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    Job Titles of the Future #1 - Wikipedian in Residence

    Here is a quick hit for a cold, cold Tuesday morning in beautiful Western New York - check out this excerpt from a recent piece in the New York Times Arts Beat blog titled 'Gerald R. Ford Library Hires 'Wikipedian in Residence'':

    Gerald R. Ford may have governed during a time of economic stagnation, but his library has just laid claim to a cutting-edge distinction: becoming the first presidential depository to employ an official “Wikipedian in residence.”

    Michael Barera, a master’s student at the University of Michigan’s School of Information who has been editing Wikipedia articles for five years, started the job last week, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. He is charged with improving the Wikipedia presence of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, which is housed at the university’s Ann Arbor campus.

    More details about the actual role and duties of a 'Wikipedian in Residence' can be found in this piece from the Chronicle of Higher Education:

    A Wikipedian in residence is a Wikipedia editor who has an on-site placement at an institution. It turns out there are many such Wikipedians at archives and museums around the world, including the National Archives, but there has never before been one at a presidential library.

    If you dig a little deeper into these pieces you discover the real reason that the Ford museum and some other institutions have taken the step to hire staff to focus explicitly on maintaining, augmenting, and often, correcting information and articles about them on Wikipedia. Namely, that's were they are seeing the majority of web searchers, potential visitors, and heck, maybe even job candidates are landing when they are doing research.

    Sure, the Ford museum has a website, they are on Facebook too. They have control (mostly with Facebook) of how their message gets conveyed on those platforms. But they've figured out the important medium for how people learn about them is Wikipedia and by hiring a 'Wikipedian in Residence', they've taken a step toward better managing those messages.

    There you go - your first installment of 'Job Titles of the Future' - Wikipedian in Residence.

    Have one for your organization yet?


    Here's the social media video you'll see 1,418 times in 2013

    There is no doubt we love, love, love the 'Social Media Revolution' series of videos created by Erik Qualman.

    If you have been to any kind of conference, event, presentation, webinar, etc. that had even the remotest tie-back to social media, social networking, or mobile technology in the last 5 years or so, then you have definitely sat through 4 minutes of increasingly incredible social media statistics fly in and out of the frame, while tapping your toes to the pulsating soundtrack courtesy of Fatboy Slim's 'Right Here, Right Now.'

    Well the latest version, titled 'Social Media Revolution 4' was released a couple of weeks ago, (embedded below, email and RSS subscribers will have to click through to get your Slim on), and in keeping with the structure, format, and presentation of the first three videos in the series, this latest installment presents numerous facts and statistics about the state and growth of social media and networking.

    Take a look below and then come back to read my sincere request of you about this video in 2013. 

    Great stuff, right?

    Facebook is really big.  Lots of folks sign up for LinkedIn every day. People like to read online product reviews and check out recommendations about restaurants from strangers on the internet. Fatboy Slim (sort of) holds up in late 2012.

    So here is my request for 2013 - don't include this video in any presentation you may give, webcast you present, or informal talk you might have with your colleagues. If you find yourself in attendance at an event/presentation, and the speaker cracks out this little beauty in an attempt to convince the audience by virtue of the statistics and volume of our pal Slim that 'social media is a really big deal' then you need to walk out and send a strongly worded letter, (that will teach them), to the event organizers that you expect better from speakers in 2013.

    We just can't keep trotting this one out, and we can't keep trying to 'impress' people with it either.

    We can't, trust me on this. Someone's head will explode at SHRM13 and with all those HR people in the room the workmen's comp discussions will be epic. Actually, that might be kind of fun.

    There is nothing wrong or bad about this video, (or the ones that came before it in the series), but we have, all of us, heard and seen it all before.

    Especially the 'Right Here, Right Now' bit, which by the way was released back in 1999.

    I think the song is about the Y2K bug.


    The Last HR Pro not on LinkedIn

    Last week I had a chance to present to a great group of about 100 or so HR, Talent, and Recruiting professionals at a local SHRM event in Virginia. I like getting to these kinds of local HR gatherings - they provide a much better view into the real concerns and challenges in the HR trenches, and usually are bereft of the collection of often jaded and a little too smug and ironically detached, 'professional' conference attendees. Sure, I get it, you are sick of hearing the 71st talk on 'Why Social Media is Important for HR', but in case you have not realized it, actually attending the same presentation dozens of times at events all over the country make you the one who is a little weird and out of the mainstream, not the HR pro at a 300-person company that is trying to figure out how, if at all, having a Twitter account will help her get her job done.

    But back to the point - at the session where I was talking to the group about changes and trends in workforce technologies, naturally the use of the public, or consumer social networking sites was brought up, I think in the expected context of how they are being used for various aspects of the talent acquisition function. I asked the attendees to share some examples of how they are incorporating these networks in their organizations, and a few folks shared what they were doing to share job openings and company information on Facebook and source candidates on LinkedIn. Nothing unusual here, a few attendees, (maybe 10% of the group), had some 'active', (not just trolling for candidates), activity on social networks, but what was interesting to me was as the conversation continued, one audience member told the group she had never created a personal LinkedIn profile. I pressed her as to why she was not on LinkedIn, and she promptly replied, 'I just don't have time for it. I'm busy'. I jokingly suggested she was the last HR pro not on LinkedIn.

    The group continued to discuss both social networking and other kinds of new technologies that are impacting the workplace and the practice of HR, but I could not get out of my head that in late 2012, there was still one smart, engaged, (she took the time to attend a professional development and networking event), and experienced HR/Talent pro that had not found her way to LinkedIn, if nothing else to set up a shell profile on the site. I even came back to her a couple of times later in the session when the conversation shifted to mobile technology, and how the usage patterns in consumer tech are effecting enterprise tech, I think my comment was 'You are all on your iPhones, updating your Facebook and checking out who has viewed your LinkedIn page, well except for you, (giving a mock-disgusted look towards the one LinkedIn holdout).'

