doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Big? Or juicy?

Who hasn’t seen a bumper sticker or t-shirt or just a sign that says:

He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins

It’s kind of cute and pokes fun at those who have to acquire everything.

Last week, on Twitter, there was a discussion about the value of a Personal Learning Network.  If you use the Twitter service for networking with great educators, then you absolutely know all about the value of having that network.  But, having that network is only the begging.  Milking it for all it’s worth is worthwhile.

A really good, and critical thought for the day, is “how big should it be?”

Some observations:

  • there are bots and services that will sell you additional users for $$$
  • you can follow every user that you can find
  • some people use follow accounts and never post anything personally
  • you can read those posts that appear online every now and again “Top ## educators to follow on Twitter” and then follow them
  • you can find someone you respect and see who they follow and follow their follows

and there are probably other ways to pick those you choose to follow.

There does come a time when the sheer number that you follow becomes unmanageable.  The actual “number” is tough to define.  Follow too few and a looking at messages would let you think that the whole exercise is not worthwhile.  Follow too many and there’s so much going on that it’s hard to know where to start.

In the local newspaper recently, there was a very appropriate story.

Apple picking time: Crop not as big but apples will be larger, juicier than last year

It’s kind of a big deal here in Essex County.  Today, for example, I’ll be heading out to Leamington and will buy things from the stands that line the roads.  I like to support local farmers and I know that the fruit will be fresh and not stored in cold storage before being put out on shelves for sale.

I can’t help but think that the same logic applies to Twitter followers and how to manage them.  There was a time when you’d definitely want to have the biggest list of people to follow.  I’ll confess to doing that myself.  I’ve come to realize that value comes from selecting any future people to follow by checking out their timeline to see if they’re “larger and juicier”.  Metaphorically, of course.

Or, start to use the tools of Twitter to make it better.  If you check out my Twitter profile, you’ll see that I do follow quite a few.  That number hangs around from past history.  Quite frankly, I seldom look at the big stream.

Instead, I’ve tried to make my reading juicier.  If you did look at my profile, you’ll see that I have a number of lists of users there.  Of course, I’m so vested in my Ontario Educator lists.  They form the basis for my FollowFriday stuff and the newsletters.  It also lets me divide and conquer the list of Ontario folks – 4 lists of 500 versus 1 of 2000 to see what’s happening.  And, of course, it’s Ontario!  The lists that you see were either curated by me or I just follow someone else’s list.  If they’ve done the heavy lifting, who am I to complain?  BTW, you’re welcome to follow mine lists if you’re so inclined.

And, I’ll tweak your curiosity.  Everything working properly, you see the lists I’ve elected to make public.  There are others you shouldn’t be able to see!  Curious now?

Using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck allows for a separate column for each of the lists to try and keep an eye on what’s happening.

Screenshot 2017-09-24 at 08.29.53

From my Hootsuite screen…

That’s how I try to manage things to make it “larger and juicier”.  But, I’m not above taking advice from others.  Do you have a better scheme to manage things?

If you do, I’m a quick learner.  Please share.


One response to “Big? Or juicy?”

  1. Like you I depend on lists to help we wade through the stream. I also have both public and private lists. I have a list (public) of CS education people from example. A private list of family members. It’s all still a lot to keep up with.

    Liked by 1 person

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