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    The Carnival of HR and the Old Days of HR Blogging

    I started blogging in about 2007, right about the time I started teaching a course in HR Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

    For some reason in my HR Tech class I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the students knew about blogging - how to set up a blog, how to update a blog, how to write on a blog, etc. And in what turned out to be indicative of a few other things I covered in that class, I realized I needed to sort out how to do those things myself before I could teach them to the students.

    And so the first iteration of this blog was launched in 2007.

    Sometime later that year I ran through the same exercise with Twitter. I thought it important to talk about and demonstrate this new thing called Twitter in class, so I had to learn how to use it myself. So in late 2007, my initial Twitter handle, @Sbjet was born. I remember being VERY excited when I crossed 100 followers. That was big time in 2008.

    And something else was big time, at least to me, back in the early days of my HR and HR Tech blogging - the monthly Carnival of HR. 

    I have not written about the Carnival of HR in ages, so chances are some, or maybe even many, folks reading this blog today are not familiar with the Carnival. But back in 2008 and 2009 this monthly collection of the best blog posts from around the HR blogosphere was a really, really big deal. I tried for what seems like ages to get a post of mine included in the Carnival, only to be passed over. 

    I was pretty much unknown, writing a dumb blog about technology and teaching for a tiny, tiny readership. 

    But I kept on submitting a post each month anyway, and one month, finally, one of my posts was included in the Carnival of HR. I wish I could remember exactly when that was, but I do remember being really, really ecstatic about it when I found out, (this has to be the nerdiest thing I ever got excited about). 

    But back then, being in the Carnival of HR felt, at least to me, kind of vindicating. I felt, somehow, that it validated what I was doing in the eyes and opinions of the other HR bloggers who back then I was SURE were all better, smarter, and more popular than I was. I actually think most of them still are by the way.

    And also different back then, was that it really seemed like the smallish number of folks who were actively blogging about HR all would read each other's posts, would comment on them fairly often, and would share posts with each other in old school ways like Email and Google Reader. Sure, Twitter was just starting to become a thing by 2009 or so, but even then, the HR Twittersphere and the HR Blogosphere were pretty much the same group of folks, give or take, and there was (maybe I am being really naive here), a real sense of camaraderie and community there.

    And I guess that is why the Carnival of HR seemed so cool to me back then. It was like a public list of who was in the club, who was doing interesting work, who was contributing and had something to say.  Getting a post in the Carnival of HR meant you were a part of the cool kids, and even at whatever age I was then, still seemed like an accomplishment.

    I kind of miss those days, back when the center of the conversation was actually distributed around the internet on the couple of dozen or so HR blogs that were THE ONES to read then. Lots of them (and their owners), had cool names like HR Minion, Your HR Guy, HR Ringleader, HR Maven, Punk Rock HR, and the HR Capitalist. Some of these names still are active and vibrant in the HR blog world. Some, not as much, or their owners have moved on to new things and new adventures.

    But for me, someone who without blogging would NEVER have gone on to do any of the cool things I have been able to do these last few years, the early days of HR blogging were just about the best times I ever had with this blog.

    Why take this walk down memory lane?

    Because my HR Happy Hour Show partner Trish McFarlane messaged me last week to let me know she was hosting the latest Carnival of HR, and wondered if I had a post to include in the round up.

    I will admit to not having thought about the Carnival in a long, long time, but then of course I remembered how once it was the MOST important thing for a lowly HR blogger like me. And I remembered how cool it was to be included.

    So of course I sent Trish over a post to include in the Carnival, (and thanks Trish for using it!).

    You can check out the Carnival of HR on Trish's HR Ringleader blog here.

    And check it out you should. Because there just might be someone included in the Carnival for the very first time, and who thinks that being included is the BIGGEST deal ever. 

    And you know what? 

    They would be right. It is the biggest deal ever. 

    Thanks Trish for including me. 

