...we should not be reading people, we should be reading topics.
I didn't really understand what he meant until I read this recent post from Claudia Ceraso. The whole post is an excellent explanation of where PLN building can take an educator who is prepared to persist but not strain too hard for results.
Learning awaits the node that builds network. The network does not revolve around a guru or star blogger. Although you might be inclined -at first sight- to affirm it is so. Seeing a long thread of comments in a high ranking edublog can give that impression.
Whatever makes a post or blog a gem is that blogger's ability to express what other people wish they could, but they can't. Yet. Or perhaps something you were sensing was important, but didn't have a name for it; therefore, no conversation dealing with the core issue had been built around it. A blogger may offer a playground of a post to imagine how we can think new ways of learning. I think many newbies have believed this is about the blogging revolution. This is the kind of success we should be after. Owning the learning in your blog. Without comments on the post, it is still unidirectional. Close to what fascinates me about blogging, but not it.
Oddly enough, for those taking the conversation ahead, it is not countless visitors or comments what they are after. They are indeed making connections and exchanging Twitter trivia preferably with a closed or selected circle of people, but it is not because they are popular that they flock together. It's because Therefore, rapport. Once those minds get in touch, they accept the kind of learning that occurs cannot happen in isolation. That is what makes the network continue paying attention to new ideas from those selected bloggers. Because it is the only sustainable way to learn informally. You know they are your best learning triggers. That's when learning sticks.