Photo Credit: Martin Weller
I came across an article on Fast Company on how to build your Personal Learning Network and while I have been building mine without necessarily focusing on it, it made me realize just how important it is, and how much more I can still do to improve it. Anya Kamentz cites these places to help build your network:
- Family and friends
- Real-life classmates & teachers,past and present
- Google Reader, Delicious, Digg, Diigo, or Reddit or another social bookmarking service.
- Facebook or Google+. Most of your Facebook friends probably don’t belong in your personal learning network, but you may have a few who consistently post links that connect with your interests, or start interesting intellectual debates. That’s who we’re talking about here.
- Experts whose classes you watch on open courseware sites, whose books you read, blogs or YouTube channels you follow, or whose ideas you connect with in another way.
- Conferences, meetups, bookstore events, or other face to face events.
- Special interest online forums like StackOverflow, for programmers, Vimeo for filmmakers, and many more.
- Twitter – It is unbelievable how much great information you can extract if you know who to follow and where to look. I used to swear I would never get into Twitter, but I could argue it’s now my most valuable Social Media resource. 10 minutes on Twitter is equivalent to spending 2 hours searching newspapers and online publications for news.
- Google Reader – While many have their own favorite ways to consume their RSS feed, Google Reader is my weapon of choice. With the help of a fellow Sports Business professional, I have put together a massive RSS feed list and a 15 minute scan in the morning of my Google Reader feed allows me to absorb nearly half a days material and save time from scanning dozens of different blogs.
- Google Alerts – If there is a topic or field you are especially interested in, I would recommend setting up Google Alerts straight to your Microsoft Outlook or Inbox. For example, I currently have three that go to my Outlook: “Sports Business, Sports Marketing and Sports Sponsorship.”
- Family and Friends – Simply bounce ideas off of as many people as you can, you never know where you are going to get a hold of a great perspective that might help you out in the future.