Tips for virtual conference attendance

SHRM’s premiere event has just finished and we right in the middle of conference season for North America.  All of these conferences now generate lots of discussions online.  For example was a great conversation that has been going on spearheaded by Your HR Guy, then Amitai Givertz then Your HR Guy and finally by Amitai again on networking and the value of conferences etc.

This all got me thinking what can I find out about the conference online, considering we have several hundred bloggers within the HR community and at least a few of them would be in attendance, other than Joel. Could I attend virtually from Australia?

So I set out on a hunt to find out.

The conference this year has been blogged about by a few people, if you check out this search on Technorati for details, there are a large number of press releases in the results so you have to sift through them to find some real content. But it is really hard to find out what is going on!

There are a couple of tricks that you can use to make it easier for other people to find your content. This is best initially promoted by the conference organisers, if you are one TAKE NOTE!

Firstly create a tag for your event, for example SHRM2006 would be a good one for this year’s conference adding the year makes it easier for people to find content year after year. None posted on Technorati with that tag, but there are a few under just SHRM the Cheez being one.

Next promote the use of the tag to all participants. Make sure everything going onto Del.icio.us, Furl, Flickr etc and into blogs has the same tag. Then others can easily get the content, for example

Then aggregate the tagged feeds into a single RSS feed so we can all virtually experience the event. Maybe look to turning this feed into a “River of News” and project it onto a big screen during conference breaks, lunches etc. This allows everyone to see what is being said online.

Other ideas.

Look at having an IRC channel created for discussions both during and after sessions. This provides an additional method for people to participate even if they are not about to physically attend.

Podcast every single session, and post them at the end of each day. This may shock the average conference organiser but you will get a different audience and if you place advertising correctly within the podcasts your advertisers will get benefits long after the conference has ended.  Also support ad-hoc interviews of the conference, and provide attendees and way of easily publishing them.

Let me know if you have any other good ideas on virtual attendance.

Careers & Job Channel at Netscape.com

I have just unsubscribed from the Netscape Careers & Jobs Channel RSS feed after a couple of weeks.

Why?

The content is terrible!  When I say terrible I mean really terrible.  Over the last week the feed seems to now include many of the top stories from the whole Netscape site.  Today the feed included such wonderful posts such as Jessica Biel pulls a J-Lo, My Promiscuous Gay Lifestyle and Beer parodies of famous movie posters!  Not really related to Careers and Jobs.

I am not sure if this is a bug or what but it is very extremely poor quality.  To make matters worse AOL has just replaced the whole Netscape site with this Digg rip off.

links for 2006-06-29

Over 400 blogs and 500 posts in 24 hours!

We have now broken the 400 blog mark over at community.hrblogs.org, with well over 500 posts in a 24 hour period. Being one who subscribes to the overall RSS feed from the site it is no wonder it is taking me so long to get through my RSS reader!

A quick review on the sites we now have:-

(Update: I got the average numbers wrong a problem with the way I am storing the data they should be right now.) 

Category Number of Sites Highest Technorati Rank Average Technorati Rank
Benefits 2 77,874 731,676
Career Development 32 192 471,107
Education and Learning 72 38 491,513
Employment Brand 6 2,791 228,981
Employment Law 42 13,749 410,246
HR Strategy 66 2,396 728,601
HR Technology 17 49,687 634,962
Knowledge Management 11 2,202 310,163
Labor Movements 6 5,865 318,388
Outsourcing 2 706,869 878,493
Performance 2 29,390 247,709
Recruitment 146 1,309 569,164
Remuneration 2 1,385,479 1,385,479

Categories with the highest recorded Technorati ranks are in the Education & Learning*, Career Development, Recruitment categories. The large average Technorati ranking indicates we have a fairly unpopular community, what I mean is we are not popular with the masses. It also means that using traditional tools like Technorati’s Top 100 blogs or the Feedster Top 500 will not find our sites.

A few months ago I started storing the RSS feeds from all of the sites registered and I now have a total of over 19,000 posts in the database. This got me thinking, who is linking to who, ie do we have an introvert community who links inwards or outwards. I am currently doing some analysis on this, check back soon!
For now on average each site has created 81 posts, however the Labor Movements category has on average posted 651 times for each of the 6 registered sites. When I remove them from the calculations then the average number of posts drops to 33 per blog.

One final note I have added two new categories for sites Job Seekers and General Management, I will look to re-classify some of the sites over the next couple of weeks.

* Just a point to note I am not activitly adding sites to this category there are just too many. For example James Farmer has over 10,000 sites on his edublogs site.

Why we hate HR 2.0 (Will this hurt)?

Fast Company has just posted a counter point to the one and only “Why we hate HR” story from last year.  They list some findings from a survey conducted by  Jacquelyn Thorp Kinworthy, a professor at Cal State-Fullerton and CEO/founder of HR-Coach Products and Services.  In summary:-

1) Companies hire inexperienced and unqualified people to handle HR, but expect them to perform at higher levels than they are qualified.

2) Companies do not invest in HR as they do in other departments.

3) Many small to medium size companies have HR people that are strategic partners.

Read the post for their thoughts but what do you think?

New sites in the HR blogging community

I have just been added a few new sites over at community.hrblogs.org, a few I found, and a few who submitted themselves.  The newest sites in the community are:-

Get Career

Confessions of an HR Director

Focus on Talent and Workforce Performance

Australian HR Technology Thoughts

MAPping Company Success

Charles A. Krugel, Labor & Employment Law, HR Law

Welcome to the HR blogosphere!

Tools for bloggers

Darren Rowse has released is list of A – Z of Professional Blogging a fantastic list of 124 different tools and services for the professional and not so professional blogger. Some of the ones that jumped out at me were (they are not necessarily new or the only ones in their market segment they just stood out):-

How to manage gaming geeks, or any geek for that matter

Just finished listening to show number 51 from The Cranky Middle Manager Show where Wayne spends time chatting with Matt Manuel from EA who looks after the development of FIFA 2006.

A great show with some really interesting ideas covering on-boarding, peer mentoring, and team management. It seems that a number of the manager’s at EA regularly listen to the show along with another management podcast Manager Tools.
EA sounds like a very dynamic organisation trialing new ideas both internally and externally.