Momentum Part 4 Connections

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:

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:

It was Kathleen Morris’s question that inspired these Momentum Posts:


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.

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 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]

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
    • annotations
    • shared documents
    • Padlets
    • linked blogs
    • or a blog series
  • Invite others to your own hashtag
  • Invite others to your own challenge

You’re rolling now! A smooth habit of blogging!

This is a post for the #blogging28 challenge by Edublogs, thanks to Denise’s tweet

Building Momentum Posts


on “Momentum Part 4 Connections
4 Comments on “Momentum Part 4 Connections
  1. As someone who is just getting started, how did you find a group like #etmooc and #clmooc? I could definitely use a challenge or connection like that to help me find my way on this new and exciting path.

    • Hi Angie,

      Twitter and friends led me to #etmooc and #clmooc . They are a very welcoming group. Unfortunately, our hub was Google Plus and that is going away. Please join us by following the hashtags! A small group #CLmooc people are in a FaceBook group here, which we would love for you to join. Sign up for CLmooc news here.

      Since you teach math and science, check out the active hashtags related to your interests at Cybraryman’s list here. Following those hashtags may lead to a community that already exists. Or you may start your own by following and interacting with people similar to your situation on Twitter. There are teachers new to blogging on the Edublogs Challenge list. Of course, follow the Edublogs Community here and on Twitter.

      You may want to join EdWeb — it’s not the “community” feeling of my other neighborhoods, but it provides areas to join based on your interests; tons of free webinars to learn many different educational considerations [web tools, learning strategies].

      Hope that helps!

      ~ Sheri

  2. Connections build relationships, which deepen connections, which extend networks, which enrich understanding. Or so one hopes.
    PS — Loving this series of momentum posts …

    • Just think. If it weren’t for #etmooc and #clmooc, I may not have understood that a neighborhood can be built online. And Steve Hargadon’s Classroom2.0 — those Saturday morning sessions on the application of tech tools, with the intense side conversations– connected many people in trying new tools to fit their classroom/student needs. Many of the places we gathered are gone, or soon will be. Where are people gathering and learning now? EdCamps and their hashtags? Twitter Chats? EdWeb? Mastodon? My hope is that it is happening in schools and districts, because that might mean that the “evolution” to 21st Century learning is finally happening in 2019! I wonder… Thanks for being part of my neighborhood and many conversations! ~ Sheri

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