#ConnectingHR 2: The Square Pig & a Well-Rounded Community

In a similar vein to @TheHRD, I could well indeed reel off a list of trivial facts about last night’s #ConnectingHR tweet-up:

•    I went into the evening believing that stickers would be easier to manage than badges.  Much to the delight of the aforementioned anonymous blogger (whose shirt was anything but), I was wrong. Apologies to everyone whose sticker I ripped…
•    Staff at The Square Pig use a bucket for their wine measures – great news for those who like a vat of vino in the evening; bad news for a collective gaggle of HR heads this morning.
•    @garyfranklin has some amazing ties.
•    @garelaos brushes his hands through his hair when he’s had a few shandies.

Now, those that know me will know that although very true, these ‘observations’ are indeed intended to be tongue-in-cheek.  If I desist from being facetious for one minute, allow me to draw your attention to what were, for me, the ‘real’ points from last night:

•    @mattalder and @garyfranklin KNOW LinkedIn.  The introduction of two informal ‘discussion’ groups for people who wanted to know more about Twitter (with @rapidbi) or LinkedIn were an excellent way to steer the conversation from World Cup football to Social Media and HR.
•    Expectation does NOT always spoil a party.  I had feared that after the success of #ConnectingHR, where no-one had really known what to expect, last night wouldn’t live up to the hype.  Happily for all involved, it did.
•    This is a point that @mervyndinnen has made many times in his excellent blog, but people really are ‘like’ their Twitter personas in real life.  Social Media isn’t full of people ‘acting up to an avatar’ or portraying a ‘manufactured identity’ – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook – they are all extensions of us as people.
•    There really is no substitution for face-to-face networking.  There’s no denying the fact that Social Media allows people to connect with relevant, interesting people that they wouldn’t normally have met, but this does not make the need for ‘face time’ redundant.  Social Media is simply a channel that can increase – and enhance – interaction prior to establishing ‘in-person’ relationships.

I’m not strictly an ‘HR person’ per se, so I was always wary about whether I would be a viable member of the ‘community’ – but nothing could be further from the truth.  The beauty of #ConnectingHR is that everyone there had something to offer – yet everyone was equally willing to learn from other people.

I remain adamant that HR and marketing are natural bedfellows and will continue to merge as Social Media plays an increasingly prevalent role in personal and professional life.  And you know what?  Informal tweet-ups such as #ConenctingHR are simply one of the many ways in which this shared pooling of knowledge and support will continue to benefit us all.


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