After some recent sleepless nights, I discovered something. When I hopped on Twitter in the wee hours of the morning to feed my sleep-deprived mind, many people in my PLN (Personal Learning Network) are posting in the middle of the night! Actually, they are posting A LOT in the middle of the night. Yes, these people live in the USA and are within relative time-zones to me.
Well, actually what’s more likely is that they are using a tool like Hootsuite to robo-tweet.
Robo-tweet, you ask?
Urban Dictionary defines robo-tweet as: “Automatic direct messages (DM’s) used by Twitter users. Often used to send a DM to new followers, or as auto-replies on vacation.” I’m going to broaden the definition here for this blog post. Some Twitter users use programs like Hootsuite to automate their posts to go live at various times. I won’t go so far as to compare robo-tweets to robo-calls, but I think they share some characteristics.
Don’t get me wrong. I like being able to find content 24/7, especially as I lay awake on sleepless nights. But there is something to be said for LIVE TWEETING vs robo-tweeting. To be honest, I feel like some people’s feeds are mostly content sharing mills.
Part of what makes a PLN valuable is the fact that many people I follow are supposedly curating good content and sharing it with the world. And many do! I learn every time I go on Twitter. But if we are to become curating factories, scheduling tweets to go out all through the wee hours, will ALL of the posts we share this way worthwhile? And vetted?
In addition, PLN’s should involve in conversations. Are these conversations happening sometime between those robo-tweets? Or are these certain people talking but not really listening? In some cases, I feel like I no longer follow people, but rather, their robot that tweets for them. Ok, I will admit I am making many generalizations, but I think you get my point.
How would others (new, experienced, early adopters) describe the present “culture of our PLN? What are YOU doing to innovate in order to take it to the next level of support, collaboration, personal and professional learning?
I issue this challenge to anyone reading this article. Are you taking your collaboration and learning to the next level? I will be the first to admit that I still require a lot of work in that area. Take a moment to answer and then comment on my post or tweet your answer to me at @ezundel. I’d love to hear your thoughts!