Having sold individual things sporadically via Twitter (usually after mentioning I was about to put them on eBay) and finding myself needing to raise funds for a rather magnificent Sony Vaio P series, I thought it was about time I developed a system. Enter #twebay.
(I hate the elision of ‘Twitter’ and ‘eBay’ as much as you, but it’s a convenient hypocrisy…)
Here’s what I did:
1. Set up and published a Google Doc and passed it through Bit.ly Pro to get http://dajb.eu/twebay. This includes my details (including avatar and photo), a rationale for selling, and details of the items.
2. Configured and tested a Google Form (via Google Docs) to collect information from those interested. I figured the important information was the person’s name, email address, bid amount and a box for any other details they wanted to give me.
3. Publicised it and asked for retweets.
4. Checked the spreadsheet attached to the Google Form at regular intervals and replied to those making bids.
I managed to sell 3 items within an hour with an additional one that I’d forgotten later in the week. These were all to people who I’ve known a while on Twitter but I’ve never met in person.
The advantages of this method?
No eBay/Paypal fees
Buyer knows it’s going to a good home, seller knows where it’s come from
Time spent listing items for sale is massively reduced
You need a fair number of followers to gain traction/interest
There’s no formal feedback system
There’s potential to damage existing relationships when money becomes involved
There are blog posts I plan in advance and there are those that happen as a result of serendipity and need blogging straight away. This is very much one of the latter. :-p
Earlier this week I was following with interest the tweets of Jenny Luca, an Australian educator, as she sat in the audience during one of Stephen Downes‘ presentations. Before the whole thing even started, she overheard Downes:
In her next tweet she simply wondered how that squared with connectivism, a learning theory of which Downes is an advocate. I thought up several responses, but didn’t have time to get into a debate and so kep them to myself. Jenny’s reflections on the event, if you’re interested, are here. That particular event isn’t the focus of this post. 🙂
Today, during an Easter Sunday afternoon in which I’d run out of things to fill my leisure time, I turned to my feed reader and came across this from Hugh McLeod:
It’s actually a remixed (and, to be honest, improved) version of an original by Patrick Brennan.
These two coming so closely together made me reflect upon my online interactions. Now, before I go any further I need to point out very explicitly and clearly that I greatly value the interactions and conversations I have with individuals. I’m certainly not aiming to devalue that in what I’m about to say.
The power in a network comes from the amplification of individual contributions and connections to make it more than the sum of its parts.
I think this is may be where Downes was coming from in terms of ‘following topics not people’ on Twitter and where McLeod (via Brennan) means r.e. ignore everybody.
Yes, you need to learn the heuristics of the network.
Yes, you have be able to argue for your point of view.
…but when it comes down to it, you need to be your own person, using the network for your own ends. Not in some manipulative, Machiavellian sense, but in a ‘give-and-take’ way that means that the network truly does become more than the sum of its parts. 😀
Further to my previous blog post setting out what I was going to do at interview, I’m delighted to report that I was successful! Many thanks to my Twitter network for their support. As of next academic year (September 2009) I shall be ‘Director of E-Learning’ at Northumberland Church of England Academy.
This is a significant promotion for me and, as the Academy comes into existence as I assume the role, means I’ve got (almost) a blank slate with which to work. Hence the need for me to have a clear and coherent plan as to the E-Learning ecosystem I want to create.
I’m embarking on a series of blog posts over the Easter holiday period which, provisionally, I’m going to title:
Attendance: what are the pros and cons of SIMS, Serco and Phoenix?
Behaviour: what are the e-options for real-time monitoring and tracking of student behaviour?
Communication: which tools are available to enable anyone within an organization be able to appropriately communicate and collaborate with anyone else?
Design: what are the standards upon which pedagogically-sound learning design can be constructed?
Engagement: which technologies lead to confident engagement in learning?
I have perhaps phrased some of the above clumsily so I’d welcome your feedback! 🙂