enjoy the spontaneity of the overflowing fountain in my life real life, so why shouldn’t my virtual life be the same?

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I love doing a variety of activities throughout the week: student organizations, personal reading and writing, attending conferences, going to diverse social events, etc. Although I am participating in many activities and through years upon years I have learned how to not wear myself thin.

I take this same approach to my virtual life.

My PLN (personal learning network) consists of: hundreds of teachers, administrators, and librarians, multiple social networking accounts, and a whole lot of information.

Following thousands of people may not work for some people but for me it’s perfect. My Twitter account is like a river. I dip my toes into the steady stream of water and get my fill. In a few days I return to the same river and I get my fill. What I love about my Twitter stream is that it’s always changing and I always find new people and new information.

I get a variety of information each time I open Twitter. I never see the same people twice. And I love that. In fact, I usually spend my time searching hashtags like #edchat #engchat or #edtech to get information I am passionate about from a mix of different people. photo (12)

I also have a variety of professional accounts like Pinterest, Youtube, and Goodreads. I have different people on the different accounts and I love the constant mash-up between all of the accounts.

If I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the vast amount of information on all of these accounts, I take breaks. I am rarely an active community member in each account simultaneously. Some days I’ll check my Twitter frequently then I’ll take a few days hiatus and search my Pinterest. From week to week I wear different social networking hats.

I post new material on all of my professional accounts frequently but that doesn’t necessarily reflect the amount of time I spend on each account. However, my weekly goal is to publish new content on my blog. If I don’t pin new information on my Pinterest each week, it doesn’t bother me. But if I don’t post new content to my blog, I’m upset with myself. The heart and soul of my virtual persona is my blog. Through my blog, I also become active in each social networking account. I post new content on my blog and then I post my new blog post on all of my professional accounts. This is how I contribute to the online community.

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Because of my online networking, I’m learning new things from new people every day. I enjoy having a variety of interests and people in my life so why shouldn’t my social media reflect this? If my real life is diverse, shouldn’t my virtual life also be diverse?

I suppose you could say I have a complicated social network that overflows. But that fountain works perfectly for me.

This is my virtual life……

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……and I couldn’t dream of anything better.

 

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