Interdisciplinary Studies

PLN: Instagram


  1. What did your research tell you about how people share ideas in your fields?

From my personal experience and through some research I did, I found that creating a PLN on Instagram, as I am an Entrepreneur, is quite feasible. Instagram is an incredible way for entrepreneurs, especially those in visual fields like photography and art, to showcase their work. It is also a good way to connect with other entrepreneurs. As an owner of two small businesses, I have been able to connect with many other small business owners from this platform. Most of these businesses I didn’t even know about from before I was on Instagram. As an Entrepreneur in the fields I am in, I feel as if I need visual inspiration just as much as any other discipline needs. Seeing places to go and promote my businesses, viewing pictures to give me ideas of what angles and ways I could be taking my pictures, finding a graphic designer for a new tee-shirt design or a farmer to grow me an ingredient for my next type of kombucha, are all ways for me to utilize my gram in a way that will create a Personal Learning Network. 

  1. What tools will best allow you to learn about new ideas in your fields?

Hashtags are one of the best ways to learn knowledge and ideas from others. I can search for a hashtag and then follow it. It will then actively show in my feed. Whenever someone uses that hashtag I can find the post categorized within that hashtag. For Example if I search #newhampshirebusiness I will be able to see any post that this hashtag was used in. This gives me a good chance of connecting with others that are businesses, entrepreneurs, or managers in New Hampshire. Once I discover these people from searching a hashtag, I could follow them and engage in them further by seeing them in my feed or searching their account.

  1. What tools will best allow you to connect with scholars and professionals in your fields?

Creating an engagement pod will be the best way to “group together” other instagramers that are in my fields. This is where other instagramers and professionals within my field, including myself, can directionly go to look at and most importantly engage in each others most recent posts. This pod, with honor style rules, require the participant to comment and engage on the previous posts before listing their own post for others to engage on. 

  1. What tools will best allow you to share you own knowledge, experiences, and ideas with other people in your fields?

Hashtags are a way to best share my knowledge and ideas with others through my posts. My posts are what will hold my ideas but the hashtag is what shares  my ideas and connects them with others. If I am trying to promote picking apples from unused apple trees in the fall to cut down on waste, I can #ediblenewhampshire to connect with others that believe in eating local in New Hampshire. I could also tag my stories and my posts with others names to more directly share these ideas with them. 

  1. How public do you want to be? Why?

This question is an especially important one in concerns to anyone’s PLN. The point of a personal learning network is to share your ideas, learn new ones, and most importantly engage with others. If you are not public with your PLN, you will not have a successful network at all. There are definitely levels in which you can go public with your PLNs. I believe that you should be mindful and aware of your presence in the public. I would like to be quite public but I want to ensure the safety of myself and the areas in which I inhabit. If I am too public I will compromise my safety giving out my personal address or every move I  make on a normal day. Also being too public can have a real consequence for the natural landscape of your area. For nature photographers, giving away geotags of remote locations, adds to destructive and erosion in these areas. As I participate in promoting the natural landscape I must be aware of this to ensure I am not doing nature a disfavor. 

  1. How will you engage at least once a week with your Personal Learning Network?

Engaging at least once a week with my PLN will be obtainable for me because I have been actively building a PLN on my Instagram for a few years now. I didn’t know it was a PLN, instead I just knew it as growing my Instagram. Making sure that I am being mindful and meaningful so that I can grow my PLN more successfully so it will be beneficial for me is the harder part. Using the engagement pod I will be able to create more dialect and support by having a group that has similar interests. Also I will practice slowing down so I can actually read the posts and make a meaningful connection with the person by which that post was created. 

  1. How will you know if your PLN is serving you well or not?

I will know if my PLN is serving me well if I am receiving engagement back on the engagement I am putting in. This means replies on comments that I made on others’ posts and also comments on my posts from those following me. If I am gaining more followers, more likes, more comments, with meaningful conversation as the most important piece, then I will be getting the most from my PLN.


  • add an Instagram link to my ePort
  • Creating an Engagement Pod (through Telegram) for New England Entrepreneurs, Small businesses, creators, and photographers
  • Participation with engagement pod each day (or as much as manageable)
  • At least 10 minutes of engagement in my following feed each day
  • One Post on my page at least every other day
  • Reply to every comment on my stories and posts
  • Post at least one story a day
  • Re-share at least one story a day
  • Follow relevant Hashtags
  • Actively use relevant hashtags and tags on posts (#IDSIntro, #PlymouthIDS, etc.)
  • Link my ePort blogs in my bio and talk about them in my posts 

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