Extending conversation networks

Quick hit post:

One of the things that I like about twitter is its spontaneous nature, which is one of the things that many people fault it for. It’s often a quick hit exchange that helps to inspire,  Quick, relevant, and spontaneous!

So why i am going to the trouble of pointing out the painfully obvious?  Well, I think we’re missing opportunities when you;re not trying to use some form of social media to extend your networks. Because the people I talk to on Twitter are quire different than the people that I talk to at my institution or in other networks of support that I have. That’s the important point. All of us (and this is true of tech comm people who are working outside of higher education, aka the “practitioners”) are often guilty of talking to others like us or keeping with our same networks. And while that has its own value, it’s also important to think in terms of expansion of networks and thereby expansion of viewpoints and ideas.

When I was working in tech comm, I was a consultant so most of the people I talked to on a regular basis were of course, my clients, but also other consultants. I can assure you that being a consultant is much different from being a full-time employee. Thinking back on it now, I should have talked to more people in the field to help provide much needed perspectives. That’s one of the great things now is that I not only talk to lots of different academics, but I also get to talk to a bunch of different practitioners.

The takeaway is to remember that you can find expertise and experience is all sorts of places and sometimes those places are completed unexpected!