Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

Google+ Has taken off
The most interesting thing about Google+ so far (let me know if you need an invite) is the light it casts on the entire spectrum of social media. I’ve found that my attention is drifting away from the cluttered marketplaces on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to the more conversational environment on G+.

That may have more to do with my approach to the existing tools than it as to do with G+.

I’ve always envisioned the big three social sites as traffic developmenyt platforms for the HRExaminer. By posting a combination of interesting cintent and pointers to material on the Examiner, I hoped to create traffic to the website. I needed to build large groups of followers in order to generate traffic. While I treated this process with a great deal of care, there was nothing particularly social about the way I used social media.

You might describe that as a transactional approach to social media.

Recently, I’ve been learning alot from my elders.

Bill Kutik, whose carefully curated HRTech LinkedIn group is an amazing exercise in community development. devotes a focused hour per day to his work on LinkedIn. Along the way, he’s mastered the art of gracefully running a forum. If you want to see community in action, visit Bill’s stomping grounds.

Howard Rheingold, who I had the pleasure of working with for a couple of years, has turned his attention to the transformation of education. I’ve been taking classes in his experimental pop-up university on Social Media Literacy and Cooperation.

I’m in the process of liberating the best ideas from both of these pioneers and embedding them in my work.

Google+ happened along just as I began to realize the potential of collaborative conversation. It turns out that having good questions trumps having good answers every day of the week. So, I’m trying to figure out a new way of thinking and communicating. Google plus is the excuse.

In the classes at RheingoldU, each co-learner is expected to keep up a blog and an active role in the forums associated with the class. It’s taxing and one learns alot. It’s an environment in which the idea that learning requires discomfort has a home.

While I’ve always tried to provoke thought in my work, it’s often been a one sided barrage. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to keep doing that. This summer, I learned that collaboration can also be thought provoking.

I had no idea.

If you’d like, look me up on G+. I think it’s an interesting place to start a dialog about how social media works in HR and Recruiting. I’m imagining a series of conversations that build and evolve rather than the more argumentative stuff that you see on the web and hear in the media.

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