Tim's Blog

Group Project: Building A Personal Learning Network (PLN)

Team Members: Benjamin Hu Gavin (Changheng) Ge Tim(Lihua) Yang Ruining Feng Rodney(Yutong) Zhu


  • Benjamin Hu: Q1&2
  • Tim(Lihua) Yang: Q3&4, References
  • Rodney(Yutong) Zhu: Q5
  • Gavin(Changheng) Ge: Q6&7
  • Ruining Feng: Q8&9
  1. Describe the key characteristics of any discussed social media platforms. (Benjamin)

There are several social media platforms we have discussed throughout the courses, some of them we think are useful and functional that we like to share and discuss. One is Zoom and the other one is Twitter. Zoom is a very useful PLN social media platform that most of us are familiar with during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily changed our lifestyle. For example, instructors tend to give lectures through Zoom meetings, they think it is an alternative way to interact with their students. Since Zoom provides remote video chatting, students and instructors are able to see each other face to face so that they can get the realistic experience as if they were studying at school. Zoom also has the function of recording, so instructors can pre-record the lecture material a day before or give recordings to students who missed their lectures. The convenient learning style provides both students and instructors convenience, efficiency, and quality.

In addition, Twitter is one of the most frequently used social media platforms. Compared to Zoom, Twitter is relatively like social media because people can comment and share their thoughts and daily activities on their phones. Twitter is a social media platform where users can share their thoughts on the internet. Politicians and public figures prefer to speak their voices on Twitter, and the instant news will catch their follower’s attention. Twitter also has functions like Like, Quote tweet, and Retweet. The “Like” function gives users an expression pathway to show their interest and passion when they feel the contents are comfortable and interesting. “Quote tweet” and “Retweet” share a similar function that users are able to reply to or forward the content they feel interesting, or they mutually agree with.

  1. What features & characteristics of existing media technologies make them effective for personal learning? (Benjamin)

 Like the characteristic we mention above, the social media platforms examples as Zoom and Twitter share some similar features. They both provide convenient content delivery, so people can quickly get access to their profile and build their PLN. Zoom offers the visual chatting function where people can remotely meet through their electronic devices, and instructors are able to teach their subjects via recording or live streaming. Twitter is a social media where people can share and comment on their honest thoughts. There are multiple features, and users can use them to build their PLN and deliver the desired learning network.

  1. How does technology allow you to enhance/develop your digital identity/reputation? (Tim)

We can know what kind of content we should promote in public to attract more audience and popularity on social media by using the right technology to analyze the big data behind social media and knowing your audience group. Another technology is artificial intelligence (AI), which analyses popular topics and audience preferences. 

  1. What are social considerations that should be accounted for? (Tim)

When posting on the internet, there are numerous social considerations to be made. Gender bias, cultural background, and racism are just a few examples. Because people think and react differently, public social media posts about social considerations can go viral around the world. Several sensitive topics relating to social consideration became trending topics on every social media and news platform at the start of the year. The most well-known is Black Lives Matter, in which a white man kills a black person during an arrest while the victim screams, “I can’t breathe!” As a result, gender and cultural equity should be considered for both personal learning networks and social media.

  1. What are the ways the technology tracks and uses your data – how can this be used to benefit a PLN? (Rodney)

For instance, Twitter, a microblogging and social networking service, excels at tracking, analyzing, and making good use of its users’ data. Visitors to websites with Twitter content or products integrated into them may have their IP addresses, browser types, operating systems, and cookie information sent to Twitter. Twitter uses this data to enhance its services, such as ad targeting and recommendation algorithms. Still, Twitter is one of the best tools for building one’s PLN.  It is incredibly beneficial for instructors and academics (Carpenter & Morrison, 2018). As described earlier, this social networking service permits users to send and receive messages. The comments are referred to as “tweets,” and when a person sends a tweet, all of his/her followers see it.

