There has been a lot said about the power of a PLN. I will not specifically discuss that topic, because I have written about it before, and so have so many people. It is written about so frequently because it is true. Your PLN is a lifeline to the world, a chance to reach out and have others reach back to enhance what you do.
But, this is something I thought about as well as I had a twitter friend reach out to me to try to help a friend. She asked me to reach out to people I know in my physical (non-digital) life and ask them to help this person. I realized something so powerful it pushed beyond what I thought made PLNs so powerful. I trust her. I know many things about her life. I know about her family, her classroom, her aspirations, and I trust that she is in many ways more genuine than many of the people I see around me in my daily life. I will feel badly if I cannot help in this situation.
There is a magical power in that. Not because I have made a great connection with a perfect stranger, but because I have made so many of these incredible connections. There are many people who I trust completely. There are so many people who I push myself for, that I have connected with digitally. These perfect strangers have changed my life. Not because they are just my PLN, they have become my friends.