My own Digital Participation

Like several #tiegrad cohort members, I spent some time this weekend reflecting on my online presence. In our very first term of our Masters work, we were fortunate enough to have a visit with Bonnie Stewart who posed a similar question asking us to think about who we were online. Unfortunately, that was one of the blogs lost when UVic was hacked, but even so, my answer has changed over time. She shared our professor, Alec Couros as an example of someone who seamlessly blends his professional and personal lives online.

I am only digitally active in a few areas. I have a Twitter account, this blog, a Kidblog account with my students, a classroom Twitter account, a couple of social bookmarking sites, and dormant About.Me and LinkedIn pages. Oh, and I also was starting to develop a Fitbit PLN, until my Fitbit decided to part company with me. I am my most true self on my two blog sites. I try to include personal stories, and a few more personal pictures. I was very saddened to lose my UVic blog where I shared how I learned to read, with a picture of my brother and me outside of the Prince George public library. I still have a Word copy of that post, but I heartbreakingly lost my treasured comments from my family and my #tiegrad cohort. It’s funny that we teach about the permanence/footprint of our online identities – maybe it’s only the stuff that we wish we could forget that is actually permanent!

I am more careful with my words on Twitter. 140 characters leaves a lot of room for context collapse and I worry about what to say or share. I feel great when something I tweet is re-tweeted, but when I retweet, I feel like I might be perceived as fangirling!

I think that the main difference between my blog and Twitter is that few people actually read through my blog in its entirety, but anyone could stumble across my words on Twitter. We often snoop through each other’s lists to see whom people are following and what they have to say. My visualization of blogging is like walking through a semi-deserted street verbally telling a friend a story or answering a question. However, Twitter is like graffiti – very visual and left to linger for all to see. I still hesitate and hover over both the “Publish” and the “Tweet” buttons.

I liked the ideas by Melody and Suzanne of creating a Task List for developing a more well-rounded digital identity.

My Task List:

  1. Refine my About.Me and LinkedIn pages (or start fresh!)
  2. Be more active on Twitter: I loved co-moderating our #anxietyined chats, and participating in #bcedchat, #byodchat, and #mschat. I am currently only participating in #bcedchat. Hesitate less, share more.
  3. Blog more frequently. It is an expectation of this course, but I also enjoyed completing the 30 Days Reflective Blogging Challenge in September. I need my blogging to serve me, not just be an assignment to complete. I may need to examine or reflect upon other areas of my life, not just my thoughts and learning as a Masters student. I’ve been managing to blog twice a week since the term began, but it has been entirely assignment-based. These posts will only engage my fellow Grad students. Time to broaden my focus.
  4. Get to know my PLN. I have gotten to know a few of the people I have connected with on Twitter, but mainly by asking questions. I need to look for more opportunities to connect and give back.
  5. Re-read and reflect on the article that was shared out by Valerie Irvine: The Guide to Social Media Time Management. Keep my task list in mind and refine my goals as I work.
  6. Maintain balance. Cultivate my in-person relationships as I develop my digital relationships.
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4 thoughts on “My own Digital Participation

  1. I agree that the blog process needs to be useful for you, not to meet some assignment we have to do. That is my problem. I only tend to blog when asked. I also agree that we need to create better balance and I am sure your meditation will help with that! Thanks for the post. I think it is a great idea that we all create a task list.

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    • Thank you for commenting, Jason. I tend to over-think my blogging and find it difficult to publish my words. This term will require a lot of blogging and it should serve us, not just be an assignment to complete. Do you think that you will continue with blogging after our Masters concludes?

      I am looking forward to finding balance in my life, slowing down and appreciating the moment. The only place I feel that peace is when I am out in the woods walking my dogs. I am looking for ways to bring that mindset into my daily routine.

      Thanks for your comment!

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  2. This is a really great list of goals. My thoughts re: your points.

    #1 What I love about about.me is that it makes me reclarify why I use the spaces that I do, and how I perform in each. For my students, it helps them reassess their identity inventory.

    #3 The 30 day blog challenge is a great idea. I should probably take that on myself. I’ve been a blogger 14 years now, but I feel that I need to reinvigorate my writing from time to time.

    #4 This one is huge and I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I think it’s incredibly important to think about the quality of your relationships (not quantity). I wrote a brief post about this a while back. http://educationaltechnology.ca/couros/2098

    #6 Balance is a constant struggle but I know that you have goals in your learning project that will certainly help you achieve your goals!

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    • Thank you for your comment! I am working on my about.me, and I really appreciated learning why you value it. After re-reading your words, I am re-thinking how I want to be portrayed. I can see now how it can simultaneously reflect my current level of participation and also my goals for where I want to grow and become more involved.

      The 30 Day Blogging challenge was amazing! I highly recommend it for anyone. Some questions were fun to explore and answer, and others were downright uncomfortable. I have several students who are creating a 30 day challenge for our class, and also for any other classes we can connect with through Twitter. Maybe that could be an opportunity for you to join in?

      I agree with you re. the quality of relationships. Inwardly, I am thrilled to have people who are willing to connect with me on Twitter, and I am amazed that anyone would follow my blog. But, I often wonder what I give back? There is a responsibility there, and I want to be of value to the people I am “meeting” online. Thank you for sharing your link. I think that could inspire me to be a bit more reflective of my own role in my PLN.

      Balance is a struggle. I am not sure I will meet my goals. But, I find that even a small change can result in a sense of accomplishment or an improved lifestyle. I am optimistic. I need to use my time better and ensure that my family feels like a priority.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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