Alisa Howlett, blogging at Flight Path recently wrote a post based on Jeff Utecht’s 5 stages of PLN adoption. I would echo much of what Alisa has written, so pop over and read it rather than have me repeat it all here.
Essentially, the 5 stages are identified as immersion, evaluation, know it all, perspective and balance.
It’s hard to identify at which stage I find myself – I have been through intense periods of involvement with my PLN and am certainly no longer at immersion. However, neither am I entirely happy with my current involvement with my PLN so I wouldn’t call it balanced.
Possibly ‘perspective’ is where I am at. I know I can’t possibly see or take in everything my PLN puts out on twitter and I have stopped trying to follow all of it. Sometimes I find myself feeling left out when there appears to be an interesting conversation going on – and it’s apparent I’ve missed the good bits – but mostly I acknowledge that I can’t possibly see, understand, comment on and participate in every conversation. Or even most of them.
Meredith Farkas wrote a great post over at Information wants to be free about the problems associated with keeping up with the news flow on twitter and her preference for blogging as a medium for keeping all the big ideas in one place. Adopting this philosophy, I still follow a lot of blogs – an RSS feed (I use Google reader) collects them for me and they sit and wait until I’m ready to read them, rather than rush by me in a busy twitter stream.
Between my RSS reader and my diigo bookmarks, I feel like I’ve got some measure of control over the information flow – and hopefully some balance (or at the very least, perspective).