The Key to Social Networking
Well, I took the advice of Will Richardson in the November issue of Ed Leadership regarding social networking and I joined Facebook and then later, Twitter. It took a while and at first, I have to confess that I really didn't get it. However, I have finally stumbled upon the key to the value of these tools, but I do so humbly, a bit embarrassed actually that I didn't figure it out earlier.... so no one make fun of me, please.
Here it goes.... The secret to social networking tools is...... being social. I know a bit anticlimactic. I only share because I have noticed friends that have explored with me didn't get it right away either. It could just be us, but our collective experience was to join the site and then stare at an empty screen.... not really getting what the fuss was all about.
However, a few friends find you on Facebook and your busy reminiscing and catching up. More friends and family find you and the fun intensifies. I had the same experience with Twitter. I joined expecting fireworks, and got a blank screen. A few colleagues joined too and then we just sent messages to each other... what fun is that we see each other regularly and have similar work experiences. I finally branched out and started following a few people ... Will Richardson, Chris Lehman, Joyce Valenza, and many others .... wow... then the fun begins. The RSS feature on Twitter makes it even more useful.
The bottom line is that Facebook, Twitter and similar tools just are not any fun by themselves. You need to be social to get the value of these tools.