I’ve been gearing up for the 10 year anniversary celebration of the Carnival of HR and, as we all know, I enjoy nothing more than a good party! The Carnival was started in 2007 by Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady) who passed the reins over to Alison Green (@AskAManager) in 2008 before everything was handed off to Shauna Moerke-Griffis (@HR_Minion) in 2009; in January 2016 Shauna passed on the stewardship to me…and that means I get to plan the festivities!

So over the weekend I tossed a query out on Facebook to assist me in building the timeline of HR blogging. Who was first? Who wrote what…and where? Has Laurie always been blogging or does it just seem like that? Was there chocolate involved? Who brought the wine? And/or the G&Ts for our friends in the UK?

There was lots of reminiscing about which HR bloggers were the entre-drugs (my phrase) into HR blog reading; Kris Dunn, Laurie Ruettimann, Neil Morrison, Lance Haun, Ann Bares (and the crew at Compensation Cafe), ERE and Recruiting Blogs made many a list.  And, since this is my space, let me add some of my early blogging faves:  Trish McFarlane, Jessica Miller-Merrell, Steve Boese, Ben Eubanks, Bill Boorman, Sharlyn Lauby, Paul Hebert and Mike VanDervort.

Just the tip of the iceberg.

The Original Gangstas

 

Most everyone agrees that the Godfather of HR blogging was (and remains) John Sumser. John started Interbiznet in 1993, that, according to Inc. was … “a self-proclaimed Web hub for on-line recruiting… an easy-to-navigate site that, in addition to rating the top job-listing sites, also provides regular newsletters about recruiting on-line.” John, of course, remains at the forefront with HRExaminer (plus all the other things he does).

 

 

Early 1990’s – Bill Vick starts doing recorded telephone interviews

1994 – a few words from Gerry Crispin: “the first person I ever encountered ‘writing’ on the web about HR was John Sullivan who was driving academics crazy. He was using Cornell’s HR Listservs (which by the way were all managed by a grad/new professor name of Boudreau). John totally pissed off the academics who dominated in those days – which is how I tracked John down.”

1996 (May) – SHRM registers SHRM.org

1996 – CollegeRecruiter is registered by Steven Rothberg

1996 – Gerry Crispin (and Career XRoads) starts an email newsletter

1997 – Debbie McGrath registers HR.com; the deal included a case of Canadian Beer

1998 – David Manaster starts ERE (which, of course, was called “Electronic Recruiting Exchange”)

1998 – Kevin Wheeler writes his first blog post for ERE (and then began his regular column)

1998 – Barb Ling writes the book “The Internet Recruiting Edge” which leads to this August 1, 1998 article in Inc. entitled“What’s Hot: On-Line Recruiting” featuring this classic line: “…there are anywhere from 250,000 to 1 million World Wide Web sites that list job openings. That’s pretty daunting.”

1999 – a newsletter of sourcing tips is distributed called “The Sourceror’s Apprentice” (as remembered by Jim Stroud) (extra points if anyone remembers the author?)

The Young Turks

Young Turk (n), 1. Young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party. 2. Young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations

2000 – Louise Triance launches UK Recruiter on October 18th – the newsletter has been sent fortnightly ever since! #Props

2001 – Bonni Lile Titgemeyer starts the Employment Opportunities List

2002 – Jim Stroud begins blogging

2002/03 – Heather Hamilton launches a company blog with Microsoft

2004 – launch of RecruitingBlogs by Jason Davis; later there’s a launch of Recruitingblogswap.com for content sharing

2004 – Animal and Anthony Meaney begins Canadian Headhunter in 2004. Animal, of course, was all over radio even then!

