I’ve been trying to work out ways to integrate what I currently consider two different sides of my life into one–to let the strengths and benefits of each side feed into the other and create a synergy that elevates both of them to become something they can’t be on their own.

I’m talking about my online blogging/​social networking life and my professional one. David Warlick wrote today about some of the potential for using our online interactions in teaching and professional development. But I struggle with making them work together. So often it feels like a square peg in a round hole. How do I find and connect with people online who are going to help me be a better teacher?

Right now, I have two blogs and accounts on Facebook and Twitter. I hardly ever post to Twitter, but I’m very active on Facebook. All of the people I connect with there are people I know from the “real” world, though. A lot of my time there is spent in recreation–partly because I’m not quite sure how to go about connecting with other professionals and making it more of a learning tool for myself.

I comment on education blogs from time to time, when I have something to say, and I’ve tried to link in with some of the professional organizations that have a presence on Facebook, but I can’t seem to get beyond the stage of just being another member of a huge group. I don’t even really know where to begin to look or how to get connected.

I experimented with Second Life for similar reasons–I even managed to end up with two different avatars, somehow–but once I was in, I didn’t know where to go, how to find what I wanted. I wandered around a bit, tinkered with a few things, but never really got immersed like Warlick seemed to.

So how does one network in a new country when you know no one and no one knows you?