While others are busy disclosing their resolutions for becoming leaner, smarter and more productive people and professionals in the upcoming year, I am a bit more reflective and need to update my status on the Beta phase of Project Social. While not a lot may be apparent beyond the change in location of this blog, behind the scenes a great deal of effort has been invested in achieving a few short-term goals.
I first spoke with my mentor and confidante Lisa Rosendahl about 2 months ago. Aside from discovering that we have a lot in common, we landed on some specific objectives that I would commit to achieving with her guidance and feedback. Here they are, along with a brief progress report:
1. Move my blog to its own site using WordPress. This one initially seemed like it would be a relatively easy objective to accomplish. But, this has actually consumed a major portion of the time that I have devoted to this project. At many points along the course, I cursed, questioned and wondered why I decided to undertake such a technical transformation when I had no background or training in anything technical. The time that I have spent on the website has been time away from writing content. At this point, I have a domain, the basic structure of the site is developed, I’ve successfully transferred posts and comments from the Blogger site, and I’ve managed to not melt (or intentionally destroy) any computers in the process. While it has been work (and a whole lot of dumb luck), I can see the future benefits to having my own site. I think it was worth the effort despite the work that still lies ahead. If I can do it, most people can.
2. Increase blog traffic and get reader comments. Considering where I started, this wasn’t exactly a stretch goal. This is also the most measurable objective that I had. Because this is still in a stage of infancy, I am pleased to have regained the site traffic that was building at the Blogger location at the time of transition in November. A big change in measuring this is now using Google Analytics instead of the Stats available on the Blogger platform; the former is a very powerful tool that will be very helpful as things begin to build. I am also excited about having received comments and feedback from readers and other bloggers over the past month. While I enjoy writing posts, the interaction with others is where the real value lies. I appreciate the time that others take to read, comment on and share the posts with others.
3. Find my blogging voice and develop a theme for HR Soot. A huge benefit to having a SM mentor was the gift of honest feedback that I received from Lisa. Her willingness to tell me exactly what she thought (from a place of experience), what she read, and how I could improve things (from themes to the layout of the blog pages) saved me a great deal of time. While I will continue to experiment with many of these elements, how I write, and what I write in the future is more clearly defined. In 2011 you can look for posts that are more specific to the work of Trench HR and leadership, and the learning that is occurring from experience (translated: my screw ups and epiphanies). I have also committed to creating an editorial calendar, and to posting more consistently – every 10-14 days until my schedule allows for more frequency.
4. Continue to engage with others on Twitter, LinkedIn, and locally. If you read my second Project Social post, you may recall that I have lived most of my professional life in a cave. Over the past few months I have crawled out, reached out to others, engaged in dialogue, joined and participated in numerous HR groups, and have made a number of incredible professional connections. To my surprise, nobody has bitten off my head; a minority of folks have chosen not to respond or engage (which is fine), but most have been very welcoming. The longer I remain engaged in SM, the more possibilities that I see for networking, collaborating and learning.
The biggest bang for the Project Social buck is the access to and interaction with those who are already well versed, and well connected in SM. Rather than totally learning on my own, I’ve been able to cheat and leverage the knowledge and connections of those involved in Project Social. Here are what some of the Other Project Social folks think:
Victorio Milian - Creative Chaos Consultant
Ben Eubanks - Upstart HR
Dave Ryan - The HR Official
Laura Schroeder - Working Girl
Lisa Rosendahl - Simply Lisa
What do you think?
[Photo courtesy of jscreationzs at freedigitalphotos.net]