… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Echoes

Best. Venn Diagram. Ever.

So last night I was listening to the HR Happy Hour as they were talking about the echo chamber in the HR blogoshpere, and really, social media in general. As I was listening, I was playing around with Google+, keeping an eye on Twitter, and messing around in WordPress on one of my blogs (yes, ONE of them as in I have multiple blogs). And now I want to discuss this echo chamber, on my HR blog. Good lord, that’s like social media irony overload. Alanis Morrisette would have a field day. Or it’s like a really bad joke. A priest, a rabbi, and an HR Blogger join Facebook…

Anyway, I thought it was a great discussion that could have gone on much longer than the 1 hour show, so I do recommend having a listen. Now, this “echo chamber” isn’t a new conversation; in true style it has been bouncing around for a while. Social media gives everyone this great opportunity to get out there and be exposed to new ideas, people, and ways of looking at the world. It can be a scary, wonderful experience. But after some fun forays into the new, it makes sense that you might want to settle into a group that is familiar and related to what you do everyday, such as an HR Pro settling into the HR blogosphere. We like people who are like us.

Thus you get echo chambers, cliques, in-groups, and “thought-leaders”. And really, that’s not a bad thing. Last year, I asked “Is the HR Online Community a Clique?” and I came to the same conclusion. Yes, it is a clique/echo chamber and that’s not bad. It just is. Why should we try to be anything else? Social media is a very self-motivated and self-obsessed type of enterprise. People distribute information about themselves and the things they are interested in. It only makes sense that the biggest audience for that are people who are interested in the same things.

But it’s not just limited to those people. Once your content is out there, EVERYONE has an opportunity to stumble upon it. If they like it they may stick around for a while. If not, they will move on. And that is the real beauty of social media. Content is king and if you have something worthwhile to say or contribute to the space, people will pay attention. And even if they don’t, who cares? Do social media for you, not for anyone else, and don’t worry about that silly echo chamber. Otherwise, what’s the point?

(Image credit to Casey Rae-Hunter at Despair Inc., you can buy the T-shirt here)

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