An Official Thank You to All #gtchat Participants: A Follow-up Post Regarding Vision

I felt prompted today to write you all a follow-up blog post. I wanted to offer a bit more explanation of why I decided to begin offering Twitter Training Sessions, Parental Impact Presentations and Global #gtchat Sponsorships.

When I started #gtchat, I strongly believed in its power to support gifted students throughout the world. What I didn’t expect was the intensity and excitement of orchestrating and participating in the chats week in and week out. It’s been an utter privilege, and I now find myself wanting to devote even more time and energy to this fruitful endeavor.

I have a large vision for #gtchat and want to do everything I can to ensure its sanctity as an open forum devoted to finding solutions for gifted learners worldwide. Global #gtchat ultimately belongs to us all (not just me). It can’t exist in a vacuum. After all, we birthed it via collaboration!

Having said that, I do want to do more research, invite topic experts to specific chats, create “#gtchat learning links” based on each week’s chat, introduce tweeps with similar interests to each other, teach others about the new social media technology (especially parents who might feel intimidated), create customized transcripts with live links, assist new #gifted and #gtchat followers, and ultimately continue to help alter the way we think and learn about gifted issues.

I believe we’re at the very, very beginning of something quite extraordinary that has the potential to challenge our perceptions and knowledge about collaboration, culture, advocacy and peer-to-peer support in the global gifted education realm. I know this because I’ve been the beneficiary of your wisdom, your input, your enthusiasm and support!

In order for me to take #gtchat to the next level and be pragmatic, I need to find a way to support my efforts, while still serving as a marketing communications consultant to gifted organizations and communities through my business Ingeniosus. I have been surprised by the time commitment inherent in orchestrating #gtchat (i.e. the votes, prep work, moderating, transcript uploads, blog posts, DMs). It truly hit me last month, when I was writing two 3,000-word articles (for free) on advocacy and #gtchat, while also working on #gtchat presentations for upcoming conferences (which I’ll need to travel to, pay for, etc.). Truth is – I love the work. It just takes time and resources!

My primary goal is to spread the word, so that others can benefit from this real-time forum brimming with bright minds and resources. When I talked about #gtchat Ambassadors, I was serious. I would love to have as many of you talking about #gtchat and advocacy as possible. I simply realized that I personally couldn’t keep coordinating the chats, writing features, doing presentations and traveling (and paying for it all), while still serving clients and duly making my financial family contributions.

I don’t know if I’ll get $2,500.00 for the year from a single corporate sponsor (which would cover my trip to Atlanta for NAGC 2010 and allow me to purchase a laptop to use!) or if I’ll be able to do more and serve more potently. It will depend on how individuals, businesses and organizations respond. The more sponsors I have and the more trainings and presentations I do, the more outlets I can serve. I’m hoping to continue to build this safe haven for parents of gifted children and provide a worthy — and hopefully inspiring — service to many.

I greatly appreciate the lively chats, shared experiences, thoughtful commentary, research, authentic truths and ideas that continue to be shared each week. Most importantly, I value the comraderie that’s developing. Twitter is (and I believe should be) about the relationships first and foremost. You each matter to me and I hope this post gives you a a better glimpse into my recent decision. I welcome your feedback, as #gtchat is yours.

With appreciation,

Deborah Mersino

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4 Responses to “An Official Thank You to All #gtchat Participants: A Follow-up Post Regarding Vision”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deborah Mersino, Jeffrey Shoemaker. Jeffrey Shoemaker said: RT @DeborahMersino: An Official Thank You to All #gtchat Participants: A Follow-up Post Re Vision http://bit.ly/cp3peA #gifted […]

  2. @Frazzlld says:

    I have been truly amazed by the dedication and committment you have shown since #gtchat began. I was wondering how on earth you were managing to prepare the topic choices, do the poll, prepare for the chats and moderate them, do the transcripts etc etc…….and still have time to do your “real” work. Sometimes I don’t even sign into twitter till midweek, and there it all is. I don’t come close to that amount of work and still, my husband complains that I spend too much time on gifted stuff and not enough on housework (Harrumph!). I can completely understand that sponsorship is needed just to keep it ticking over, never mind to expand.
    I just love #gtchat. It can be a lonely and frustrating role, being an advocate in a country with no offical gifted education system and no national advocacy organisation. I tune in on a Friday evening to recharge my batteries and re-enthuse myself for the week ahead. There is a lovely balance of expertise and plain camaraderie at the moment. I hope that doesn’t get lost if the chats become bigger, but I guess that is a bridge that we will have to cross, if and when we come to it. Plus, given how much I get from the chats, it would be selfish not to share!
    It certainly does hold a lot of promise and its future is exciting. I say thank you, Deborah, for having the vision and the passion to bring us this far. Who knows, one day we may have the pleasure of bringing you to Ireland for a tweep-up. Go for it!

  3. ljconrad says:

    “Vision” is the operative word here! You have it and gtchat participants have embraced it! I think I speak for many of us when I say that Friday night chats (& Noon for those lucky enough to participate then) are oftentimes a highlight of our week. We are all passionate about advocating for gifted children and their education. We are appreciative of your providing the vehicle for us to join together in a journey of discovery … especially on a global platform. When you succeed, we all succeed … and the children benefit from our combined advocacy. I share your enthusiasm and belief that we are all apart of something potentially much greater! We can show the world the true power of bringing people together to achieve the reality of working for a common goal through collaboration rather than competition. I have a dream that one day gifted education will be supported throughout the world and there will be no problem that can’t be solved. See what you’ve started? 😉

  4. We’re all really grateful that someone has taken the lead in establishing the basis for an effective international forum on G&T education issues. As Frazzled says, the sheer work involved is not to be underestimated.

    To achieve a thriving and sustainable model for the future, I believe we need to find the middle way, by:

    – distributing the effort involved in preparation and follow-up more evenly between participants
    – enabling you and others to generate income to cover the costs, as long as this never compromises the independence of participants or influences what they Tweet.

    In practice, I think it is likely that funding will most likely be available for the ‘subsidiary’ activities rather than the core business.

    The next big step for all of us is to think about how we can develop #gtchat by:

    – using existing and new Twitter applications to the max
    – creating links with other social networking tools and communities
    – broadening the participant base so it is more representative of worldwide G&T education and the different groups within that broad community.

    This will involve a cold, hard look at some of the limitations and weaknesses of the current model, as well as its strengths and continuing potential.

    I hope that together we can remain non-aligned – we will not become an offshoot of any larger organisation but would retain our independence and our ‘cutting edge’ .

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