This post is really dedicated to everyone who is a lurker in the edtech world. You know who you are. You are reading lots of blogs but never leave a comment. You joined twitter but really only post links or re-tweet.
I am driving up to Boston next week to attend Edubloggercon. If you take a look at the attending page and you are a edtech groupie you will recognize many of the faces. There are some pretty seriously smart people that are attending. Two years ago I did not attend Educon in Philadelphia because I looked at the attending page and was way to intimidated by the faces. There were so many people who had contributed so much and I had well…contributed nothing. It took me over two years of blogging and twittering before I felt ready to go to a national conference and not be intimidated…let me re-word that…it took me two years of quietly blogging and following other people twittering before I finally attended my first national conference. I was scared stiff but I made it through and went on several months later to attend another conference and survived it. It was around this time last year that I really started to have some confidence and get involved in twitter conversations and comment on people’s blogs. I didn’t become any smarter, just more confident. In some ways I feel like I lost two years of learning by whimping out of conversations and conferences.
So if you are new to the edtech world and are looking to start contributing, I invite you to pick a post on this blog, any post and leave a comment(or anyones blog). No one will know you are making your one of your first comments, it will show up just like all the others. Feel free to follow me on twitter @paulbogush and comment on anything I say. Again, no one will know you are just testing the waters. Point is, you have to jump in, or at least dip your toes. I know it’s kind of intimidating, I can remember very clearly NEVER wanting to comment on anyone’s blog or make a comment to someone through twitter, and I only practiced safe blogging and twittering. Writing posts and tweets that were simple and safe and wouldn’t expose myself to someone disagreeing. That whole afraid of failure and looking silly thing…
(I know someone won’t like this but it’s what I did last year that really helped me) One thing I did last year that helped me alot was purgingn my twitter list and blogroll of all the big shots. I deleted almost everyone from my twitter list that was on the “A” list and filled it with a lot more people just like me, and slowly built up with others that were just as impressive as all the big famous edtechheads but took an interest in helping me. It simply made me much more comfortable. I think the world of blogs and twitter is powerful stuff and everyone should take the leap. I also know that almost everyone who visits blogs doesn’t get involved in the conversation, and most of the people that I have followed over the last several months stay awfully quiet when they are on and just lurk. So to all the lurkers I want to leave you with the words Linda Nitsche wrote to me today–“ We all have amazing things to share and ideas to move change forward. Never question your power!” Please take a leap of faith today and join one conversation, make one comment, write one tweet or plurk one response to someone. Never question your power to make a contribution.
So if you promise to make comment or tweet, I will promise to not sit in silence at the conference Tuesday and walk out at the end of the day feeling like I missed out on another opportunity to make a contribution. Seriously, If I can do it, so can you. Deal?