    And thanks to all the HR bloggers out there for letting me into your club.


    No access

    I am in Beijing, China for the next few days and as is my tendency to be mostly unprepared as to the details of the places to which I travel, I was surprised to learn upon arriving that access to many of the apps and services I have come to rely upon, (Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts, Twitter, Hootsuite, Instagram, and a few others), are essentially blocked here.

    So if you are trying to get a hold of me by any of the above means, well, I pretty much won't be reachable until Tuesday or Wednesday.

    If you really, really, need to reach me for some reason you can try to email at steveboese at hotmail, that service for whatever reason is accessible here.

    This is a really interesting place, and I kind of like the fact that I have been able to enjoy it a little more closely and attentively, not being constantly distracted by emails, tweets and the like.

    Have a great weekend!


    Your tweets, decoded

    An incomplete list of commonly tweeted sentiments and what they really mean:

    Tweet: 'Prepping for a Conference Call!'

    Decoded: Eating skittles, tweeting, and spending 73 seconds looking at your website before the call starts

    Tweet: It was awesome catching up with @JoeWhoHasNotMuchElseToDoAtTheMoment!

    Decoded: Joe called me, and I felt bad, so I answered

    Tweet: C'mon @MajorInternationalAirline - when is this plane going to leave! 25 minutes parked at the gate!

    Decoded: Crickets, as @MajorInternationalAirline is not compelled to spring immediately to action, not really worried that your 37 followers will rise up in protest.

    Tweet: Join us for #TwitterChatThatConsistsOfTheSame30PeopleRetweetingEachOtherWithLotsOfExclamationPoints at 8PM Tonight!

    Decoded: I don't have much happening right now.

    Tweet: RT @LargeInternationalNewsAgency - Huge blizzard heading to New England states tonight.

    Decoded: Just in case the one person in New England who has not yet heard the news about the upcoming winter storm happens to be following me AND is on Twitter right now at this exact moment, then Phew! they will be warned

    Tweet: RT @EllenShow - If only Bradley's arm was longer Best photo ever. #Oscars

    Decoded: Neither Ellen, or any of the other people in this picture know or care who you are. But thanks for the Twitter love!

    Tweet: Be the change you wish to see in the world. #quote

    Decoded: I have nothing interesting to say. Please read something interesting a different person once said.

    Tweet: The @MySillyTwitterHandle Daily is out! Featuring stories by @EllenShow -  www.noonewillclickthis.li

    Decoded: I set up this 'auto-tweeting daily summary' four years ago, and I forgot how to turn it off

    Tweet: @SuperstarAthleteFromProfessionalSports You stink! You are terrible! You don't know how to play!

    Decoded: If I were only fifty pounds lighter, seven inches taller, and actually possessed some modicum of athletic ability, I would be down balling at the YMCA over 40 league right now instead of sitting on the couch.

    Tweet: RT @SteveBoese - New post: Your tweets, decoded - www.thisisterrible.com

    Decoded: I really need to turn off my auto-tweeting of that idiot's blog posts


    Maybe you're spending too much time on Twitter

    Recently Twitter made available to all users of the service its advanced analytics tools that show interesting statistics around impressions, (how many people actually saw a tweet), engagement, (replies, favorites, retweets), and trends over time on these metrics.

    To check it out for your own tweets, just sign in to Twitter then click on http://analytics.twitter.com/

    Below is a screen capture of the top part of my Twitter analytics review from this morning, take a look and then a few comments from me after the image:

    Apologies if it is a little hard to read, but the couple of points I wanted to call out from observing my own data and that might be applicable to you are not really dependent on the precise data points anyway.

    Point 1 - Hardly anyone sees the average Tweet. As of this week I have about 25.4K followers, give or take a few. The average impressions, (people that actually SEE my wonderful Tweets), ranges between about 500 on the low end and 1,200 on the high end. So if you do the math, that means only about 2% - 3.5% of my followers even see the average Tweet. Of course, I have little idea which of my followers these are, but that is a separate point.

