Two Hypotheses Now Tested (Others Still Untested)
We begin with a recap of my socially awkward media problems, as explored in my original Pretend Librarian’s Guide to Socially Awkward Media post:
- My tweets were very minimal, business-like, non-controversial, and didn’t particularly reflect my actual personality or ideas.
- I didn’t actually engage with people on twitter, I just followed people and looked at their links and occasionally retweeted stuff. I suspected that I didn’t have an actual functioning “PLN” even though I liked to occasionally drop that term around my work colleagues who are all, like me, at best just emerging twitter users.
- I had this website but I didn’t promote it or tell anyone about it.
Over a period of several months I started tweeting more regularly in what I hope was a slightly more authentic and personable way. In addition to retweeting professional stuff I occasionally tweeted about personal things or random or silly things, or things slightly off-topic. I tried to make comments on things when I tweeted about them. I tried to mention people and credit people when I shared and liked their stuff. I occasionally attempted to converse with other people via twitter.
Test 1 Results:
I gained more followers. I received a few conversation responses myself. I felt better about what I was doing. I may have slightly irritated people by asking them questions out of the blue, but for once I didn’t really care. However, I did not forge any real or lasting connections with anyone. And then I took a vacation from twitter for a weekend that turned into a week that has turned into a month. That vacation is not over yet. I am afraid to go back to twitter and look at my feed and my followers, but I will do it soon. I don’t know if I can pick back up where I left off, or if I will be starting from scratch. That will be another test (see below.)
In the midst of the first test I tweeted a request out on twitter looking for libraries or librarians in Montessori schools on behalf of my wife. I used all the right hashtags that I thought should have gotten everyone who might know anything about these topics to look at it. I think I tweeted it a couple of different times to try to catch different crowds.
Test 2 Results
Zero responses of any sort. Not even bogus bot follows from that one. I suspected that I didn’t have a real “PLN,” and now I almost suspect that virtually no one except people who keynote conferences and have followers in the 4-5 figure range actually have PLNs where they can just ask a question at large and get an answer. Other possible scenarios: 1) I’ve unwittingly done something absolutely abhorrent to people on twitter who are interested in Montessori education; 2) There are not any librarians on twitter interested in Montessori, and there are not any Montessori educators or parents on twitter interested in libraries.
Next Actions to Be Tested
- Go back to twitter after my vacation and see if I still have any followers
- Leave more comments on other people’s blogs – not bogus self promoting stuff but actual thoughts that contribute to the conversation
- Post regularly on this blog
- Tweet out about the things I post on this blog
- Make this blog known to people I actually know outside of twitter (co-workers, family, friends)