2004 – Laurie Ruettimann starts blogging “anonymously” (and went public in August 2007)

2004 – Joel Cheesman / Cheezhead (which runs until 2009)

2004 – Steve Levy writes the first post at Recruiting Inferno (November 16th) – The Case for Character

2005 – Paul DeBettignes begins blogging

2005 – Travis Sinquefield launches his blog “Disorganized Behavior”

2005 – (circa) – Steve Toft (@FlipChartRick) begins blogging

2006 – Peter Gold launches HireStrategies

2006 – Paul Hebert writes his first post as “Incentive intelligence”

2006 – Michael Haberman launches HR Observations

2006 – Peggy McKee – gives us Medical Sales Recruiter blog

The Golden Age (2007 – 20013/ish)

A golden age is a period in a field of endeavor when great tasks were accomplished. The term originated from early Greek and Roman poets, who used it to refer to a time when mankind lived in a better time and was pure. (wikipedia)

Here’s where things picked up and there are, literally, too many to name them all. I, in a very unscientific manner, am choosing 2007 – 2013 as the Golden Age. Why? I guess because I saw people starting blogs for their love of writing or eagerness to have a conversation with the world. Beginning in 2013 (ish) <unscientific…remember??> it appeared it was more about content-machines designed to drive eyeballs to company websites, and, the individuals who did want to start a blog on their own began to do so to “build a brand.” (I am not even kidding when I tell you that here in the year 2017 I have recently had one HR practitioner say to me “I think I need to start a blog to establish my brand.” FFS).

2007 – Jon Ingham – launches Strategic HCM (July)

2007 – Jessica Miller-Merrell launches Blogging4Jobs in September (recently relaunched as Workology)

2007 – Mike Vandervort gives us the HumanRaceHorses blog (he published 1.530 posts before ending new content on the site in 2014)

2008 – Steve Boese kicks off the HR Technology blog

 

And hundreds of new HR blogs hit the interwebs. Hundreds. (The HRSchoolhouse was launched in 2010; I, myself, was not immune).

This was also the time of #HRHappyHour and #DrivethruHR.

Fistful of Talent was running strong and we saw the surge of other multi-contributor blogs like Performance I Create, Recruiting Daily <everything old is new again from the Recruiting Blogs family>, and TLNT and the other sites under the ERE family.

*********

Whew.  Quite a trip down memory lane!  I didn’t name-check loads of people; I know. Who do we need to add? Hit me up in the comments and let’s expand the list.

And don’t forget to watch for the SPECIAL 10 year anniversary edition  (February 21st) of the Carnival of HR when we celebrate all things HR blogging!

The Unofficial (and totally non-scientific) History of HR Blogging
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2 thoughts on “The Unofficial (and totally non-scientific) History of HR Blogging

  • February 8, 2017 at 8:54 am
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    Thanks for including me, Robin. I don’t recall the year when I started blogging but I think it was roughly 2004 give or take a couple of years.

    I must have started blogging well before January 2007 as that’s when I registered the domain, RecruitingBlogswap.com, and automated a content sharing service started by Jason Davis a/k/a Slouch. It was a pretty slick system and worked quite well for a while. You could choose to either be an author or publisher or both. Authors would submit articles and they’d automatically be assigned to the publisher who had not received an article for the longest period of time. They had something like five calendar days to publish the article and verify that by submitting the URL. Our system would scan the page and compare the title and other elements to the original article. If there was a match, our system notified the author that the article was published and provided them with the URL.

    The publisher had three choices: publish and verify, respond that they were passing on the article, or not respond. If they responded that they were passing, the article went to the next publisher in-line. If the publisher did not respond after something like five days then our system notified them not to publish and passed the article to the next publisher in-line.

    At its height, we had several dozen HR authors and publishers and facilitated the publishing of hundreds of guest articles. Each article included a blurb at the bottom that it was provided courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap (with a link), a service of CollegeRecruiter.com (with a link). College Recruiter also had the right to publish any of the articles and we published most of them on our site.

    There was no charge to the author or publisher. What College Recruiter got out of the deal was additional content and the links.

    Reply
  • February 8, 2017 at 12:10 pm
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    Jason Davis’s Recruiting Blogs was originally Recruiting.com, a multi-author blog that would get bought by Jobster in 2006. Granted, I wrote for it and am biased, but the 2005 growth of Recruiting.com and affiliated blogs was central to definition of recruiting and HR blogs.

    Also – most of the archives for StlRecruiting.com, started in September of 2004, are still alive at DigitalMarketingHeadhunter.com. That was possibly the first local recruiting blog. I just moved the url over when I moved to Dallas.

    Reply

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