Thursday, 5 November 2015

There's No App for Patience: Good Things Come to Those who Hustle While They Wait

This post is in response to one of the best posts that I have ever read. It details what can happen if you do your due diligence, connect with different voices... and if you put in a little hustle while you wait.

It's difficult to pick between my all time favourite posts ever but it would be a toss up between these four (Possibly in this order);
I appear to have attracted the attention of the good and the great in education so, while I have their attention, I hope that they read all these posts.

New Teachers to Twitter? TweachMe 
I am not an educator, but I came to Social Media kicking and screaming, I got pugged in because I was told that "It comes with the job today" and, after 30 seconds of a little mentoring I was hooked.

I can see how and why without the support I got how I may have abandoned micro-blogging and/or having any digital presence at all, any new teachers to Twitter can get support from the guys at #NT2T and from Susan Bearden's (@S_Bearden) TweechmeApp (@TweechmeApp)

I can't remember how, when or where my first EdChat experience was, but I can tell you the most profound experience that has had a HUGE impact on me. It's the first 5 weeks of EdTech chat (And a whole lot more sessions since!). This conversation appears frequently in my blog and a number of posts.

Sales Hustle
I didn't know it when this conversation took place, but I would eventually find the answer to this question was inbound marketing, social selling and community management.

Since this conversation I have put in some hustle to try to get my skills in these areas up to speed. I've done this by working on projects on a volunteer basis.

I've curated EdChat data, I've curated conference data (Which is how I found Sherri's post: Patience with Curating ISTE Data), I've done "5 min favours" by pitching in to help #SaveEdShelf, to see if we could get educators to conferences (#Get2ISTE).

I've applied my sales and community management experience to help with educator and supplier based projects. At the moment I'm patiently curating data on Twitter in Scottish Education, and this should (Hopefully) help both educators and suppliers.

Patience with the Connected
I think that it was the World Economic Forum in 2011/12 where someone said something along the lines of (Talk about a precise reference, eh? Someone, somewhere, once said...Lol);

"In times of uncertainty, it's not leaders that are needed, it's networkers"

I think the rest of the argument went along the lines of "Because networkers know who to ask if they are looking for answers during uncertain times"
Over the last few years I've networked with educators in EdChats because listening to them has provided me with so many new ideas and insights.

For example, EdTechChat has provided me with an idea about how the EdTech supplier/Educator relationship could, potentially, be revolutionised... This is a project I've been working on for almost 3 years (...and counting!). Now this one has been a real test of patience!!

Good things Come to those who Hustle 
Today I have "Influence" apparently. But I've done nothing different. My plans are the same as they were in 2011, so I find the attention surreal... but am delighted when the results of anything I support helps the education community.

But in order to get these results, all I've done is followed the advice of those four articles above. I've collaborated with competitors, I've had the patience to do my due diligence, I've shown my friendship first by doing "5 minute favours." Through my experiences I've come to realise that;

1) The current sales models are ineffective and inefficient, but at the same time

2) The role sales people play is vital!! Whether for an education model that policy makers want to roll out across their schools (Like standardised testing... good luck with that one! That's a sales job I would not like to have!). Or for suppliers with their latest must have" i-Want" gadget. If you can't sell your product or idea to your target audience, you're gonna have problems.

3) In these uncertain times there is power in being "Connected"    

There is power in being connected: this includes educators and policy makers in Scotland being "More social" with each other...  and Scottish educators being more connected and collaborating with educators elsewhere and discussing areas of shared interest.

A few years ago Scotland didn't appear to be as connected (in the same way) that educators in the US are. I found the differences a little frustrating at times (See Live Tweeting and Engaging Policy makers). So I thought I'll hang about with these guys until the "Network Effects" were more developed in Scottish Education.

Today at 3pm those network effects *just might* be there... but this could be a case of a quick RT and hello, and then people leave again.Or... people just might hang around.

This could all depend on whether or not there is a welcoming committee to meet people when they arrive.

Feedback Loops
What's needed to make people stay is that the "Feedback Loops" need to be positive. The more positive the experience -> The more people will tell their friends about it -> The more friends that are there -> The more positive the experience will be -> The longer and more frequent the visits become.

Think #IndyRef and how often ppl checked in on Scotland's national political water cooler hangout and why they checked it out... It was fun (In an irreverent kind of way), everyone was talking about it and their friends were there.

Getting this right is hard work, and it's work that I have little experience with... but one thing that I do know is that getting it right starts with the culture on day one.

When people arrive on the #DigiLearnScot hashtag today, who will be there to greet them?
Will the policy makers be there? Will MPs be there?
Will Education Scotland or Digital Learning Scotland say "Hello Welcome to Education Scotland"?
Or will it be that's "Not the way we do things here?

I know that policy makers having a voice and replying to people must be as scary as anyone with sending that first Tweet, but just take a look at how others deal with this. Check out how IBM handle being "Social" and professional.

Alternatively check out how the moderators at #EdTechchat handled this when their Education Secretary joined in the conversation Arne Duncan, #Edtechchat, and Some Thoughts on Digital Citizenship

Arne has been a guest on EdTechchat a few times now, and the EdTechChat moderators appear to work in close collaboration with Arne and his colleagues at the Department of Education.

I know that "This isn't how we roll" in Scotland at the moment but, in an attempt to use my "Influence," and facilitate a little bit of change with this.

Dear Education Scotland, 

I was asked to promote the Scotland's Digital Learing agenda with my contacts. I did a "5 minute favour" and I collaborated with people in my PLN to do this. It took a bit of hustle to get people here. 

Will anyone be there to welcome them when they arrive? Will you be showing your friendship first? Or will it be a case of but "We've always done it this way"

Whatever people do with this opportunity, I hope it works out and that lots of new connections and collaboration is a result of it all. Good luck and have fun connecting and collaborating.

Please also connect with Sarah Thomas (@sarahdateechur) and her EduMatch (@Edu_Match) initiative, who's mission is to;
                                 Connect educators around the world, along similar topics of interest.
Only 3 people signed up to EduMatch in Scotland?
I'm off to send some thank you notes to people who have supported this campaign over the last few days.

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