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PLN Tips & Tricks

Building Your Network
  • Start posting right away - things you've learned, questions you have, and so on. You're more likely to have people follow you if you have some content already.
  • Find other people who are trying out that particular web service for the first time. (By bumping into them at a conference, perhaps?) They're more likely to follow you and you can learn about the service together.
  • When you begin to follow someone new, look at who they're following. You might find some new cool people.
  • Technorati is your friend. Searching for the right keywords will get you all kinds of interesting blogs to plug into your RSS reader. Include the name of your favorite microblog as a search term and you might find a few more people worth following.
  • Respond to people - not just on microblogs but also to blog posts you find interesting. Don't just say "I agree," though. Try to add something to the conversation. Most blogs allow you to put a web address in along with your name. Put in your blog (or microblog) address and more people will be able to find you.
Maintaining Your Network
  • Set a limit for yourself. If you find that your PLN is giving you too many things to read, stop following some of them. It can sometimes be a hard choice to make, but the other option is missing everything because of the volume - like filling a teacup with a fire hose.
  • Check who you're following routinely. If you've decided you want your PLN to have a PG rating and a member of it likes to post the occasional text/picture/link that isn't safe for work, you might want to stop following them.
  • Is someone talking to you? If someone asks you a question on Twitter and you take two weeks or more to answer it, what does that say about you?
  • Try to keep from posting filler. "Brushing my teeth" is most likely not a worthwhile posting on any website, though we're glad you value personal hygiene. Posting what you're eating and general "Good morning/night" posts should also probably be kept to a minimum.
  • That being said, you can get artistic if you so wish. Haiku will usually fit inside the 140 character limit with ease.
  • Remember that once you put something on a public website anyone can see it. Think about what your parents, wife, boss, and/or children would say as a response before you hit the big shiny button. Yes microblogs often have a privacy feature, but how do you know that last person you started following isn't really your principal?
  • Reposting comments made by others is OK so long as you give credit. Reposts are usually preceded with "RT @nameoforiginalposter" with the RT standing for "ReTweet."