Expand Your Personal Learning Network in 2012!

Anyone with a Twitter, Diigo, YouTube, Flickr, Prezi, [deep breath], Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Slideshare, you-get-my-point account, knows there are endless ways to connect to content and the people who produce it. When cultivated to a stewed perfection, hyperlinks embedded in these internet-based tools can taste like little strudels of information bliss. Other times, not so much.

What I have enjoyed the most about managing social media accounts on the Commons this past year is, well… hyperlinks galore! I’ve been able to connect to some helpful, important, and inspiring information presented or produced by members of the Commons. More importantly, by following members on other social networks they belong to, I’ve gotten to know a few CUNYites a bit better. Last year, I wrote about the Commons’ social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, (and as of late, Google+ and Flickr). One of the parts of that post I was hoping to expand upon here was about the @cunycommons/cuny Twitter list, and how Twitter lists (among other things) can be used to expand your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Twitter –> Twitter Lists
What is a Twitter List? Twitter users can use them to organize other users into groups or “lists.” You can create a list of people you want to recommend to others, family, co-workers, experts of a particular subject, and so forth. (For more information about how to create or follow a twitter list, please see the following article on Mashable. ) In the past 6 months, the @cunycommons has added over 50 new CUNY Twitterers to the @cunycommons/cuny list! If you are on Twitter and want to connect to any or all of the 263 CUNYites on the @cunycommons/cuny list, please feel free to follow it or any of the people on it. If you are a CUNYite on Twitter and want to add your handle to the list, please send a Direct Message (or better yet, list CUNY in your bio and – follow the @cunycommons)! Additionally, if you are not on Twitter, but are curious to see what other CUNYites are posting, you can always visit the list here.

CUNY Commons –> My Favorites
While we don’t (yet) have “Lists” on the Commons, there is a way to bookmark a blog post, forum thread, or any other type of activity on the site for future viewing by adding it to “My Favorites.” Just as with Twitter, on the Commons, members can “favorite” a post. Adding a post from the activity stream to your favorites is a great way to save an important event, CFP announcement, or a delicious hyperlink. You can easily add and access your favorites after logging into the site by visiting your profile or the News tab.

Follow Me Online
On a final note, one of the more low-key (but IMO cool) updates of the Commons 1.3 release, was the addition of social media icons on members’ profiles. Now, instead of just listing the URL next to the social media website listing, the icon appears and links to the corresponding URL. Next time you access your Commons profile, please take some time to complete the additional fields so other members can find out how else they can connect with you online. Also, find out what other social networks your colleagues belong to by taking a look at their profile.

Remember, whether it’s inside or outside the Commons, there are many ways to expand your PLN in 2012 and enjoy the awesomeness of serendipitous discovery!



  1. New Forms for the New Year | Ground Control - January 1, 2012

    […] To kick off the new year and a new life for Ground Control I’ve asked the team to write about the things they’re looking forward to in 2012.  Our Project Director Matt Gold @admin shares his vision for the upcoming ‘Commons-in-a-Box’ and what it means for CUNY, education, and the open source movement.  Our User Experience Designer Chris Stein @CStein checks in with the community to tell us about some of the challenges involved in keeping the Commons experience user friendly.  Our Wiki Wrangler Scott Voth @scottvoth talks about the intersection of the Commons with Open Access and our Outreach Coordinator Michael Smith @MSmith makes his plea for a Commons tour bus.  Finally, don’t miss Sarah Morgano’s post on expanding your learning network. […]

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