How to succeed at Mooc-ing without really trying

Heard about MOOCs but far too busy doing more interesting things to sign up to one? Not sure if they’re for you?  Feeling pressure to be part of the “mooc crowd”? Keep signing up for MOOCs but keep getting that cba (can’t be a****) feeling after the first week? Fear not, here’s a handy list of tips to ensure you too can get maximum impact, increase your twitter followers, and look like you are at the heart of the next Mooc that takes your fancy.

The quickest way to get noticed in MOOCs is via twitter, so start using the course hashtag as early as possible. Post some random musings (the more bizarre the better), the week before the official start date. The first week will be filled with “hello I’ve just signed up for xxx” – go for something more eye catching. With 6 million participants on a course you want to make sure you stand out from the crowd and most importantly get retweeted. If you don’t think you’re going to get @StephenFry or @PeteCashmore to retweet posts, fear not there are other strategies.

Only sign up for MOOCs where you know someone who is part of the course team.  @ them at every opportunity (with the hastag of course). They’re bound to reply and retweet at least some of your messages. Remember in the first week in particular the people running the course  are desperate to show signs of activity and engagement. 

Alternatively start a tweet off (my polite description for a fight) with the official course twitter account. @ them slightly left field questions that are impossible to answer in 140 characters, but which they can’t be seen to not to answer. Reply to everything with more obtuse comments. Undoubtedly a couple of your followers will pitch in too creating the impression of even more noise engagement.

Dazzle people with analytics. This is getting slightly tricker now more people know about @mhawskey’s twitter archive and tags explorer which have been proven to make even grown Mooc-ers cry:-) But try and get a graph/diagram from somewhere. Sign up for bottlenose and take a screen grab of their sonar view of the course hashtag. Will distract people for days . . .

If you can’t dazzle with analytics, get someone else to.  Set up a challenge that is just too tempting for @psychemedia not to have a go at.  

Follow these simple techniques and by the end of the first week you will have been featured enough to be seen as in integral part of the course, and can go and back to doing something more interesting instead.

More advanced strategies including FB and  google+ to follow.