For the last two months, I have become actively engaged in using LinkedIN’s Question & Answer feature. I have posted what I think are interesting questions, and watched as the various users posted their own answers over a 7-day period. At the conclusion, I rate which ones I consider GOOD, and then am able to select which (if any) is the BEST one. I have created at least 5-10 new contacts in the eLearning and Gaming areas based on this effort (since it does take time, thought, and energy, this must qualify as a work effort, right?) – and have seen literally dozens of new perspectives being voiced in these answers.
Friends of mine continue to tell me just how “powerful blogging is” and “that I should post more” – but in my mind, instead of having a one-way posting on my blog (here) – I can use this LinkedIN feature and spend the same amount of time and get guaranteed high-quality responses. I have only small ego on this blog, and understand that I am not going to have an audience of 1000 or 10,000 anytime soon – not sure I need to. But using Q&A on LinkedIN, I am reaching 125+ first level contacts, and about 18,000 second level ones (i.e. Friends of friends). This may not be online learning, but I am sure gaining a lot of valuable insights, and sharing an equal amount of insights — so I am hard pressed not to consider this my private learning environment/network.
So this begs the question “Is this use of contacts, both known and semi-unknown, a powerful new learning network?” I think so.