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Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from a campus leadership team. I share what little I know about Twitter, PLNs, etc. and they recharge me with their enthusiasm and energy. Hanging out with campus folks makes me feel like the Green Lantern, recharging his ring.
People often introduce me to others with the words, “…and he writes this awesome blog!” Of course, you and I know the truth. The blog isn’t all that awesome, but when they look at it, they see the aggregate work of thousands of blog entries over several years. For them, it’s awesome because it represents incremental contributions that amount to a massive collection of unrelated parts, a cacophony of connections, that’s unimaginable for them. But give them a year, and they are beyond me, on to more glittering constellations and conversations.
Twitter conversations sometimes have this feel for me. The conversations, the curated content, the shared bits of ideas, information, and insight (“I cubed”) can be insignificant are individually…unimportant. But collectively, they are a powerful connection of daily goodness and learning that affirm that learning is in the connections.
Of course, people already have experienced this goodness. Coming at it from a writer’s perspective, blogs and twitter are no big deal for me (well, they aren’t as much as they once were (yawn)). But from a socially inept person like myself, who wants to speak only when he has something valuable to say, this is a liberating experience. For me, I blog and tweet even when I don’t have something valuable to contribute, even though that digital utterance is insignificant, it is a small step down the road.
Small steps. Baby steps. Just like a conversation that happens face to face. Sitting with that campus leadership team, I have re-discovered the value of conversation, of contributing small bits of insignificance that the group amasses, reshapes, and makes into something significant of worth to all. I am beyond grateful for that work that has found value in our conversation. That they listened, then responded has enhanced my thinking and perceptions.
That’s a profound insight for me, even if it’s not for you. It means that I may speak, offering my imperfect noises with the hope that the group will harmonize all the contributions…or learn that the discordant chime is essential and worthwhile.
I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. But if you don’t, that’s ok. This is but a small, insignificant bit of conversation that allows me find value.