Carnival of HR - 4/27/11 Edition

by Matthew Stollak on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

With the HREvolution Unconference looming this weekend, I have the enviable task of providing the pre-conference Carnival of HR.  As noted earlier, since HREvolution should be about evolving and change, the blog posts I want should answer one of the following questions:

1.  What was your favorite blog post you ever read and why?
2.  What was the blog post that pushed or influenced you to evolve and change and why?
3.  What was the blog post that influenced you to get into blogging and why?

Let's get to the results:

R.J. Morris nominated Steve Boese's "PBR, Irony, and Duct Tape."  According to R.J., "Steve does an incredible job of taking the reader somewhere unexpected.  He weaves marketing, youth rebellion, branding and the decline of manufacturing into a powerful story about being a father and the irony of generational differences.  It’s a very powerful post."

Steve Browne nominated Paul Smith's "Songs About Work 3-D."   In Steve's words, "I began reading Paul long before I started a blog myself.  It was so cool that he combined music with work because I have been doing that for the past 8 years through the HR Net, and I didn’t know that anyone else in HR made the connection.  Paul’s blog keeps it real.  He is genuine, poignant, thoughtful and edgy.  I like that in HR and identify with it.  Living on the edge of HR is so much more exciting vs. fighting from the inside out."

William Gould nominated Charlie Judy's "The Care and Feeding of Your CFO."  According to William, "(Charlie's blog) was one of the first HR blogs that I found and read; his writing certainly influenced my decision to create a blog of my own (HR Soot).  What struck me most about Charlie's writing was his raw honesty, direct approach to real HR issues, and the authenticity which pushed against the traditional, neutral HR voice.   Since the summer of 2010, I've discovered a number of great blogs and bloggers, and have grown to appreciate and respect the progressive, business-minded HR professionals that exist in the spaces between the traditional HR noise.  But, Charlie's blog was the one that ignited an idea in my mind that perhaps I too should join the public discussion about what HR could be in the future."

New to Twitter and blogging, Chris Fields, cites the inspiration for his blog is the Evil HR Lady herself, Suzanne Lucas.  In his most recent blog post, Chris writes, "... while researching human resource blogs, I came across the Evil HR Lady. The moniker was enough to intrigue me and her articles and postings were pretty good too. They were thought provoking, insightful and informative. At the time, I was still not sure if this was something that I wanted to be involved in and not sure if blogs really had an impact. Until one day, I read a post ("Why Workplace Bullying Should Be Legal") and the subsequent comments, the post was about bullying. The article made excellent points about passing legislation regarding bullying but the reaction was down right, wrong!  It got ugly, and personal.....She responded with intelligence, respect and just a bit of clarity.....I gained more respect for the Evil HR Lady....Suzanne Lucas, Evil HR Lady, thanks, you helped me to blog."  Check out Chris' blog for his full contribution.

In her post, "Relationship: Transparency and Trust,"  Lynn Dessert cites as her inspiration Penelope Trunk's "How to Decide How Much to Reveal About Yourself."  Lynn writes, "I was hooked. I spent hours reading about her raw life experiences, marveling in her resilience.  Sure, I walked away with – wow she’s gone through and deals with a lot of crap. However, what sticks in my mind is that she is a survivor with real life experiences. She gets it. And I would love to talk to or meet her, even though she is a private person."  Check out Lynn's blog for her full contribution.

In his post, "The Community DJ and Me," Mervyn Dinnen expresses his praise for Paul Jacobs' "Community DJ." Mervyn writes, "I loved this post because it was simple and well written. The perfect blog. Three paragraphs…one to pose a question, the next to provide an answer, and the final one to explain why." Check out Mervyn's blog for his full contribution.

