Encouragement – A Beginner’s Start

As promised, I will begin with a little summary of my PLN activity over the last fortnight…

No. of Tweets        65   (Total since July 2010 – 259)

No. of Followers Gained        2     (Total – 44)

No. of People I started following        1     (Total – 159)

No. of Blogs/Feeds added to Reader       4    (Total – 54)

When I first signed up to Twitter, or “joined the conversation”, I felt I had nothing to contribute, nothing at all. I wasn’t (and still not) an expert on any area of library and information science. So the thoughts which swam around my head were something like –  “Alisa, how can you consume other people’s ideas, thoughts, contributions, etc when you’re not contributing yourself”, and “You’re not going to build a PLN without contributing something worthwhile and interesting”. I think I literally scared myself from sending out a tweet, let alone send out a link to an article, provide significant insights or the like.

Throughout my short time on Twitter, I noticed that while I may not have had a ‘whiz bang’ idea, article, or blog post to share, I was starting to offer encouragement to my fellow, local library “tweeps”.  Also a receiver of encouragement, I’m always ever so thankful for a little tweet here and there that’s urged me on. I can only hope that my encouraging tweets have made someone’s day just that little bit brighter. It doesn’t have to be ‘over-the-top’; an “Awesome stuff” or a “Congratulations”, in my experience, can really make a difference. I like to help out and support where I can, and am also a big believer in ‘the small things’, so this has been my primary way of giving back to my PLN who guide me to key topics, issues and highly relevant information.

Offering support has enabled me to connect with members of my PLN and pave the way to maintain those connections. ‘Two-way encouragement’ has seen my participation and contributions increase, my confidence increase, as well as the growth (and strength) of my network.

The support and encouragement I’ve received makes me feel privileged to write this blog. A big thank-you to those who have encouraged me to start, not only to sign up, but also become involved – in ALIA, the LIS course at QUT, on Twitter, writing this blog and reading (and commenting) from my blog feeds.

I wanted to say more on this topic, however as I feared, the ideas’ have escaped me….But a question to ponder by yourself – Who are your ‘cheerleaders’? Who offers you encouragement to get through?

To wrap up this post, I’ll share what’s captured my attention from the blogosphere….my Top 5 Feeds/Blogs and most recent interesting reads for the fortnight are: –

iLibrarian – provided the link for “Technology Skills Library Staff Should Have” – an excellent source for PD planning

Social Media Examiner – “7 Blogging Tips From Top Bloggers” – can’t say I’m not keen! 🙂

Digitization 101 – provided the link to “Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography Version 2” – bookmarked this one for review at a later date. I seem to have a growing interest in digital media, digital libraries and preservation….

Librarian By Day – “How to Monitor Your Personal Brand (For Free)” – loved this one; important for those both starting out or for giving your established online presence a check-up. (Digital Media and Learning) – “Connected They Write: The Lure of Writing on the Web” – interesting finding on teenagers use and participation on the web.

Blogs I’ve added to my Google Reader this fortnight are: –

“Ramblings from from yet another Librarian” – I’ve been meaning to add Kate for a while, but CCK11 has finally brought us together.

“Jenny Connected” – Jenny participates in CCK11. I’ve found her recent posts worthwhile reads.

“Hmmmm” – supporting a QUT LIS course student, Ceridwyn has recently started blogging too.

“Opinions from an OPL” – Clare and I completed the ALIA Folioz EBLIP Online course together last year.

To those library tweeps who are in Sydney for the Information Online Conference, hope you have a blast, take in as much as possible (please share!) and take care at the Tweet ups. For those who are on Twitter and interested, you can keep up on what’s happening by searching the hashtag #ALIAioc.

Cheers (and beers)!

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1 Comment

  1. I think the principle of ‘paying it forward’ is so valuable in building a PLN. I know how you feel – I often feel overwhelmed by the intellectual weight of some discussions on twitter and feel like I don’t have anything much to contribute. However, baby steps soon have you in the door (as we’ve both discovered) and the library twitter folk in particular are a welcoming and friendly bunch, so it’s not too hard to get involved once you start! If some little bit of encouragement gave you confidence then I think paying that forward to someone else is a fab idea.

    Also, it pays to remember that these folk are also just ordinary folk, with the same insecurities about whether anyone is interested in what they have to say, it just doesn’t seem like that to us ‘newbies’!!

    Yay for the PLN!

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