Reflecting on PLN Engagement #CCK11

PLN Participation Update

Number of Tweets for fortnight 118

Number of Followers gained 3

Number of People I started following 4

Number of Blogs/Feeds added 1

I’ve started to notice changes in my PLN participation over the last month or so. These changes are mainly attributed to:-

  • increased familiarity with the people I converse with;
  • increased comfort levels with the tools I use regularly (eg. Twitter).

Everyday Conversations

I am engaged with conversation with members of my PLN, mostly on Twitter, every day. These exchanges don’t need to be about library/information science at all. Conversations can simply be about ‘everyday’ things, helping one another get through the day; often just ‘being there’ can be a comfort in itself to others, like having a group of mates around you all day cheering you on, keeping you company. Members of my PLN certainly do not replace the work mates I have physically at work, but sometimes I need to bounce ideas or thoughts with people who are more like-minded, professionally. I believe these everyday exchanges an only strengthen my professional relationships.

Personality

I’ve seen pieces of my personality creep into my tweets and blog posts. This isn’t a recent phenomenon. There have been tweets I’ve thought twice about, perhaps typing a tweet then deleting it halfway through, some tweets I’ve even regretted. Whenever I start a tweet that may not be related to LIS, studying or professional development, I tend to remind myself of the purpose of using Twitter, being my professional channel. Now in saying that, I don’t think there’s any reason why my Twitter stream needs to be void of personality. So sometimes I do allow a tweet every now and then to slide. There’s room for a bit of ‘Alisa’ – my interests, what I do on weekends, etc – in my stream. I just need to ensure that whatever I post reflects positively on me as a professional as well as an individual. I continue to develop a self-awareness about my professional identity – directing, shaping and developing.

Tweeting about my work

On the weekend, I had finally finished writing an article about my role at work. Throughout its development I began tweeting my day-to-day tasks, perhaps getting comfortable with the idea of sharing what I do in aviation. Until now I’ve shied away from telling people what I get up to in the hangar (well, the office upstairs, but ‘hangar’ still sounds cool!), mostly because it seems no one ‘gets’ the unique information environment and industry setting I work in. I’ve since realised there’s no need to shy away, but by sharing what I do is a contribution I can make to my PLN.

Blogs

I currently subscribe to fairly popular blogs, such as Librarian by Day and David Lee King, whose blogs I just don’t feel comfortable commenting on (yet). These are people I view as leaders and influencers in the LIS online community. I almost don’t feel ‘worthy’ to comment. At this early stage of my LIS career, I find commenting on blogs of my peers, mostly from Twitter, more enjoyable and satisfying. This may be because my peers on Twitter, who I liaise with often, feel more ‘local’ or closer than popular blogs. There’s more of a ‘sandpit’ comfort commenting on blogs by my peers. I’ve said this before (and I’ll say it again), I like to help people out where I can. So if I think I can make a worthwhile contribution to someone’s blog post, either provide a different perspective, share an experience or some partial knowledge, it’s when I’ll post a comment. I don’t like to comment for the sake of it, I’d like to show I’ve engaged with the person’s content they’ve put in an effort to create, returning the courtesy by posting something noteworthy.

Levels of participation in my PLN will vary over time. There will always be continual progress to be made in developing, maintaining and managing the relationships I make in my PLN. But I’ve definitely found reflection beneficial to this process. Have a look at how you participate, I recommend it.

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  1. Well, you’re certainly welcome to comment any time! And thanks for the kind words.

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