Last night I was reflecting upon why I have so readily embraced Twitter and what it has to offer on a professional level. It’s not just because I am a Plunger, either. You see, I have done this type of networking in the past. Years ago, as a teacher, I was an active poster on the Teachers.Net chatboards where teachers come together to share ideas, resources, and research. I was also involved with a few education-related groups on Yahoo Groups. I learned a great deal from sharing with the educators on these groups.
Then, I started to have children and started networking in other ways. When I was pregnant with my second child in 2007, I became active in a Birth Board Group at Baby Center. There were 1000’s of moms-to-be (and a few dads) who would share their pregnancy experience, ask questions, give advice, etc… It was a great community! In fact, my Personal Parenting Network (PPN) has continued since I was pregnant with my son. The January 2008 Moms have created a private board online where we share our parenting trials, tribulations, joys, and dreams.
Our PPN has gone through many things over the past 4 years that we’ve been together as a network. We have helped each other through good times and bad. We’ve been a part of new pregnancies and additional children being born (Good luck to Erin tomorrow on the birth of her baby girl, Domenica!), milestones being reached, weddings, anniversaries, and promotions. We’ve also been there to support one another in more difficult circumstances: through miscarriages, deaths (of pets, friends, family, spouses, and even children), job loss, post partum depression, deployments of spouses, separation, and divorce. We have even had many meet-ups around the U.S. As strange as it may seem, when we meet in person, it is as if we’ve been real life friends our entire life.
So, as you see, I’ve experienced the power of these networks personally. I’ve even searched for such groups for administrators online with no luck. Imagine my excitement when I was introduced to my new Personal Learning Community (PLN) on Twitter.
What are your thoughts?
Can PLN’s be as powerful as my PPN has been?
Do PLN’s participate in Secret Santa? or BOC (Box of Crap)?
OK, I guess we’ll leave those to my PPN!