Friday, January 24, 2014

Super-Sized Sharing or Why I blog...

A few days ago, I read Branding in Education, a post by Karl Lindgren-Streicher (@LS_Karl) and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Truthfully, when I first read it I thought he was talking about me. Was I guilty of over-sharing? Did I come off as trying to promote myself? Was I flooding twitter feeds and driving people crazy? I hoped not. For three days, I wondered. Then I finally asked him. Was it me?

Even if it wasn't me, Karl's post did make me think-- and he suggested reflecting on these three questions.

  • Who are you blogging for? 
  • Who are you tweeting for?
  • Why are you involved in social media?
Who am I blogging for?

I blog for me. I don't love to write, but I need to write. I used to toss and turn all night thinking about anything and everything. When I write, whether in a blog post, a Google doc, or in my notebook, it gets the stuff out of my head. I sleep so much better since I started writing regularly. There is always stuff flying around in my head- things I worry about, that I wonder about, things that inspire me. I have a 40 minute commute and I often compose blog posts in my mind on the drive home. Most are never posted. My post about #FallCUE was drafted on the drive home from Napa- all in my head, and it ended up being featured on the CUE blog! I read somewhere that blogging is like writing out loud. In my notebook, no one ever hears it. On my blog, someone could. I love that possibility. I also love reading other blogs and my posts are often inspired by other bloggers. And so I write- when I'm inspired. Luckily for me, I'm inspired a lot- by my colleagues, by our students, by books, and by my PLN on Twitter.

Who am I tweeting for?

I tweet to share and connect. Lots of my tweets are sharing blog posts that I find, or resources, or great books to read. Sometimes I am asking a question, or helping to find an answer. Sometimes I find a cool tech tip that I think people might like. Sometimes I'm introducing someone to Twitter or sharing a post for a new blogger. I also love being involved with CUE and the Area 3 Writing Project so I share conferences that are coming up--sometimes I'm a presenter, sometimes not. CUE Rockstar Napa is coming up and I'm excited about that. I share things like that on Twitter because those events are filled with fun and learning -- we can never have too much of that! I also tweet to connect with others- classrooms, teachers, administrators, authors, artists and more. I found Twitter because of Donalyn Miller, the author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. From her, my world expanded to readers, writers, teachers and more. And my Amazon bill has exploded with all of the book recommendations--from Twitter. I have never read so many books in my life! The better question may be "If you aren't on Twitter, why not?"

Why are you involved in social media?

I think that I've answered this question mostly above. But I do have one rule: post positive. Whether it's Facebook or Twitter, I always keep it positive. I still think snarky Facebook posts in my head but whatever goes online is positive. (Well, except for that one rant about cleaning!)

I love social media because it connects me with brilliant people and ideas. Some things out there don't inspire me, in which case I can always block or unfollow. I want to write about what I know about and what I care about and I want others to do that, too. I'm thrilled to see so many new bloggers out there! Writing, regardless of format, is a good thing! I'll try not to tweet too much, or over-share. I like David Theriault's @davidtedu logic here:

Thanks, Karl, for the opportunity to think, reflect, and share.


  1. Nice post. It's funny- Karl told me he posts just for himself- to learn and become a better teacher and to make his classroom better... and sometimes his mom likes reading his blog. And yet, he blog really hit a nerve. I've been having an extended Voxer session with about six educators about the content of his blog and I'm even using the topic for our first #slowchatED. The decision to share does require some thinking first, but I'm going to stand on the side of over-sharing rather than not sharing at all.

    I'm really glad Karl shares.

    1. Thanks for commenting. On first read, it hit a nerve wit me too. It's my first year out of the classroom, yet I still feel like a teacher first. I always felt like the things I posted were mostly like what others post most of the time. When I first read it, I thought-- that's it, I'm never blogging or tweeting again. But I do get his point. So, I'll consider my audience and purpose when posting more now. :) I'd love to participate in your #slowchat- awesome concept! Looking forward to more sharing!

  2. I saw your comments Jennifer on Karl's blog, just have to share- I didnt think of you at all! Not even close. Besides, we can talk books all we want, as long as we want and it's always a good thing!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate it! I definitely just want to learn and share with everyone :) Especially about books! I am so excited about Monday's ALA awards! I have to finish The Center of Everything this weekend! Hope to see you soon!