My one-person social network

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When I wrote, What if you had to cut your social network to one, I didn’t intend to make it a glorified popularity contest. The idea for the post really did begin with me thinking about which of the more than 1,000 people I follow on various social networks provide the most valuable daily content.

I follow mainly educators on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, because these are primarily professional learning networks for me. Sure, I am friends with family and a few non-educators on Facebook, and I follow some sports networks and sports fans on Twitter.


As I was reading various posts, though, I wondered who I couldn’t do without. Who was my go-to content provider?

A few that rise above

I currently follow less than 600 people on Twitter, and I read and love them all. Some make me laugh, some make me cry and they all make me think in one way or another. However, there are a few people I’ve grown to expect more from, who have become my go-to content providers:

+Larry Ferlazzo places content in powerful lists and is a remarkable curator of information.

+Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a friend, amazing organizer and the most energetic provider of content I know.

+Angela Maiers has over 100,000 followers on Twitter — truly amazing for an educator; Angela is a real celebrity in the education world.

+Pernille Ripp is as passionate as anyone I know about making kids better. Her blog generates more thought-provoking conversation than any I’ve encountered.

+Jennifer Borgioli has a knack for playing Devil’s Advocate; she helps me go beyond the surface of many subjects.

I’d be lost without

As much as I’d miss all in my PLN and especially the five mentioned above, I know there is one content provider I can’t live without.

+Richard Byrne — Author of Free Technology for Teachers, Richard is a true superstar in the education technology world. Because I am an education consultant and a perceived expert in technology integration, I work constantly to remain well informed about web tools, applications and mobile devices. Richard Byrne is my go-to content provider for this critical information.

If the world of social media changed, and I had to, for some strange reason, carve my network to one. I’d weep while doing it, but I cut everyone, except Richard Byrne.

I’m thankful I don’t have to do it.

What would you do?

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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