More than fixing the egg

Last week, George Couros and I got an interesting request from Donna Fry.

Apparently, this is part of an activity that’s happening with an online course that she’s teaching about using Twitter.

For anyone monitoring her account, it should come as a reminder that, if you’re going to make the most from a Twitter account, you need to be interesting to others who might decide to include you in their collection of online learners, sometimes called a Personal Learning Network (PLN).

When you join Twitter, you’re given a set of defaults, one of which is a profile picture that looks like an egg.  There is lots of advice about “changing the egg” to a picture of yourself.  That really personalizes the account and has the added advantage of making you recognizable when you run into someone at a conference or a coffee shop.  I still remember meeting @safinahirji for the first time at an ECOO Conference.  Not only did she look exactly like her Twitter profile picture, it looks like she had just taken the picture 10 seconds ago!  Often, people will temporarily change their profile picture to support a particular cause but eventually those who are serious about the online connections will change it back.

But, if the goal is making meaningful connections, it has to go beyond a glamour shot.  You also have the opportunity to write a brief descriptor of yourself, your interests, your goals, your organization, etc.  I know that when I get a new follower, the challenge is always “do I follow you back” or “do I add you to a list”?  This is important to me since I now have three lists of Ontario Educators.  I need to know two things immediately – that you’re involved in education and that you’re from Ontario.  Make that immediately obvious and you’re on the list.

Since it was a Friday when I read the request from Donna, I had my focus turned to Ontario Educators.  So, who did I recommend?  I flipped to Hootsuite and took a look at recent messages and suggested @Dunlop_Sue,, @msjweir, @gpearsonEDU, @misssgtpickles, @ReneeVil, @HandsOnilm, and @dianahalezoux.  If you check these accounts (and they’re good to follow), you’ll see the information that you need quickly and there’s no doubt they’re educators, they’re from Ontario, and they’re more than just educators – they’re just plain interesting.  That’s a good thing.  It’s also a wonderful source for me to add to my collection of Ontario Edubloggers.

The same logic would apply if it’s an organization rather than a person.  Check out AutismONT, ONTSpecialNeeds, or westernulibsEDU.

The concept is fairly simple.  People don’t have all day wondering whether or not you’re worth connecting with.  You can help the cause immediately with an informative and interesting profile.  Other things that come into consideration is how often you send Twitter messages yourself and how many other people have found you interesting enough to follow.

Donna used some of my recommendations here.

It’s one of those things that shouldn’t be one and done.  Have you added a new blog?  Did you create an AboutMe page?  Would others like to know where your wiki is?  This is the perfect place to let the world know.

Have you checked your profile recently?  Is it telling the world all that it could?

3 thoughts on “More than fixing the egg

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