I’m in The Hive at #SHRM12, powered by @employersondice. The idea of The Hive is to help HR folk new to social media get started on social media. I love this type of work. Having sent more than 52,000 tweets, it’s easy to forget how it was when we first started out. It’s easy to forget the sheer joy of being followed or having someone, perhaps from a different country, popping up and saying “hi.”
Do you remember your first tweet? My first one was “can anyone see this?” The answer of course was “no” because no one was following me. Understanding came a little later, as did social connections, but for a long time it made no sense. I miss those times. The beauty of beginnings and discovery. A massive evolving journey that would take me across the world by way of a small village in Northampton. It all started with one tweet, one message and a lot of fear. But then it happened.
The question was, as always, what is “it”? I connected with people who looked quite cool and had a lot to say. I tweeted and retweeted a lot. More than the books said I should, but I wanted to stand out. It was scary and exciting at the same time. Who would know it would lead to a business, ending up at #SHRM National working for Dice, sharing the journey and the lessons along the way.
Today I got a reminder of just what “it” is all about. I realize when I attend events like this how many people I know, or more importantly, who know me. Who would believe that 140 character messages could resonate and go so far? And then I met Frank.
Frank came to The Hive. He had heard about this Twitter and wanted some help to send that first tentative tweet. Frank is like a lot of people at #SHRM National. He works in HR for Jet Support Services in Chicago. The Director of HR with MHRM PHR after his name. He wants to go on the Twitter journey, but he needs to be helped on the way, inspired and the fear removed. I wish I had something like The Hive in those days.
I helped Frank navigate his way around twitter.com. To decide on a name, @KDRFrank, and to send that first tweet. Then I replied and asked my friends to follow and say hi. Of course they did, because that’s how we roll. Frank got replies, using the #SHRM12 hashtag. The response and the reply encouraged him. If you are reading this post, please message him. In the early days you need to know people are listening. Remember that?
I taught Frank, but Frank taught me. I’ve taught 56 people so far how to open an account, get rid of the egg and send that first important tweet. What I have learned from all the Franks is what it’s like to start. To send that first message, and I’ve seen the joy of getting a reply and maybe making a new friend. It is why we tweet. We have no strangers here, only friends we haven’t met yet.
To Frank, thanks, enjoy they journey wherever it might take you. @employersondice created the opportunity. They need to be applauded for adding 100’s of new `tweeters from the HR community. Long live the buzz!