So far on our roller coaster…
Our roller coaster of blogging is building momentum:
- Momentum Part 1: Make a commitment and plan
- We pushed through a challenge and built our blogging habit over 28 days of #blogging28
- Momentum Part 2: Topics / Ideas
- We can push further towards the top when we find our story: interests and passions; search Twitter and blogs for ideas and people
- Develop Topic Strategies: narrow topics for short posts; share resources; create images, reflect
- Momentum Part 3: Social Ideas
- We can gain knowledge and build momentum with our social media by following and interacting on Twitter and following and commenting on blogs found through Twitter
- We add ShareThis on our blogs; Tweet in replies and hashtags related to our ideas; and share links in comments to interact on blogs
- We build our PLN: personal learning neighborhood
Push further toward the top:
Use Your Tools
How do we build deeper connections to encourage our continued blogging adventure?
We’ve taken time to build the tools that support our growth:
- Blogroll of fellow bloggers
- Twitter list of fellow tweeters
- Hashtags of Interests
- TweetDeck to follow hashtags and people
- Twitter subscription lists and hashtag searches
Other Tools to try:
- Twitter chats
- Other Blog Challenges
- Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life
- Tuesday: Write a Slice of Life each Tuesday
- March: Write a Slice of Life everyday
- WordPress Challenges [not education focused]
- Edublogs: 50 Prompts for Educators
- Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life
Use these tools to gather ideas and interact with others, getting to know and follow a group with which you frequently connect. Make your own Twitter lists [how to]. Be aware that Twitter interactions may not result in a reply or response, but do interact to build that rapport. Edublogs has these tips.
Develop Your Connections
To develop your connections, develop these habits:
- Click on your blogroll to read and comment frequently
- Use hashtags to read current discussions/streams and write your own posts to share
- Replies and Retweets and Blog Comments add value when you:
- acknowledge others’ ideas
- ask a question
- share other resources
To develop your connections, try these strategies:
- Find what’s current and write a post [research links, a thoughtful wondering, your experience]
- Share with the hashtag and a question
- Share to a person with a comment or question
- Follow up to replies [tweets or blog comments]
When I started blogging, I participated in Edublogs Teacher Challenges. Later, in 2013, I took two MOOCs, which you can read about here and here. Those three events inspired relationships that still endure. For example Denise Krebs and I met at the Edublogs challenge, then ETmooc, and eventually built a presentation together for Connected Educators, all without a face-to-face conversation. Here’s our story. We met in June of that year.
It was her invitation that brought me to this challenge:
— Denise Krebs (@mrsdkrebs) January 2, 2019
It was Kathleen Morris’s question that inspired these Momentum Posts:
This will be so helpful for bloggers, Sheri! You obviously have a great routine for blogging so regularly too. I've just written a post for The Edublogger with tips on maintaining momentum with blogging. How do you do it? Do you have scheduled time each day?
— Kathleen Morris (@kathleen_morris) January 26, 2019
So: interact! Ask Questions! When a question appears in a blog or tweet, considering writing a blog post response to share back. That’s the beginning of deeper connections: Blog Conversations.
From my post, Blog Conversations, I suggested this strategy to extend the conversations:
…good bloggers spend time reading and commenting on others’ blogs. We look for posts of interest to us and leave a comment expressing our ideas and appreciation for the topic information. Commenting is a form of conversation with the author of the blog.
As bloggers, we can do more to extend the conversation. We can add value to others’ ideas by extending the conversation into our own blogs.
When we read others’ blog posts. We enjoy, learn, or disagree with them. In our minds, we have a response. That’s what we want to capture, that spark of connection when we read the posts.
Read to find that spark, that connection — the place in the blog post you think, “Ah.” or “What?” or “Yeah.”
At that point, that’s your cue to add to the conversation. It’s your gift back from the value given in the post. Copy that part of the idea.
Then, with the best digital citizenship in mind, we write a post about that idea, and your gift back: do you agree? disagree? learn something? have a different or new idea?
Go for it: Share their idea and your response — being overly positive as we always do so the author feels accepted and not disrespected.
Link back to the original blog.
Then comment on the blog with a link to your response post.
You’ve just started a blog conversation!
- Another way to extend a conversation is to invite people into a shared document, a Google Doc or Padlet to add and discuss ideas. Then each person can reflect on their own blogs and share out. A group of bloggers I worked with created a document to plan a year-long blogging project with our classes.
- Invite people to join a hashtag and link the responding blogs together with inlinkz. Margaret Simon for years invited us to participate in DigiLit Sunday. I wrote this post in response to her invitation here. If you click the blue button at the bottom of her post, you’ll see who participated.
- Invite others to a challenge, like Anna did here; we used an old hashtag #modigiwri that we’d used before.
- Invite people to annotate an interesting article in Hypothes.is Here’s an example.
- This started with Terry Elliott who asked people to honor Daniel Bassill’s work by annotating his website [the example]: [go in and try]
If you are looking for a way to honor MLK day, read this post from a man who has dedicated his adult life to working with and for Chicago youth: https://t.co/rnu4ksLn0X
I annotated his post so you can join me in the margins here: https://t.co/o3wHx6tMzX #clmooc #MoDigiWri pic.twitter.com/wTesMP29M8
— Terry Elliott (@telliowkuwp) January 21, 2019
You can see how these bring people together into a conversation to more critically consider ideas. It will build relationships as well as knowledge. It’s an example of connected learning — which is a deeper learning through the tools of technology, of which blogging is one. And those connections are the ones that will most help build your momentum, because, like good friends, there is always something good to talk — blog– about.
So: Deepen your Connections!
Even without a challenge or online course, you can build a neighborhood of people within hashtags to which your interactions are reciprocal and continuing. Use your Twitter and blogging tools to form blogging buddies:
- Connect and extend conversations from tweets and comments to deeper blog posts
- Invite others to the conversation through
- a slow chat
- twitter chat
- shared documents
- linked blogs
- or a blog series
- Invite others to your own hashtag
- Invite others to your own challenge