  1. Provide examples of individuals who have used a PLN to become leaders in a field of interest, and discuss their presence on the platform? (Gavin)

In a generation where networking has been transferred onto online media platforms providing convenience in communication and self-promotion, many leaders in society have successfully utilized the benefits of a PLN to elevate their presence on media platforms and in society. An example could reference back several years when talk show host Conan O’Brien further expanded his influence past the generic platforms that most individuals in the entertainment industry use such as Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube. Instead, he aimed to reach audiences on a more professional spectrum on the Linkedin platform which could further promote him to a wider group of individuals that might primarily focus on the professional aspects of his industry. With the collaboration of all platforms of his, he is able to successfully market himself to audiences in various aspects whether it be social or professional circumstances.

  1. How do [notable individuals] use social media platforms to build their reputation/presence? (Gavin)

While most individuals understand how they personalize social media portfolios to their advantage on various spectrums, there are still distinct differences between individuals of the general population and notable individuals in terms of media reputation and presence. The most significant contrast between the two is undoubtedly the sizable effects of their social media presence, as leaders and notable individuals have a larger reach in terms of audience size and public impact. Simple contributions and interactions made by these individuals can oftentimes create immediate results prompting positive or negative discussions; most of which are strategically worded and framed to aggrandize that individual’s reputation in their respective industry and in the eyes of the public. As social media platforms have seen exponential growth in terms of their impact on one’s reputation and overall influence, how these leaders and individuals strategically arrange their social media portfolios can either propel them towards success or negatively impact their career and image. 

  1. How do use social media platforms to build their reputation/presence? (Ruining)

A reputation is an opinion, idea, or concept that people form about an institution, brand, company, or person based on their experience. It is important to realize that reputation is not under the absolute control of the subject or organization. In addition to the image projected by the brand or the individual themselves, reputation also includes news, comments, and opinions expressed by third parties on social networks, forums, blogs, review portals, and online media. You can maintain a strong reputation by having well-positioned content visible, being transparent, having a solid and loyal customer base, and listening carefully to what people are saying about you or your company, brand, and products. Therefore, it is very important to manage and monitor your internet space. Reputation management can be defined as the conscious control and influence over the reputation of companies, organizations, and individuals. Therefore, reputation management includes planning, controlling, establishing, monitoring, and ultimately maintaining a good reputation. Don’t wait until you encounter bad reviews or hear negative reviews to start improving your reputation. Build a sustainable reputation strategy and implement it gradually. Pay attention to every detail on the web, every single one of those details is very important so that there are no flukes, but a reaction to a predetermined strategy. From a business perspective, make sure that both official social media accounts and employee accounts contribute to a positive brand image. Work together and communicate the values ​​of the brand, thereby helping to create a valuable reputation. Respond positively to comments, whether they are good or bad, should respond, feedback fosters a connection between you and the public.

  1.  How will you know that your PLN is a success? (Ruining)

Regarding the success of the PLN, we need to understand what the purpose of your PLN is. PLN is a personal network for learning created by networking tools such as blogs, wikis, microblogging, Facebook, etc. Using this personal network can help us learn as part of a global community and strengthen our relationships with others. exchange, expand our learning space and opportunities, and enhance our reflection. In your PLN you can explore your interests, needs, and passions. Plan your career development. Learn and connect the way you like. Stay up-to-date with the latest research and news from around the world. Finally, enjoy a comfortable and happy environment in PLN. If these can be achieved, then there is no doubt that this is a successful PLN.


Bariso, Justin. “What You Can Learn from the Linkedin Profiles of 5 Super Successful People.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 7 Dec. 2015, https://www.businessinsider.com/linkedin-profiles-of-5-successful-people-2015-12#1-conan-obrien-1.

Boutin, ByDavid, et al. “The Five Awesome Twitter Features You Should Use Now.” Social Media & Influencer Marketing Speaker, Consultant & Author, 19 Jan. 2022, https://nealschaffer.com/5-awesome-twitter-features/.

Carpenter, J. P., & Morrison, S. A. (2018). Enhancing teacher education… with Twitter?. Phi Delta Kappan, 100(1), 25-28.

“Why Use Twitter? What Are the Main Features?” Minerva Visuals Blog, 19 Nov. 2021, https://blog.minervavisuals.co/why-use-twitter-features/.

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