I needed some help for a project I was working on this morning, and wasn’t sure how to exactly to do something. Instead of “googling” for an answer, when I wasn’t really sure of how to word the search, I simply tweeted out the following:
Does anyone know how to change the embed size for a haikudeck to place in a blog? cc @mrmacnology @haikudeck
— George Couros (@gcouros) May 12, 2014
Within five minutes, I received the following answer (I actually received other ones before as well) from Jeremy MacDonald:
@gcouros @swpax @HaikuDeck Here is a ratio calculator: http://t.co/2TMdjDfe8M — Jeremy Macdonald (@MrMacnology) May 12, 2014
That was it…problem solved.
Then I saw this tweet from Derek Hatch that gave me an “A-Ha” moment:
@MrMacnology @gcouros @swpax @HaikuDeck Amazing example of how to use Twitter to solve a problem. #collaboration Love it!
— Derek Hatch (@hatcherelli) May 12, 2014
What I thought about is the idea of “literacy to fluency”, and how with something like Twitter, the parallel idea to that would be “use to leverage”. For example, if I simply would have tweeted out the question, the likelihood of receiving an answer would have been lower than if I didn’t use a hashtag, or not connecting with people that I knew had the answer. I increased the opportunity to get an answer by doing some very subtle things within a tweet and ensuring that I was able to get what I needed.
Instead of simply emailing Jeremy MacDonald the question and only having one chance to receive the answer, I used an open network that increased my chances exponentially, but also targeted someone I knew who used the technology and the company that created the software in the first place. By the time HaikuDeck actually responded (and they responded quickly), I already had the answer and did what I needed to do.
One of the NCTE “21st Century Literacies” is, “develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology”, and I thought about how we move people to the next step in their use of social networks. Obviously having a large network helps in leveraging, but creating that network is also part of “leveraging”. My network did not develop over night and neither would “fluency” in any language. Simple use of a network should be a minimum now. “Leveraging” technology is the new “fluency”.
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