12 Sep 2012

My Social Media Journey

13 Comments Personal Learning Network, Social Media

I have found myself reflecting a lot lately on my own foray into social media. This is in part because of two conferences that I have coming up in the next few months. The first is Blissdom Canada¬† a women’s social media conference, which I attended for the first time last year and the second is an Early Childhood Education and Social Media conference where I will be speaking about my experiences with Twitter. Social media, for me, has been an ongoing journey and I have learned a lot along the way. I have a much better idea now of what I want from this site and from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. than I did when I first began. However, I don’t always feel that I’m moving at a fast enough pace.

Last year, when I left Blissdom Canada I was on Cloud 9; I had heard amazing speakers, met some incredible women and even had the courage to get up on stage and sing Karaoke. I felt confident and motivated to work on my brand, to blog more, to throw myself into CanadianECE. However, in the weeks that followed Blissdom, life happened. I made the very difficult decision to leave my steady, decent paying job and to try something new, something that isn’t as secure, but is on the path to what might be my dream job. Unfortunately this has meant that some of what I’d hoped to accomplish over the last year hasn’t happened. I haven’t had the time or the head space to blog as often as I had planned to, I haven’t built up my CanadianECE brand the way I had hoped. So now with another Blissdom Canada coming up in just over a month, I find myself feeling apprehensive, because I’m not much better off this year than I was last year. How do I face all those women who have accomplished so much, when it feels like I have accomplished so little?

That being said, I have still learned a lot this year, about myself and about what I want from Social Media. Initially, I thought that this site and social media in general was only about the content that I was creating, what I was putting out there to the world. However, what I have learned over the past year, in part due to my involvement with Twitter and #ecetechchat, is that what is most meaningful for me are the interactions and the relationships that Social Media supports. My Personal Learning Network has grown on a global level and as an Early Childhood Educator, this has become the most significant way that I can continue to reflect on and grow my own practice in the field. The connections that I have made and the conversations that I have had, may not feel as tangible as site visit numbers or blog post counts, but they have been significant for me. They have shaped my journey over the last year and supported my transition into my new career path.

I still have a vision for this site, though, and I still feel like I should be doing more, but I guess for today, what I’ve developed is enough, even if I can’t show it off to all those wonderful women in October.

Photo from apdk on Flickr

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A registered Early Childhood Educator and former President of the Halton Branch of the Association for Early Childhood Educators of Ontario.
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13 Responses to “My Social Media Journey”

  1. Reply Maggie says:

    Shannon, it’s so great to have you as part of our #ecetechchat community! I agree, the relationships are one of the most meaningful and valuable reasons for using social media and I look forward to continuing to learn with and from you this year.

    • Reply Shannon says:

      Maggie, thanks so much. I’ve really enjoy the #ecetechchat community. It has opened my eyes to the way that I use technology, and it regularly gets me thinking about how technology can be used in a meaningful way with young children.

  2. Reply Shash says:

    You are not alone in not being where you thought you’d be. I too left BlissDom Canada inspired and empowered but life got in the way and slowed things down, my plans will take a little while longer than anticipated. And that may be a blessing in disguise, like you said think of all the awesome things you learned along the way. :)

    I’m looking forward to seeing you in 37 days! Us Shannon’s have to stick together

    • Reply Shannon says:

      Us Shannons do have to stick together. :)
      Even though this past year I haven’t accomplished all that I wanted, I’m still looking forward to experiencing the “Blissdom effect” (as you called it last year), which I hope will help me create new goals for next year.

  3. Reply Neil says:

    Shannon, I think you’d be surprised to find how many people are in your shoes (and that in no way implies you have big feet).

    Part of what’s great about the connections one makes at an event like BlissDom is that you discovered the crowd doesn’t have to be present for you to belong to it.

    It’s been a big year for me, too; but the difference for me is that I have nothing BUT time to pour into my stuff, and even with ALL my time going into these projects, I sometimes STILL feel like I should be doing more.

    I guess it’s a commonality among those of us who refuse to settle. I heard someone say, “Discomfort is good – it’s a sign you’re alive.”

    Looking forward to meeting you in a few weeks!

    • Reply Shannon says:

      Hi Neil. I’m glad to know I’m not alone, and I think there might some merit to discomfort being good. Thanks for your support and I’ll see you at Blissdom.

  4. Reply Nolie says:

    Some grow fast and take off with their ideas. Some are slower. Life always gets in the way. All that matters is still plugging away when you have the time on something you love to do. Just think these conferences just may be that kick in the butt. If not they will still teach you something and give you connections that you can move forward with at whatever pace works for you.

  5. Reply Schmutzie says:

    I want to echo what Shannon said. Sometimes when things move more slowly than you want them to, it is a blessing in disguise. This pace has allowed you to forge and grow really good relationships, and that is the foundation that will really carry you forward both personally and professionally online.

    Also, take it from me, things seem to move quickly online, but that doesn’t mean our online careers will. I’ve been working at mine for 9 years. I’m a bit of a slowpoke, thought, so don’t be disheartened :)

    • Reply Shannon says:

      I think you hit it right on the nose, everything online seems to move so quickly, I guess I feel like I just can’t keep up. I’m a bit of a slowpoke too, and I’m glad to know there’s others like me out there. Thanks.

  6. Reply martha brown says:

    Life happened to me too! I’ll be at Blissdom again too, Shannon — am really looking forward to seeing you again :) and maybe making puppets chase you again , lol.

    • Reply Shannon says:

      I’m glad you’ll be there too Martha. I look forward to hearing how your school year went. Though now I’m a little concerned you’re going to bring your own puppet just in case there aren’t any around. :)

  7. Reply ECE and Technology - Canadian Early Childhood Education says:

    [...] It was around that same time I began to seek out resources that would support my work with infants in a Reggio inspired setting. I discovered an online group of ECEs who were Reggio inspired and searched for articles, activity ideas and other resources online. Over the years, the online ECE communities have grown as blogging and social media have become more popular. There are more resources now, online journals and magazines, and through social media, ECEs and teachers are forming Personal Learning Networks, something that I have found to be of great value, as I’ve mentioned before. [...]

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