With the demise of Twitter, instructional designers have moved to either LinkedIn communities or Slack communities.
Once you've joined a community, begin by lurking (watching the community and figuring out how people interact). Then don't just lurk. Engage with others by commenting on posts, sharing your own content, and participating in discussions. This will help you build relationships and establish yourself as a valuable member of the community.
One thing you can share with your communities is your blog posts. If you have written a post that shares some form of knowledge that the community would be interested in, then you can share a link to your post. You can also share links to other peoples blog posts - and this is a really good practice - you can be seen as someone who is contributing to the community.
When posting a link to a blog post on social media, it's important to make it clear what the post is about and why your followers might be interested in reading it. Here are some tips on what to say when posting a link to a blog post:
Use an attention-grabbing headline: Use the headline of the blog post as the main text of your social media post, or create a shorter, more attention-grabbing version that summarizes the main point of the post.
Highlight the main points: Provide a brief summary of the key points covered in the blog post. This can help entice your followers to click through and read the post.
Add your own commentary: Share your own thoughts or reactions to the blog post. This can help add value to the post and encourage discussion among your followers.
Use visuals: Include an eye-catching image or video to accompany your post. This can help draw attention to the post and make it more shareable.
Provide context: If the blog post is part of a larger series or project, provide some context to help your followers understand how it fits into the bigger picture.
Here's an example of what a post might look like:
"Check out this new blog post on [topic]! The post covers [main points], and I found it really insightful. [Add your own commentary or reaction]. If you're interested in [related topic], you won't want to miss this one! [link to blog post] #blogging #contentmarketing"
Hashtags are a ubiquitous feature of social media platforms today, but they actually have a relatively short history.
The first use of the hashtag on social media is widely credited to Chris Messina, a former Google employee, who suggested the idea in a tweet in August 2007. Messina proposed using the hashtag as a way to group conversations around specific topics, writing: "how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?"
At the time, Twitter was still a relatively new platform, and Messina's idea of using the hashtag to create a sort of ad hoc categorization system quickly caught on. Soon, other Twitter users began using hashtags to group tweets around specific events, topics, or movements.
The use of hashtags spread quickly to other social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, and today they are an integral part of the social media landscape. Hashtags are used to identify and categorize content, facilitate conversations around specific topics, and increase the discoverability of posts.
Over time, hashtags have also become a tool for activism and social change, with movements like #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, and #ClimateStrike using hashtags to raise awareness of issues and spark public discussion.
In summary, hashtags have a relatively short history, beginning with a suggestion by Chris Messina in 2007, and quickly spreading to become an integral part of social media platforms and online culture.
In the LinkedIn chapter, we talked about LinkedIn communities to follow. Following is a passive activity, where you read the content of the community but you do not actively participate. In this section, I'm suggesting LinkedIn communities where you should consider participating:
- University of Massachusetts Boston Instructional Design Alumni - Make sure you get the right one. If one of the admins asks (Tod Hebbington), you can tell them you are in my class. I recommend posting a blog post or two to this social group and asking for people to leave comments on your blog. Since this is an Alumni account, you will find that people are very receptive to your posts as long as you don't spam the community (try to avoid sharing more than one of your blog posts per week).
- Instructional Designers - This is more of an advertising group. It is a great place to share your blog posts. It would be good to use the method mentioned above for this one - summarizing the relevance when including the link.
- The Learning Guild Community - The Learning Guild has the pulse on instructional design outside of formal education. If you are looking at Freelance, Corporate, Non-profit, Government, etc, then they are a great group to connect with. This is a great place to ask questions. Don't ask for jobs, ask questions about different aspects of eLearning or instructional design. Try to be specific in your question. Here is a link to a question that I asked.
Slack is like other social media platforms except that the communities are all private. You need to be invited into the community to participate. It has become one of the most used communication tools in business. It is useful for direct messaging (texting) as well as sharing files. It integrates with a bunch of other platforms like Zoom. It is worth learning, regardless of joining specific communities.
See How to use Slack: Your quickstart guide for directions on how to use Slack.
I participate in two communities:
- Pedago.me - This is a great professional development oriented community. They have a book club among other things.
- L&D Collective - This one has more people who are doing instructional design, rather than studying it. It is focused also more on the corporate space. Each week they pair up people for 'coffee talks'. It is a great way to meet new people. Use my name when signing upt.