The cultivation of a personal network takes time and work. It is not something that you can do for one day and forget about it. There are really eight steps that will make you personal learning network worth using and using as a guide base. Those eight steps are: explore, search, follow, tune, feed, engage, inquire and respond. The ones that have brought a huge eye-opening for me are tune, feed, engage, inquire and respond.
When tuning your personal learning network, you need to make sure that the information you are looking for and sharing is worth interest to someone else. There can be pointless things that you share or tweet that may have not interest to anyone else, and those following you may lose complete interest and your personal learning network can dwindle down. When you are on twitter you can follow all of these people but do they really contribute to your learning network? Probably not right? When you follow all of these celebrities and socialites it does not really expand your learning capabilities. Just remember the next time you are following people or tweeting make it something useful! Make it something that someone can learn from or help them on their path.
Feeding and engaging go hand in hand. When you feed your personal learning network you need to make sure its worth something that someone else can engage from and learn something. I can post all I want about something mountains but if my personal learning network is all about elementary education or even baking the people who follow me will lose interest very quickly. Just remember you may have the greatest idea that can help your personal learning network but if you do not share it and share something out, it may be your lose and someone’s else gain when they think of it. Make sure when you are feeding and engaging you are carrying on conversations that have some relevance to your personal learning network. Make sure when you are sharing you insights you share the good and bad. Also when engaging make sure you show gratitude.
The article “How to Cultivate a Personal Learning Network: Tips from Howard Rheingold,” suggest that you need to take the time and attention to inquire others insights. You need to take these social relationships just like you would with your relationships outside the technology world. What you put into the relationship you will get back. Also remember when you are inquire to someone, and they answer, the least you could be make sure you respond back. Sometimes when you are typing or having a conversation online people do not get the tone of which you are saying something. So make sure when responding you make sure there is no way that someone can take it negatively.
All of these tips are great ways to fuel your personal learning network. But only you can make it better or worse. You are the ultimate decision!