Part 1: Twitter and Stalking
I completely understand that conferences are a great way to meet the folks I follow and interact with on Twitter. But when it comes to walking up to a total stranger and introducing myself, it has a definite stalker feel to it. I struggle with this. And the added awkwardness of staring at folks’ chests to see their name or Twitter handle. Ugh.
At the California Google Summit, I think I found my method. Two people. Maybe three. That’s it. There’s the answer. Connect with a couple, connect often, chat, build relationships that will more likely last over just a passing ‘hi’ and introductions. Certainly have a great time with people I already know but commit to two (or three) new ones.
So for the #gafesummit, it was @McTeach and @scubagirl812. And a meaningful, but brief conversation with @LS_Karl. Karen and I had met two years ago @edcampsfbay (or maybe it wasn’t called that then). She’s awesome on Twitter. Really comes across as a real person-serious, ed-tech posts along with day-to-day gripes and joy. No pictures of breakfast, though (thankfully).
I ran into Karen at our Friday Google Teacher Institute at the Google Campus. My application was late and tentative… “Teacher Institute” doesn’t exactly sound admin-friendly. But when I saw the box to check “Administrator” on the application, that was my green light. Yahoo! It was an awesome day. And the bonus was running into Karen. Then around the Summit, via Tweet, a goofy photo,… Definitely a relationship built there.
At the same GTI, when I selected my table, (after looking around the room like a nervous teenager-where should I sit, do they look friendly, can I see well, blah blah blah) I scored by sitting next to Kim Randall (@scubagirl812)! She’s a member of the @edtechteam and totally awesome. We struck up conversation immediately. Then at the Summit, we tried over and over to get her connected with my asst sup to finish an email conversation about Chromebook training, but as that never came to fruition, I did have a chance to chat with Kim more. Super!
So now the stalking part… @LS_Karl was so awesome to Tweet the video links as Rich DeVaul was keynote-ing (not a word, I’m sure) on Sunday morning. I so appreciated that. And I didn’t even know if @LS_Karl was at the Summit or not… maybe just home watching the Summit hashtag and feeling helpful… who knows? Then in Kevin Brookhouser’s session on #20time, @LS_Karl was Tweeting again about how awesome @Brookhouser’s presentation was. I got totally distracted. I need to thank this guy for those video links and if he’s in this room, I’m going to do it in person. Now…. where is he? Enlarging the Twitter profile pic was NOT helpful–beanie on, black and white… no good for across-the-room ID. I told my colleague @mrsfadeji that my plan was to shout, “Hey! Is @LS_Karl in the room?!?” Right after the applause for Kevin died down, of course. Ok, I did come to my senses… I’ll just Tweet that I’d like to meet him… that’s not stalking, that’s friendly. Right? He Tweets back… I’m on the right side at the back in a #caedchat t-shirt. Got it. So from the front of the room, @mrsfadeji and I are craning our necks for this t-shirt… and which side is right? My right or your right? Geez.
Long story short… two guys by the door think we’re total weirdos who stare rudely at others. Fine. As the applause died down and folks were gathering their items to depart, an obvious @LS_Karl walks right up to us as we all point and laugh. Hey! Great to meet you! and so on. It was perfect. I thanked him for the video links and he shared some info about an elementary #20time-r. Awesome. So from stalking to relationship–Viola’!
Part 2: My PLN
My last session @gafesummit was with Mark Wagner (@markwagner) on Google+ and PLNs. I desperately need to understand Google+ more. I am not a Facebooker and don’t intend to change that. At first blush, Google+ really resembles Facebook. But at first blush, folks are just sharing what they eat on Twitter, and I KNOW that’s not accurate. I LOVE Twitter! So I thought Mark’s session might help me see Google+ in a better light. It did.
But what Mark’s session really did was kick me into gear with my PLN. Connect, Contribute, Converse, Request. Ok, how am I doing? April Fool’s Day of 2013 I committed myself to blog more. That’s happening. I am Connecting and Conversing on Twitter, that’s for sure. Request–I do ask questions and ask for help when I need it. I follow and read a lot of blogs via Feedly. So that’s Connecting. Two points that Mark made that are new goals: 1) comment on other’s blogs and 2) link from my own blog posts. Those two pieces were missing for me. Until I got back from the Summit. My comments were genuine and brief. Two so far. Not many posts make we want to say something or participate. Although once I warm up to this side of Contributing, I may have more to say. My two prior #gafesummit reflection posts provide links as appropriate. And lots of reference to Twitter handles of folks mentioned.
What about Google+? Not sure yet. I have one Circle that I’m populating,slowly. A Hangout might be in our future for impromptu elementary principal meetings. That would be great. But other uses? Maybe.
So another great Huzzah! to the @edtechteam and #gafesummit! I still LOVE Twitter and My PLN is flexing its muscles, especially on my end.
Next post: Just Plain Geeky