Finding My Online People (Building my PLN)

Being intentional about my social media use has been a nice little side project for me throughout this semester. In general I have no problems wasting away the hours on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter but I have had problems (or lack of motivation?) in the past to be truly active in those wasted hours (being more active would in turn make them less of a waste!) So the push to be a meaningful participant online has been a nice gear shift for me.

flickr photo by aforgrave shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

How do you connect? Flickr photo by aforgrave shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

What is a #COETAIL?

I remember seeing the COETAIL hashtag (I’m going to quit being particular with the case sensitivity of CoETaIL – it’s too hard) and being drawn to the content as well as the community. It was clearly a group of educators who were keen to embark on a learning journey and share their successes. I think it must be close to two years ago that I had a long twitter chat with @chezvivian and she convinced me to join an online cohort. The COETAIL community was the first reason I signed up for this course so reflecting on the impact and my participation with the COETAIL community is a nice way to start to close out Course 5 for me.

I see COETAILers being most active in the Twitter and WordPress worlds although many might argue that there is an equal (or at least growing) presence in G+. I tried so hard to fall in love with Google Plus. I tried to get my students to fall in love with it. I’ve tried to get our school to be more active with it. Why isn’t it working for me? I’m Google obsessed. I chucked out the iPhone and got a Nexus (just to clarify chucked out = dropped in the toilet) and I’m a massive Google Apps junkie and a self-confessed snob about people who keep sending me bloody Microsoft Word docs! So, why didn’t Google Plus connect with me? I honestly only open up Google+ to check up on the two COETAIL communities that I’m in. Maybe that’s enough? I do wonder if I’ll keep it up once Course 5 is done.

Twitter has definitely been my biggest centre for my online presence. My connections have grown steadily throughout this first half of the year and I’m finding it easier to engage/chat/connect with people – instead of simply lurking. Joining chats and making better use of hashtags has resulted in more follows and a higher Klout rating but none of this matters if you are simply collecting numbers. Setting aside time for #mathchat, #coetailchat and #sbgchat has (and will always be) been more engaging than follower counting. (But, you should still follow me, the link is on the right) I love the new slow chat movement more than anything as the time differences can often mean that I’m trying to be insightful at 6am or midnight which rarely happens!

The last COETAIL slow chat we started to think about life after COETAIL. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself as I still need to finish the project but I hope to do Kim Cofino’s coaching course in August. That will keep me in the COETAIL learning space and hopefully keep this blog going and my Twitter tweeting.

See you on the Twitter machine.


In terms of collating my community engagement throughout this course I thought I’d put together a storify to walk you through my online learning and contributions.

(Here’s a direct link to the storify – way easier if you are on a mobile device)

2 comments to “Finding My Online People (Building my PLN)”
2 comments to “Finding My Online People (Building my PLN)”
  1. Hi Ange!

    All I can say is WOW! I love the way that you curated your PLN connections via Storify. I have only seen it used with Tweets, and I am super impressed that it can also embed blogs and it comes out looking pretty sharp!

    Hmm, I think we should require all Coetail grads to curate their Coetail Community Engagement via Storify. It works so well. cc @jutecht @mscofino

    Also, what a great idea to post your twitter analytics and Klout score as evidence. There is very little hiding behind that. I didn’t know about twitter analytics. I had better not check as I have a feeling the arrow would go off my computer screen hee hee. I spend too much time on twitter. 😀

    Guess what? I also struggle with G+. I only have it for Coetail reasons. I figure it’s better to concentrate on the medium that works for you. It’s better to do well on one medium vs. poorly at several mediums.

    I definitely see you as one of the engaged and connected Coetailers, so no worries there! It’s a bit more difficult for you as your timezone in South America makes it extra difficult. Taking that into account, I think you’ve been super connected with the Coetail Community.

    I noticed while scrolling thru your storify that you tweeted and invited me to a G+ hangout. Oh dear, I missed seeing that tweet. I had just finished presenting at a conference and my twitter notifications went sky-high around that time, so I didn’t even see it. I’m so sorry about that! I would have loved to have had a G+ hangout with you over your project.

    Thanks again for showing me “Storify” in a way that I’ve never seen. Well done!

    • Thanks Vivian! I was trying to think of a way to highlight my community involvement while still keeping all of the links alive – Storify was perfect! It doesn’t embed all that well and looks better on the storify page (I actually love the mobile interface) but it ended up working really well! No worries about the missed Hangout opportunity – it was a crazy couple of weeks back there! Hopefully we will get another chance to meet virtually (or IRL) one day soon!!!

      Thanks again for all of your support – wouldn’t have made it without you!!!

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