“Feed me, Seymour!”

Upon reading Chuck Frey’s blog, How to Cultivate a Personal Learning NetworkI see ways to “feed” my Personal Learning Network. He gives great advise that he got from Howard Rheingold. He gives eight tweets from Rheingold and conveys a meaning that he got from them. I am not as articulate as Chuck Frey, but I’m going to attempt to give the advice that I got from reading his blog.

  1. Explore: While checking out candidates and their shares, keep an open mind. You could learn something that you weren’t expecting to pick up, something that could be useful to you or others. Be open to “people, opportunities, possibilities, to knowledge”.
  2. Search: “Your goal is to identify people and potential sources”. Keep adding to your Personal Learning Network. The larger your network is, the more you get out of it.
  3. Follow candidates through RSS and Twitter: Cull out those who don’t meet your needs. Go through your feeds, read what your candidates are posting, if they aren’t sharing things you need, then they aren’t part of your Personal Learning Network.
  4. Always keep tuning your network: Add more, drop others. Keep those who are helpful, get rid of those who aren’t.
  5. Feed the people you follow: If you find something that someone you follow would be interested in, share it with them. They are more likely to share with you (quid pro quo). Don’t be afraid to make the first move.
  6. Engage the people you follow: Ask questions, begin discussions. But. . . be polite, kind, and show gratitude.
  7. Ask questions: Be insightful, the answers may help not only you, but also other followers.
  8. Answer questions: If you’re asked, do your best to answer. Use the advise that Chuck Frey gives.
  • “Beware of unintentionally sounding curt or sarcastic”- even if you are naturally so.
  • “Watch your tone and tenor”- this is difficult in an online setting, but possible.
  • “Remember: electronic communication channels are missing the non-verbal elements of communications”- you can’t be seen and they can’t judge your reactions
  • “Don’t ignore others”- no one wants to share with someone who doesn’t share with him/her.

With my Personal Learning Network, I can see myself fine-tuning it. There are some English teachers that I am following on Twitter and Pintrest who are English as a Second Language instructors. I don’t plan to teach ESL, so I may cull them out of my PLN. I don’t think that feeding my PLN will be a problem because I come across so many sources from other people that I can share with the people I follow. Since I began following others in a Personal Learning Network, the number of my followers on both Twitter and Pintrest has doubled. That is in less than a week! I am, however, very cautious online, and I don’t know, at this time, if I’ll have the courage to share my ideas with people I follow.

I need to feed my PLN as it feeds me, and because I love the things that are being shared with me, I think that I can pull out a spoon for those I follow.

photo courtesy of gettyimages.it


5 thoughts on ““Feed me, Seymour!”

  1. You certainly know how to connect to a theater geek like me! Thanks for the “Little Shop of Horrors” theme! Love it!

    I thought the last tip was the most important – watching tone in text – no one can read tone, so sometimes people will take offense at a perceived off joke or tone. I find neutral tone and helpful language are the best, especially for those who are new friends or who you don’t visit with face to face.


  2. I guess I never realized that some of the people I follow can be absolutely pointless to my personal learning network. I feel that sometimes I may need two separate accounts, one for my personal learning network for elementary education and one just for my personal interest! I love your last paragraph, it could not be more true!


  3. I can relate in your hesitation with sharing info. to your PLN. I find it a little scary too. I’m still cautious & wonder if I have anything that valuable to share with people. I need to find that courage.


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