Alan Levine — the mind behind the CogDogBlog — stopped by the Radical the other day and left a brilliant comment in response to my recent post about the importance of reinvesting in deep conversations in social spaces.
Until Dean tweeted I had no idea twitter was so plagued by banal retweeted inspirational quotes!
A problem there is the assymetry of response potential. If I was relatively new to Twitter and asked the same question, the crickets of response would compel me away from conversations. Dean has the power of a significant number of conversational followers many others lack.
I’d prefer more people do what you’ve done here- bring the ideas and conversations back to blog space which used to be the place for back and forth conversations.
There’s two important takeaways in Allen’s comment that I’m going to run with in 2019:
First, I’m going to make a commitment to being a more “conversational follower.”
Alan is right: Folks who have been around for a long time in social spaces — or folks who have earned a significant amount of attention/recognition for their work — are far more likely to have strong conversations happening in any social space that they participate in. Others may rarely see that same level of interaction with the content that they share and/or questions that they ask.
That changes the expectations that we have for social spaces.
So what’s the solution: I’m going to work harder at being a “conversational follower” for more people. Responding more frequently to more people is a simple way that I can start to influence the expectations that people have for interactions in social spaces.
Second, I’m going to make a commitment to extending conversations in both my own blog space and in the comment sections of the blogs written by others.
Early in the Web 2.0 #edumovement, blogs — and their comment sections — were FULL of provocative, back and forth conversations about teaching and learning. It wasn’t unusual to see dozens of comments after darn near every post. Now, comment sections are often completely empty.
So what’s the solution: Not only do I plan to do more reacting and responding and extending to the ideas of others in new posts here on the Radical, I also plan to recommit to starting dialogue in the comment sections of other people’s posts.
That’s probably the right place for extended conversations anyway. There’s room for deeper thought and articulation, which is what I think is missing from the work that teachers are doing in Twitter.
In the end, my goal is to both to add and to find more intellectual value from the time that I spend in social spaces.
More information doesn’t really help anyone to improve. It’s deeper reflection and conversation that matters most. I can encourage those behaviors in others and feed them in myself by becoming a conversational follower and reinvesting in blogs as a forum for extended interactions.
Any of this make sense to you?
More importantly, are you willing to make the same changes in your patterns of social participation?
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