Celebrating my Twitterversary by Celebrating my PLN

At the 2011 KOTESOL International Conference I had the great pleasure to see an amazing presentation by Chuck Sandy.  You can see it here. I will wait.

As @JosetteLB details, Chuck spent a brief moment in time talking about Twitter in relation to community. He encouraged the audience to join Twitter. Because Chuck’s presentation was so powerful and I was so inspired by his talk about community I decided to give it a try. This experiment was done with the “healthy skepticism” that some people consider typical of me. I treated it very much like an experiment and gave myself a month. If I didn’t love it and get a lot out of it I would be done.

Well, here I am  a year (and 7,000 tweets) later and I am ready to say that I am a believer. I fully consider the experiment a success and I am thrilled with the results. I am now part of an amazing and dynamic community (or perhaps part of many communities) online. It has been a fantastic experience.

This is not to say that it was always perfect. I can say that I surely experienced my share of frustrations being on Twitter including things like:

  • asking a question and getting no response
  • feeling that my questions were belittled by others.
  • feeling that others didn’t fully read my thoughts before judging them
  • the tyranny of 140 characters
  • making crazy typos
  • the speed and chaos involved in Twitter chats
  • my phone battery dying as a result of too many tweets
  • lack of sleep as a result of playing on Twitter late into the night

Even with these mostly minor annoyances the experience has been overwhelming positive. I think the main reason is the incredible people I have met on Twitter since I joined. One day, while thinking about this amazing group of people that I have met I thought it would be fun to do a Pecha Kucha talking about some of the people I met on twitter. With some encouragement from others I finally decided to go through with it. The video is below. PLN, by the way, stands for Personal Learning Network. Rather than define it, I thought it might be helpful to just share some people in mine.

By choosing just a certain amount of specific people, this is necessarily limiting. That was not my intention. I think it is a bit crass/rude/strange to just choose a few people but I felt that talking about some people was better than talking about no people. I apologize to all the other wonderful people that I didn’t talk about. Another thing to keep in mind is that people listed are people I didn’t know last year and didn’t meet face to face before I met them on Twitter. Here is the video.

I truly hope I captured everyone and everything accurately.
I also want to mention that this was my first PK!

Some additional notes:

I feel like I didn’t do @ben_naismith justice because he never actually said that he was against ICQs. He just wrote a brilliant blog post about them. His post included what I think  is the best line I have ever seen in an ELT blog. You have to click here to see it (it’s the first line).

Hanieh (@haniehak) is pronounced /hʌnɪe/

I am sure I missed something else, so I apologize for that as well.

Thanks to everyone for making this such a special year.

Special thanks to go @josetteLB for encouraging, recording, editing, posting and probably 10 more things.

Finally, for those of you that wanted to add people in the PK but didn’t quite manage to type out the handles, here is the list.



  1. Ben Naismith

    Truly flattered Mike. If I could ever get a room full of teachers to listen to me talk about my PLN, you’d definitely be one of the first mentioned! The best part about this is that I now get to go and follow some more interesting people.

    I may even change my twitter pic since it’s a bit odd you know what my wife and dog look like but not me…

  2. Sophia Khan (@SophiaKhan4)

    I completely sympathise with your Twitter frustrations (especially “the tyranny of 140 characters” – that should be a book title – and the fact that Twitter in no way helps with insomnia and procrastination issues). But agree also that it’s still worth it 🙂 I did a pecha kucha myself on this recently where I mentioned you because if I hadn’t met you I probably would have given up on Twitter. PLNs are AWESOME but for a newbie it can be hard to break into them, or build them, and forge those connections. You – and the others that you mention in your PK – are people who are really willing to extend that arm of support to others (as perhaps it was extended to you when you started). So – thanks 🙂

  3. Vicky Loras

    Hi Mike!

    Happy Twitterversary! S happy to have found you on Twitter : ) Also happy to know that there are other people who don’t sleep because of Twitter lol! And a huge honour to be in your PK. Truly honoured and moved.

    Big hugs bud,

  4. Kevin Stein

    Mr. G.,
    What a fantastic way to celebrate your time on Twitter. Like Sophia, and probably a number of the people you mention, you were a huge part of making Twitter a useful tool for self develoment. I can think of one project I’ve been working on for months which started with a gentle nudge from you. And the number of articles and suggestions that you’ve provided when I post a question on Twitter must be hovering in the hundreds. Which is all my way of saying thanks for being on Twitter, thanks for being in my PLN, and congradulations on a very happy Twitterversary.

    Kevin D. Stein
    Hat Wearer

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  6. mikecorea

    A very belated thanks to all of you that took the time to comment. I really appreciate it. I also appreciate the laughs, support and insight you’ve given me over the last year or so. Keep on shining!

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