In this section you’ll learn how to optimize your Personal Learning Network (PLN) by adding a social dimension. To optimize social networks, you’ll need to develop awareness of licensing concerns, effective syndication, social engagement, and awareness of privacy concerns.
In previous topics, you’ve learned what tools to use when you build your PLN and what to consider as you build it. This topic builds off of these concepts to give you a picture of what implementing and optimizing your PLN might look like. For examples of others’ PLNs, feel free to check out the topic PLNs in Action at any time.
In the topic “Build Your PLN,” you learned about Creative Commons (if you want to refresh your memory, why not go back and reread?).
These copyright issues come into play again when you share your PLN. One important thing to remember is that the way you share your PLN must be compatible with the content inside it. So for example, if everything in your PLN is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution license, you can share your PLN however you like. On the other hand, if even a single item in your PLN uses a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, your PLN must be shared using a license with a NonCommercial aspect. To make this a little more clear, here’s a comprehensive chart:
- Explore — it’s not just about knowing how to find experts, co-learners, but about exploration as invitation to serendipitous encounter.
- Search – Use Diigo, delicious, listorious, to find pools of expertise in the fields that interest you.
- Follow candidates through RSS, Twitter. Ask yourself over days, weeks, whether each candidate merits continued attention
- Always keep tuning your network, dropping people who don’t gain sufficiently high interest; adding new candidates
- Feed the people you follow if you come across information that you suspect would interest them.
- Engage the people you follow. Be polite, mindful of making demands on their attention. Put work into dialogue if they welcome it.
- Inquire of the people you follow, of the people who follow you. But be careful. Ask engaging questions – answers shd be useful to others
- Respond to inquiries made to you. Contribute to both diffuse reciprocity and quid pro quo
Responding to Rheingold, technologist Alan Levine (@cogdog) tweeted:
- @hrheingold Also the fractal branching effect- when you find someone worth following, see who they follow, lather, rinse, repeat. #pln