Last Thursday evening, even though I wasn’t feeling very well and wanted to just crash, I joined into #lrnchat on twitter, hoping to expand my personal learning network. In introduction, I sent this tweet:
No response, so I rearead an realized I had used #learnchat rather than #lrnchat. How silly of me, so I tried again:
Still no response, though I watched classmates exchanging greetings. Well, the tweets were flying by, so I figured it was hard for all to keep up and that I’d eventually get engaged in the conversation. I sent 6 additional tweets without any response at all and gave up, discouraged, after an hour.
Subsequently, I’ve learned from Jeannette that what happened was most probably a “fluke” caused by an unusual way Twitter may be treating new accounts with few followers as “spam.”
This is a course in informal learning, so here’s some of what I learned:
1. It is incredibly frustrating to feel invisible. I found myself less open and curious about what folks were saying that I might have learned from as I kept wondering why my messages were getting no response. As I incorporate social tools into my PLN and into my learning strategy, this is something to be aware of to avoid turning people off.
2. Technology is imperfect – just as people are imperfect. (Thanks, Jeannette!). As individual users/learners, we need to master the technology to learn its quirks, and as learning facilitators/network nurturers/knowledge curators, we need to be sure to be on the lookout for these imperfections and flukes. Perhaps people are participating but their posts are blocked for some reason…
3. If resilience in organizations results from higher social capital at lower transaction costs, resilience in people comes from a sense of optimism, confidence and love of learning.
I’ll try #lrnchat again next time.