The animation above is made from: http://www.loogix.com/
All of the photos are screen captures from: http://jingproject.com/
Still trying to figure out all this stuff about personal learning networks, professional learning networks and which I use where. I blur most of it together, but the social networks I use are Twitter, Delicious, Ning, Plurk and Facebook. Probably in that order.
I was first introduced to Twitter at my first Technology Conference in 2007: NYSCATE by Will Richardson, who also Ustreamed the session - another Web 2.0 tool I've used quite a bit. Then, I started to get into many other Social Networks including, MySpace, many Ning Groups, Facebook, Delicious, Diigo, Pownce (now gone), identi.ca, Twine, many Wiki sites, Twice, Teachers Connecting, Plurk......too many to mention and most with weird spellings of names!?!?
Delicious for me is a staple! Bookmark all your websites online so that you can access them anywhere and you can share them with others. The Gateway drug into Social Networking and where I tend to start when trying to explain Social Networking to teachers.
Twitter is again my favorite microblogging site. It's power is well documented a few times a week on CNN it seems. My most powerful network is there. I often still lurk around and listen in, often I ask questions and occasionally I try to add to my network.
Plurk was the one site I thought would replace Twitter for me. Your posts are contained in one thread so you can easily look back and see what others have added to anything you posted or responded to. My network is stronger on Twitter and I've had a hard time (probably finding time) to balance both. I still try to go onto Plurk, but have drastically dropped my usage in there.
Then comes Facebook. I still have no good reason why I don't use this more. Even my wife is on Facebook! And making friends with my co-workers and friends. As I posted on Facebook from George Costanza, "My worlds are colliding!". I think this is the one network I use for mostly personal use. It is amazing how many friends and/or people I barely knew growing up and going through college that I've connected with. With the pure numbers I really can't figure out why I don't use FB more? Maybe just because I want to improve at my job I stick with more professional networks, even though on all of those I do post about the recent bug going through the Carls house or what great new thing the kids have done.
That reminds me, I'm also a member of LinkedIn.
The battle I've seen is Twitter vs Plurk and even though a few months ago I was ready to write my "Dear John" letter to Twitter, I think for me Twitter gets me the info I need and the steady responses. I like the setup of Plurk more (even though I still think the timeline goes backwards), but Twitter is how I start my day. I find out what is new in the educational world and find great links, plus I usually get answers to questions I post.
The downside to Twitter, it does take a bit of time to build that network. @lizbdavis just posted this weekend 7 Twitter tips for new Twits tweeting to Twitter. If you followed all of that, then you are more of an expert than I.
Oh wait, then I got a tweet from @zmanrdz about the Top 10 tips for using Twitter and what is this? A Wetpaint wiki about using Twitter in the classroom!
What social networks work best for you?
Delicious and Twitter, then Ning Groups like the Voicethread for Educators Ning Group I've created, SMARTBoard Revolution Ning Group which just passed 1000 members and then Classroom 2.0. There are other Global Collaboration Groups I visit from time to time as well as long as groups for conferences like NYSCATE and NECC.