Dwane Lay gives praise to Trish McFarlane's "I'm Engaged At Work, Are You?" and Paul Smith's "License to HR" as the posts that inspired him to start writing.   Dwane writes, "I went back to the first posts on their blogs I could find where I commented.  I’m not saying my comments were all the witty or important, but any post that gets someone new in the space to add their voice is, to me, an important one."  Read about Dwane's first encounter with Trish and Paul, as well as his further thoughts on this topic here.

Bill Boorman cites three posts as his inspiration.  The first is written by his son.  Bill says, "A bit egotistical but when you read it you will understand it. This post is by my 11 year old son on his old blog, To Be frank. Read it and you will understand why it brought tears to my eyes. A complete surprise and best birthday present ever!"  The second is from Steve Newsom when he announced to the world that he was living with cancer.  Bill states, "It’s very moving.  Whenever I’m drawn to feeling stressed, I reach to these posts for hope and inspiration. Without doubt they have shown me the value of living for now, and this post made me extra thankful for what I have over what I don’t."  Lastly, Bill cites his own guest post.  Bill clarifies, "This post didn’t inspire me to blog, it got me blogging. Jeff lipschultz asked me to guest post. Hard to believe that it was only June 2009. I have since written 400+ posts, before being asked I hadn’t considered blogging. I include it not because I wrote it, but to emphasize the importance of asking others to guest for you who have never posted before."

In "Welcome to My House of Words," Ian Welsh discusses his initial entry into the world of blogs, "They seemed really lively. I wanted to join in, but felt nervous about writing the wrong things. I got over that."  He then cites three blog posts worth noting, "I enjoyed the discussions, and then came the beckoning of the blogs. Great stuff written by great people. My first comment was on Mike Travis’, Liars in the Executive Suite post, which, I believe, still holds the record for the most comments (39) on the HR site. I joined Ira Wolfe’s Geeks and Geezers with a couple of comments and otherwise cruised around and particularly to the exotic places Rebecca Morgan (Grow Your Key Talent) described to us. Bit by bit I was being drawn in and loving the lure of the blogs."  Read Ian's full discussion at the above link.   

In "The Start of It All," Shauna Moerke shares the story of her journey into blogging, "I have always said that I credit (blame) my start in blogging to Kris Dunn,The HR Capitalist. His was the first HR blog I ever read and it was from his Blogroll that I expanded my horizons to the Evil HR Lady, Laurie Ruettimann, Lance Haun, and Jenn Barnes (HR Wench I miss your blog and you!"  She concludes, "So big hugs to you KD, for inspiring all of this! You still have one of the best blogs out there and I know I’m not the only one who has benefited from your example. Here’s to you, Cheers!"  Check out Shauna's full discussion at the above link.

To close, I share my own thoughts on the questions.  The inspiration for this blog came from the Cynical Girl herself, Laurie Ruettimann, who pushed me into blogging at the 2009 SHRM Annual Conference in New Orleans (I can faintly hear her saying "sucker" under her breath).   Meanwhile, my favorite blog post was Josh LeTourneau's "Social Recruiting 3.0 - Fast Forward to the Era of Leveraging Conversation and Social Interaction." With its unique perspective and detail, it represents, to me, the apex of blogging and is something for other HR bloggers to emulate and aspire to.

Thanks to all the contributors, and to those who helped to inspire them. 


Awesome job putting this all together Matt!!! Hugs!

by HR Minion on April 27, 2011 at 7:30 AM. #

Yes, indeed, this is amazing. I know there is a lot of work put into this. Thank you.

by costofwork on April 27, 2011 at 7:49 AM. #

A true Carnival of HR inspiration with great posts and an opportunity to experience the best, from all perspectives.

Thanks, Matt


by Ian Welsh on April 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM. #

Thanks so much to RJ for submitting my piece and for the very kind words. Super job putting this together, Matt.

by Steve Boese on April 27, 2011 at 7:16 PM. #

Matt - This was a great topic - to examine the impetus and inspiration for blogging. Thank you for the inclusion.

by Lynn Dessert on April 28, 2011 at 7:16 AM. #

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