Cultivating Your Networks

I’ve been following Adam Levine’s speaking tour of Australia with much interest:

This recent post about a presentation seemed a bit familiar:

I did have an unhappy participant in the front of the room. When I get to the section of the talk on “The Internet is Really Big”, it was the Technorati slide on growth of the blogosphere that put her in motion.

Hand goes up: “What is blogging? Why does it matter to me?”

I really the questions of interruption, but was hoping I did not have to explain what a blog was- a simple web creation tool that is reverse chronologically organized, and used many ways, as diaries, resource bullding, project documentation, portfolios, anything.

Mrs Crossed Arms wanted more. She wants that big giant button you click that says, “Apply this to education… make it Apply it to the Classes I Teach”

I needed to move on, as I did not want to get into a discussion about the role and place of blogs, “”t’s all about personal publishing, ” I tried. “How about If I chat with you during the break?”

So as I went, I looked for the “hook” that might thaw this woman’s coolness. So I get to talking about flickr, and let the audience know about all of the great images I find for use in presentation.

So I single her out and ask, “Where do you get images for your presentations, for your class materials? Clip Art?” She shakes her head and says, “I only use my own photographs”.

Ahh -so I counter, “What if you don’t have an image to represent a concept or metaphor? Do you have your own photo of the Grand Canyon?”

“No, ” she states, “I would have no need for that.”

Dead end number two. Not giving up. I ask, “How do you share your images?”

“I print them out and give them to people or email there. I cannot see any use of sharing them online.”

Hmmm. Fuggeddabouddit , I have 60 other people to present to.

Another woman asked me at the end, “I want to know how you can stay on top of all this technology and manage your time.”

This one made me lose my concentration. That was the point of the entire presentation! My message was about giving up this notion of “staying up” or “being expert”, and instead forming, cultivating, using your networks.

I think many of us have encountered similar situations in talks, staff meetings, conferences, etc. I like this slant of cultivating networks and using them to advance your goals – above for teachers – and here for the mission and vision of the library.