professional identity

PLN, where art thou?

….well, that’ll be the first thought I have if, heaven forbid, Twitter disappeared tomorrow.

Someone asked me the question recently, “If Twitter went kaput, was lost and disappeared, what would you do?”

For a moment, well actually it was a little more than a moment, panic set in. No one had asked me that question before, and it’s a very valid one.

Twitter is a tool I use to connect with my personal learning network. If that connection was lost, what would my PLN look like? How would I communicate?

Firstly, let’s look at my main purposes for Twitter, besides connecting with my PLN. My Twitter network acts like an information filter. I have hundreds of ‘pairs of eyes’ looking out for relevant, thought provoking and important key professional information which feeds into my professional development activities. Twitter is also a channel through which I contribute and share information, ideas and reflections.

Now take Twitter out of that equation.

And I realise a few things: –

  • Connecting with my personal learning network would become…..¬†very……. slow. Circulation (and even generation) of ¬†ideas, issues and trends would seem like forever. A lot more time would have to be spent seeking, sorting and processing information, making careful judgements on what is significant to the profession, what I need to consider and what I can discard. My sounding board would be taken away if Twitter disappeared.
  • I do have other tools for connection, such as this blog, so I would probably put out a ‘message in a bottle’ to see where I could connect with others again. I would really miss my peeps!
  • I’ve survived without Twitter before. And so I could survive again, if I had to. Plus there’s conferences and tweet ups! ….oh wait, you couldn’t call them ‘tweet ups’ without Twitter, ooops.
  • I would heavily rely on my local, face-to-face PLN members to point me in the direction of where others were ‘meeting’.

I recommend really having a think about this. I’ve shared just a few initial thoughts. Seriously, what would you do? Please share!

BAM! Twitter’s gone…..Go!

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  1. Cry, then feel lonely. Then search the web to see if I was the only one. Then cry some more. Without twitter I’d be very isolated, as I am a library of one, so lots of my library bonding comes from Twitter.

    1. I hear you! I used to be the only library/information professional where I worked, so understand the isolation feeling completely!

  2. I’d use Facebook, but on a more serious note I’d probably start fishing around the university people like Kate Davies in an attempt to get alternative contact information, like Email and/or ask whoever’s email I do have to start sending out my contact info(email, phone, facebook) around so we can all reconnect on some other forum or social media platform. Try to organise something like a mailing list for information and such.
    I’d probably be able to cull the list of people I actually follow a bit in the process as well, if only for simplification.
    I don’t actually use Twitter very much so I wouldn’t be as affected as you might be, however if Facebook went away I’d be screwed and I have almost no recovery system in place for that day. I should probably plan for it sooner or later. I’d also lose my High Scores for Tetris… that would kill me.

    1. Certainly re-connecting with people would take a long time! I’m sure we’d find another tool quickly though. I think our habits of passing on information through the network would overcome such a barrier. We’d find a way!

  3. I would be lost. Working from home has its advantages but they’d be seriously compromised without Twitter. Twitter is my library, my circle of friends, my coffee club, my book discussion group, my inspiration, my water cooler gossip, all rolled into one.

    The most difficult part would be that I’d know what I’d be missing.

  4. I’d be lost too. Again, I’m a workplace of one – so I’d be very lonely (not to mention completely and utterly out-of-touch!) without the constancy of online friends, connections, and the information that they’ve sourced. It would be very, very, very, very sad. And as Sally said, the hardest bit would be knowing exactly what we had all lost.
    Twitter, never disappear!!!

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