Love Vigilantes

by Matthew Stollak on Sunday, November 8, 2009

About a month ago, I purchased an Amazon Kindle. As an avid reader, the possibility of a device that could hold many books, while not weighing down my backpack, seemed quite appealing. Yet, as I have been putting it to use, something felt odd. A sense of disconnect developed. I couldn’t put my finger on it….then I realized that was the problem. With a book, a page is turned, and you sense how far you have progressed and how far you have to go. With a Kindle, however, there is a “progress” bar, but it lacks that tactile feeling of accomplishment. You can see the percentage completed, but it seems distant in comparison to folding the spine and seeing you are only a few pages from completion.

I was thinking about disconnect as I returned from the HREvolution conference held in Louisville, KY this past weekend. Unlike the relationship I have started with the Kindle, this conference provided an opportunity to connect to many HR professionals who I have only talked with, or were familiar with, in 140 character bites on Twitter or on the blogs they write. Static avatars became flesh, and animated. Surprisingly, it was easy to fall into familiar patterns of conversation with individuals I had never met or talked with before. A certain knowingness existed as the result of a community that developed online.

From this connection came a passionate fever of a discussion about work and our lives. Meta conversations on Blackberrys and iPhones and on-screen went on simultaneously with the live discussion taking place in the room, all surrounding the idea that HR has, does, and should matter.

Several hours later, I am still trying to determine what, if any, conclusions are to be drawn from the conversation. However, I am thrilled with the connections that were made, and that people care about the HR profession and continue to find meaning in what they do.


Great to meet you this weekend. We may not be ready for conclusions quite yet - the conversation is still in motion. Pretty inspiring, eh?

by Lisa Rosendahl on November 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM. #

Having the conversation and meeting each other face-to-face was a huge part of the experience. Hopefully you learned something in the blogging session that can help you as you progress in your endeavors, my friend!

by Ben Eubanks on November 8, 2009 at 5:32 PM. #

I suppose evolution is a process not an end. Your post totally speaks to me. Hopeful for conclusions I agree with Lisa that the conversation was left in motion. Taking the next step by making social media... well... social was the juice to a conversation that I believe will continue at a higher level by the influence HRevolution has left with us. Great post. Thanks.

by Lyn Hoyt on November 8, 2009 at 6:19 PM. #

as long as you begin and then CONTINUE, everything can mesh and you can come to more of an understanding with what happend and then what will happen next. as long as people continue to stay connected both personally and professionally... it will be DA BOMB :)

by on November 8, 2009 at 6:38 PM. #

It was great to meet you, Matthew! Kudos to you for joining the conversation about HRevolution. Imagine the great HR thinkers that will come from a professor that challenges HR status quo!

by Bonita on November 9, 2009 at 12:00 PM. #

Matt - it was great to meet you and hear your perspectives as a 'true' academic, not a faker like me. I agree, the power is in the continuing of the conversations, and with this group of bloggers, tweeters, and pundits I am sure it will continue.

by Steve Boese on November 9, 2009 at 3:33 PM. #

I love the tactile aspect of what we did with HRevolution. At one point I was in the back of the room and I was looking around at everyone as they participated. Then, it struck me. My entire Tweetdeck had come to life. It took my breath away. To see you all there before me and to see your tweets appearing on the screen was surreal. What a wonderful benefit of HRevolution.

As for the outcome, my fellow planners and I will be sending out information to all participants so that we come away with something tangible that we can use as a springboard. Hope you'll join for HRevolution 2010.

by Trish McFarlane on November 9, 2009 at 11:03 PM. #

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