    Point 2 - Of the people that actually see my Tweets, about 1% of that group actually "engages" with the update - (replies, RTs, favorites, link clicks, etc.), resulting in an engagement level, when compared to the overall number of followers I have, is almost akin to me simply shouting my status updates and pithy tweets out of the window. Maybe 1 in 10 of my Tweets have 0 engagements, meaning no one replied or clicked or favorited, etc. That is the tweet falling in the woods and having no one there to hear it scenario.

    Point 3 - I think we all, me included, need to keep Twitter, (and every other social network probably), in perspective as to its true reach, value, and the imprimatur it foists on those who have seemed to "figure it out". I have way more followers than the average Twitter user. But I am not sure that really means all that much when looking at some of this data. And I am not even talking about the folks who have bought followers or somehow gamed the system in other ways. That is another story totally.

    I guess my final point is that I and everyone else needs to keep data like this in mind and not just when thinking about Twitter or social networking in general. It is really more about figuring out where and how to spend your time and effort such that you are getting closer to whatever it is you are chasing. And if Twitter is a part of that strategy for you, then you definitely ought to dig in to your analytics and get behind the data.

    What do you think, have you checked out your Twitter analytics? Are my numbers representative or am I just bad at Twitter?


    Twitter chat today on HR Tech Implementation and Adoption - #Nextchat

    Note: Today, Wednesday November 13 at 3PM EST, I will be co-hosting the popular Twitter Chat called #NextChat, which was created by the great folks over at SHRM and brings important topics in the areas of Human Resources, management, leadership, and technology to the forefront, in a fast-paced and informative medium.

    Below is the set up for today's @NextChat on HR Technology Implementation and Adoption that I will (along with Trish McFarlane), be co-hosting. I hope you can join us today at 3PM EST.

    NextChat - HR Technology Implementation and Adoption

    Technology solutions have for some time helped Human Resources departments improve service delivery, find and attract talent, provide employees opportunities to learn and develop their careers, and support an organization’s business strategy. But what has changed in the last few years are the methods, strategies, and challenges for to insure the successful implementation and adoption of modern workplace and HR technologies.

    With more and more HR technology solutions moving to cloud-based delivery models, the way HR technology is marketed, sold, implemented, and deployed to users has dramatically changed in just the last few years..

    Combine the changes in the technology development and delivery process with the explosion in the number of solutions that offer HR professionals support for their initiatives and programs and you end up with a market that is full of potential and promise, but also one that can be difficult for the HR professional to navigate. Making the ‘right’ decisions about HR technology has never been more challenging, (and more important). 

    Please join @weknownext at 3 p.m. ET on November 13 for #Nextchat with special guest Steve Boese (@SteveBoese) and Trish McFarlane (@TrishMcFarlane). We’ll discuss some of the most important factors for successful selection, implementation, and user adoption of the next generation of HR technology solutions.

    Q1. What are the signs that it is time to make an HR technology purchase/investment?

    Q2. What are some of the key elements and concepts in cloud HR technology purchases that HR professionals need to understand?  #nextchat

    Q3. What are some of the common statements and buzzwords given by HR solution providers, and what do they REALLY mean? #nextchat

    Q4. How can HR professionals identify the most important factors for their organization in their technology decision process? #nextchat

    Q5. After a technology is selected and purchased, what are the essential next steps to launch the implementation project? #nextchat

    Q6. Are HR technology projects similar to other HR projects and what specific skills does HR need for technology projects? #nextchat

    Q7. Once the project ‘goes live’ how can HR continue the positive momentum and ensure adoption rates meet project goals? #nextchat  

    Q8. What are the tools &  metrics to evaluate/assess HR technology success? How can HR learn from past project experiences?

     What's a Twitter chat?

    I hope you can join in the conversation today at 3PM!