    The point of all this? 

    I guess a couple of things stood out after thinking about it a little longer.  One, there still exists a pretty significant knowledge and value perception gap between most of the front line, working HR professionals and those of us that think about and use new technologies every day.  There are really still very few 'real' HR pros out there that are as obsessed with this stuff, as it just does not move the needle for them on their day-to-day. Two, while participation and use of these social technologies might level the playing field to some extent between larger and better-financed organizations and smaller ones, that effect is limited. A couple of audience members from very large organizations shared what they are doing with social and branded talent communities, a level of commitment and effort that simply can't be approached by smaller companies.

    Last, and maybe the only fascinating part of this entire post, is that after taking some good-natured ribbing from me, (and even the presenter that followed me), the HR pro who had been the one LinkedIn holdout approached me at the end of the day to let me know that she would be, after all, setting up a LinkedIn profile when she got home.

    Good for her!

    And bad for you, the 'savvy' HR pro who is all over social media and social networking - that is one more competitor for talent that you have to worry about.

    Have a Great Week!


    Playing offense on social media

    Some time back the great Paul Hebert wrote one of the best pieces in the last few years over on Fistful of Talent, titled, HR Plays Too Much Defense.  You should stop what you are doing and read it, or re-read it as the case may be, then come back for a recent and I think perfect example of Paul's ideas played out in the corporate social media space. I'll wait.

    Ok, back? I told you Paul's piece was money.

    So here's my example of playing offense, or at least not sitting back and playing defense, from one of those classic 'Love them or hate them' organizations, Goldman Sachs.

    Of course you'll remember the recent resignation flame-out from former Goldman Sachs employee Greg Smith, who took to the New York Times op-ed page to trash Goldman's culture, draw attention to their bad treatment of clients and customers, and essentially portray the firm as a horrible, horrible place to work, one where a high-minded and formerly optimistic, but now jaded person like himself could no longer be comfortable with.

    Well last week Smith sat down with the Times once again, to talk about his soon to be released tell-all memoir 'Why I Left Goldman Sachs'.  Turns out that according to the piece in Times last week, the 'tell-all' doesn't really have that much to say, in fact the headline of the piece, 'A Tell-All on Goldman Has Little Worth Telling', paints Smith equal parts greedy, out-of-touch, and disappointed with his personal compensation, as some kind of crusader to protect customers and reveal deficiencies in Goldman's culture.

    Goldman, upon seeing the latest Times' piece, issued the below tweet from their official Twitter account:



    Man, that's a burn.  At least from Goldman's point of view, the Times' provided the initial platform for Smith's enmity and accusations, and now after some time and more details are revealed by Smith via his memoir, essentially has to admit there really isn't much there there. Goldman's swipe at the Times is, at least to my view, a great example of taking the offense, in a way that is snarky but still measured, and one that certainly seems to be in line with their reputation and culture.

    Let me be clear about one thing, I am not an apologist for Goldman at all, and their role in the financial crisis of 2008-2009 has been pretty well documented. Next year a former Goldman trader will be tried for civil fraud for his role in the subprime mortgage scandals. Goldman's hands are not at all clean.

    But that makes their little dig at the Times even more refreshing I think.  It is easy, especially when you might not have the most respected brand, to sit back, to try not to offend, to play by a really restrictive set of rules, but like Paul pointed out in the FOT piece, playing defense all the time is playing not to lose.

    Do you want to play to win, whether it is in HR, marketing, recruiting, or social?

    Then you have to score some points.

    And the Goldman example above reminds us even the 'bad' guys can get over sometimes as well.


    #HRTechConf (un)session Preview - Social Tools in the Organization

    Today at 9:00AM Central time at the HR Technology Conference, I will be co-presenting along with Trish McFarlane a session titled: #HRevolution : How Social Tools Can Empower a Global Organization.

    The session, about how organizations are leveraging both public-facing social networks and platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as behind-the-firewall tools like Yammer and Sharepoint, in HR, Recruiting, and Talent Management processes; will be conducted in classic HRevolution 'unconference' style - as a facilitated discussion among and by peers and colleagues in the industry, with the goal to open the lines of communication and share lessons learned, challenges, and goals with each other.

    The HRevolution style of facilitating presents some risks of course - if attendees are shy or reluctant to share openly with the group, then the session presenters are under the gun to some extent, and there's nothing worse than a interactive session with no interacting.

    So attendees of our session tomorrow are expected to play an active part - sharing their knowledge, discussing their approaches in bringing social technology to their workplaces, and even challenging some of the widely held and often repeated assumptions about social technology and its role in the workplace. 

    In addition to the conversations that will happen in the room at HR Tech, we also encourage anyone following the #HRTechConf hashtag on Twitter to engage with us as well.  The hashtag for the session is #UNSESSION and the basic questions we will raise in the room will be tweeted out on my user name @SteveBoese as follows:

    Q1 - What social recruiting success stories can you share? #unsession #HRTechConf

    Q2 – What collaboration tools are you using and getting positive results from? #unsession #HRTechConf

    Q3 – How can social  technology encourage recognition in the workplace? #unsession #HRTechConf

    Q4 – How can social tools help drive innovation in the organization? #unsession #HRTechConf

    Q5 – How can social tools fix, improve, or blow up existing processes? #unsession #HRTechConf

    We will be checking the backchannel throughout the session for questions, answers, comments and for general feedback from the Twitterverse.

    Trish and I are really looking forward to the session, and if you are at the HR Technology Conference we hope to see you there, and if not, we hope you will join in the #UNSESSION discussion on the backchannel.

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