I’ve noticed over the last month and a half since my daughter was born that I’ve almost lost control of my PLN. I didn’t really read many blogs and kind of checked in with Twitter when I had a minute, but overall, I spent the better part of a month not engaging in my PLN in any way. Now that I have gotten back into a routine, well for the most part, I am trying to catch up with some of the things I’ve missed. However, the problem I have now is a lack of time to go through all the things I want to. BNB (Before Nora Beverly) I used to have much more time to engage in my PLN, but ANB (After Nora Beverly) time is a bit more restricted for things like my PLN. I’m still able to engage in it on a regular basis, but I have found I need to be more focused.
What I mean by being more focused is that I typically only have a few minutes a couple times a day to explore my PLN. BNB I used to just aimlessly flounder through my PLN, reading tweets, checking google reader, or casually flipping through Flipboard on my iPad. Now that I have less time, I have to focus my energy to gain as much from my PLN as I can. This means making some tough choices, since there is so much available. What I have found to be effective though, is limiting myself to just one medium when I do get to engage in my PLN. So when I have a half hour to spend with my PLN, I choose either going through tweets, my google reader, or Flipboard. While Flipboard has a combination of both blogs and tweets, it presents it in a different way that makes consumption unique.
So for example, this morning I spent about 20 minutes reading blog posts. Nothing but blog posts. I didn’t turn on Tweet Deck and I resisted the urge to read any emails, texts, or IMs that came in during that block. I was deliberate with what I wanted to read, and I enjoyed myself, while still learning about topics like: social media, gaming, assessment, and leadership. I didn’t consciously pick these topics beyond the fact that the title of the posts seemed interesting (I suppose that is a little like judging a book by its cover, but…).
If the opportunity presents itself again today, I’ll check in, most likely with Twitter. But when I do so, I’m going to be just as focused. No blogs, email, IMs, texts, etc. Just Twitter. Focused.