Photo CC- By Paul Davis
We all know that there are many ways to expand your PLN. But according to Howard Rheingold there are eight simple steps to cultivating your PLN. The first step is about being open to new ideas.When searching on the internet, you have to be open to new ideas and be careful to not get stuck in your ways. Being open to new things expands our learning and that is especially important when having your own PLN. The second step talked about what tools to use to cultivate your PLN and what tools work best for certain things.
One of my favorite steps Rheingold talked about was step 4: Always keep tuning your network, dropping people who don’t gain sufficiently high interest; adding new candidates. This is one thing I love about Twitter. If one of your followers is sharing “junk” or sharing too much of something, you can unfollow them. Another thing I like about Twitter is that when a follower retweets someone else’s tweet that you aren’t following, you have access to their tweets and profile (sometimes these profiles are locked/private). I’ve experienced this this past week when following some people I added to my PLN. As I was scrolling through my timeline I noticed retweets from people that I do not follow and some of their stuff was super interesting so I just clicked on their profile and followed them. It was that easy!
Another thing that I liked about this article is that Rheingold focuses on being kind to one another. Even though we can’t see our followers face to face, it is still important to show them gratitude and kindness over the computer screen. People are willing to share their experiences and ideas so we should show them how thankful we are for doing that. Another thing that he brought up was watching our tone while conversing with people. I am a pretty sarcastic person and sometimes I don’t think about what I say when talking with people who don’t understand my sense of humor. When talking with people online, it is hard to show your sarcasm without seeming rude. So I think it is best to keep sarcasm away from social media unless your are really good at sarcastic typing!
I really enjoyed reading this article and learning more about how to cultivate my PLN. I will take these tips and hopefully expand my network and connect with more people!