SHRM12’s the hive: Social Media Pros Champs of Volunteerism

Dawn Burke Conferences, Good HR, SHRM, Social Media

Readers– before you start reading, get out your pens, write down and connect with the people on this post.  You won’t regret it.

Bloggers may be jaded BUT they also have a tremendous desire to give back, teach and mentor.  I saw social media education and the spirit of volunteerism at its best in SHRM12’s The HIVE.

Don’t you love the name “the hive”.  The name conjures up a lot of intrigue:  Cool, a little scary, a place you’re not too sure is safe to enter…but still curious to check out. In the spirit of sharing some interesting happenings, I think the HIVE was one of the most impressive and interesting additions this year.

The HIVE is the brainchild of Curtis Midkiff, Director of Social Engagement for SHRM.  He as well as some other heavy SHRM hitters have been systematically embracing and ultimately improving the social media presence at the national conference.  The HIVE was a centralized hangout at SHRM12 specifically designed for social media education.

For years SHRM seemed to be fairly disinterested in the social media movement.  Until they realized their members were interested.  Very interested.

So the HIVE was born.  And…an important tidbit… it was very well attended by conference attendees.  Big clue that trench HR pros desire more info on the subject.

The HIVE included a presentation stage that offered 15 to 45 minute mini-sessions dedicated to educating on various social media topics.  Some of the presenters included DICE, Ryan Estis, Gerry Crispin, Craig Fisher and live broadcasts from DriveThruHR. Oh, and lest I forget….

Drum roll please….

The FOT show.  Yes, yours truly along with FOTers Tim Sackett, Steve Boese and Paul Hebert gave a most stellar talk/Q&A on blogging.  Not only did we field some great questions…but Paul Hebert almost decided to take his shirt off (the AC was out for a while).

In addition, there were “smart bars” similar in concept to the Genius Bars at Apple.  Here a variety of seasoned HR Bloggers and Social Media Experts volunteered to help any wandering soul who wanted a little help on really, whatever.  A few peeps I saw volunteering were Jeff Waldman, Ben Eubanks, Matt Stollak, Heather Ann Dutcher, Paul Smith and Laurie Ruettimann.  A good (and motley) crew to point peeps in the right direction.

Feedback from social media pros indicated most attendees wanted assistance with twitter, employment branding, and getting over their fears of the overall media.   Jeff Waldman, COO of SocialHR stated, “it was an awesome experience all around… I think we achieved an awesome goal of getting HR pros into the world of social”

But it looks like social media may still be in the infancy stages in the bigger HR world.  Volunteer Matt Stollak, associate professor of business administration at  St. Norbert college said, “(This was a) great experience .  Glad to (have) helped people starting out with social media. (It’s) interesting to see even years later the barriers that exist with social media”

What does this mean for all of you HR pros?

Social media is here.

What does this mean for all of you conference coordinators?

  • Include an interactive way for your attendees to learn about social media. Showing a powerpoint isn’t quite enough.

What does this mean for Bloggers?

  • Your really aren’t jaded weirdoes.  Just pretty cool peeps.

Congrats to Curtis MidKiff and the SHRM crew.  Well Done.