Going back to my October 3rd post of Jeff Utecht, is it accurate or is it make-believe? Well looking at the time element of Jeff’s creation makes me think that he really has put some thought into this work. And if you relate it to David Warlick’s (October 3rd post) growing of a PLN then you must agree that the basic creation issues are very common and deserve another look at each.
Keeping it simple goes without saying David! If we start out too strong in a design of our PLN we will get bogged down in the complexity and time consumption and not get any perpetual educational use out of the collection of knowledge we are accumulating because human nature has us trying to keep up with our original ideas and means of what we have gathered. But immersing ourselves in the information of several different or many different networks as Jeff suggests may not be the answer either, we must choose! Allowing the choice to come from the invitation of a specific network without the content containing what we are truly interested in learning will not promote or enlarge our scope of knowledge. Therefore I say, do not avoid your normal social networks and your professional networks. Periodically check out new sites or content that has been brought to your attention. Then forget about them. Move on. Go to new areas, expand!
Now remember to not forget “self”. It is not that important to read all or every post put out there, even from someone you find to be very, very interesting. Jeff reminds us that we are connecting for knowledge not for every word that is spoken by anyone.
But if it reoccurs within your thoughts or memory at some time then maybe it is worth revisiting then if it strikes an interest again add it to your PLN and follow it for a while. If it becomes, over a few months, less interesting or does not meet your needs delete it and move on, there are many other sites out there, don’t get bogged down with items that you feel are mundane. If you just continue to keep differing issues in an amount that is above and beyond human possibility to visit at least once a month then you will not get professional use out of them unless it is just a side note to use in the future as a reference under certain circumstances. As Jeff says you cannot know it all. And as David puts it “Organize”. Have a section for hourly use, such as emails, and daily use such as news local and international and weekly use such as professional journal updates, and monthly for your professional magazines and maybe even yearly such as for Pulitzer prize winners in your interest area. Now remember this is for your professional networks do not mix up your professional and personal networks or it will become too confusing to manage and distinguish even though sometimes they will overlap somewhat.
As Jeff states, find a good balance and the correct perspective to keep you informed but not overwhelmed, you may not always have access to your website or the internet. As time goes on you will become more and more comfortable with the amount of content within your PLN and the progression of new followings and followers. The aggregator or RSS (Rich Sites Summary) feeds may grow to an enormous amount of daily, weekly, or monthly feeds to new sites and information, give yourself permission to just ignore most or even all at times and/or just scan through each according to David. Use others also as your informants they will produce great leads or tons of new information or lead you to great new ideas within your content areas.
Remember it only takes a few minutes of time to learn something new! Make good use of those moments, use them wisely. Then use your other moments as wisely with family and friends maybe even on a social medium.
A PLN is a tool use it wisely and timely!
Till next post. Later.