Me and social media before I found Punk Rock HR

Looking back on getting started

What you see below is the fourth blog post I ever wrote for the very first incarnation of Human Race Horses.  I sound  like I am trying to be pompous and grandiose.    I suppose everyone needs to sound like and asshole for a little while until they find their real voice.

Here is what I find interesting about this post today.

  • I was really enthralled with numbers and gaining connections.
  • I saw a lot of significance in the profound changes I was going through.
  • I still talk with some of the people I knew then.
  • I wrote this piece before I had ever heard of Laurie Ruettimann or Punk Rock HR. (I think!)
  • I still haven’t met all those initial objectives.

I just realized today that I have entered my fourth year of blogging.  I actually started the blog on July 14, 2007 with a post called “What does HR have to do with race horses?“, which explains the inspiration for the name of the blog.  Click the link if you haven’t already heard that story.

From the archives:   August 17, 2007

Social Networking and the Flat World

On April 24th, I was in New Century, KS attending a session on using the SAP HR module, and one of my colleagues from Copenhagen, Denmark asked me if I had ever heard of LinkedIn.

“LinkedIn?” I said curiously, “What’s that?”

“I’ll send you an invitation.” My colleague, Nicolai said, and he did.

Since then, approximately 3.5 months has passed. As of 7:42 this morning, through LinkedIn, I have:

· Established exactly 900 connections from all around the globe on LinkedIn.
· Corresponded or talked with a large number of these people
· Found old friends, family members I haven’t seen in years, and networked with a number of former professional contacts.
· I have been contacted by several companies regarding possible job opportunities.
· I have used the site to source experts and vendors for projects for clients

I have also begun to examine the impact my relatively new found interest in social networking has had on me personally, and to ponder the way these tools will affect the Human Resources field in the next couple of years.

I am interested in Social or Open Networking for many reasons. These range from the simple to the complex. The simple question: Who, Where, What, Why, and When can I encounter someone who will assist me or help me grow as a professional and an individual?

The more complex idea: We do indeed live in a Flat World. As a result of this flattening, a convergence of the technological and the sociological aspects of the Internet is occurring that I believe is already vastly influencing and changing the way we do things in our daily lives, as much the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web did in the past few decades.

I am not a technologist or a sociologist, but my professional work is in the field of Human Resources and most of my personal interests revolve around things that involve groups of people. Therefore, I am interested in how this convergence affects my work and my life. I seek to understand how it will work and have jumped into the water with both feet to examine how social networking and Web 2.0 can lead me towards practicing HR 2.0 as a professional, and add value to my personal life by developing networks around the globe for sharing of best work practices, career opportunities, and perhaps even personal relationships in places where they wouldn’t have existed without this medium.

Since April 24, in trying to understand social networking

· I have joined Xing.
· I have joined Ning.
· I have joined Viadeo.
· I have joined Ecademy.
· I am on Facebook.
· I use Plaxo Plus to keep my finger on the Pulse of all of this.
· This morning I joined which is a social networking site for India.

This represents around 2000 individuals I am networking with around the world at various levels. One of these people found a job through a referral I made.  Business relationships are currently being developed through the power of LinkedIn connectivity.   I hope to do a live LI event in the Tampa Bay area in October with some colleagues I have met in the HR community to promote these types of tools and the power they bring to your daily life if you learn how to use them.

All of this just scratches the surface.

Oh yes, the other things that have happened in my life since April 24th?

· My company changed hands.
· I became a grandfather.
· I turned 50.
· My wife went to India and back for the second time this year.
· The stock market hit an all time high and then plummeted like someone pulled the plug.
· My daughter went to Mexico for two months and came back.
· Bunches of other stuff too numerous to mention…welcome to the Flat World!

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