Join the Club. Or Not.

club clubhouse

I’ve tried to like Clubhouse. I really have. I joined on January 1 of this year, dutifully invited other people and have popped in to assorted rooms on a variety of topics a few times each week.  

I don’t like it.

Apparently I’m in the minority (of the minority; more on that later). Clubhouse has 10 million weekly active users and is ranked #5 in the Apple App Store under the Social Networking category. In January the app was downloaded 2.3 million times and 30% of all downloads have happened since then.

Look; I love checking out new tech and new social networks although I have never been the sort to “force” myself to become an active user just because it’s the newest thing (reference my early-adopted and very very very inactive Snapchat and TikTok accounts). And Clubhouse, for all the buzz, just annoys me on a visceral level.  

  • Exclusivity.  Between the invite only aspect of the beta rollout and the fact it’s only available to iPhone/iOS users, it feels like yet another access tool that pits the haves vs. have-nots.
  • Data Security. Clubhouse collects users’ contact lists as the only way to send invites is to share your contacts. Furthermore, the transmission of data and discussions to both an unaffiliated Android app and, potentially, the Chinese government, raises some serious concerns.
  • Designed for “Influencers.” We’re in the age of the self-anointed celebrity; a world in which IG likes and viral tweets are, for far too many, their raison d’etre. Clubhouse, with an eye towards monetization and revenue, has built the app with this in mind.  (and if there’s anything worse than “thought leaders” it’s “influencers”). Even in this nascent stage I have found the posturing and self-promotion of far too many Clubhouse users to be absolutely vomit-inducing.
  • Trolls and Grifters have Arrived. Back in September, the conversation in a room devolved into anti-Semitic stereotyping. Ali Alexander, in hiding (and raising money!) after organizing #StopTheSteal that kicked off the Jan 6th insurrection at the capital, still has time to host Clubhouse sessions.

And to boot, even aside from those items listed above, I just really don’t get the appeal of the entire experience. Oh sure; there are similarities to podcasts but this feels different. Like everyone is trying too hard.

If I want to hang out on yet another conference call and listen to folks pontificate I can convene a meeting at work or join a SHRM webinar. If I want background noise while working I can fire up my Spotify or run some HGTV shows in the background. If I need to get in the mood a la Jeffrey Toobin I can certainly find a better way.

Am I still “in” the club? Yeah I am. I’m the wallflower at the 7th grade dance trying to figure out why-exactly-in-the-hell everyone is so amped up.

I don’t get it. And doubt I ever will.


Oh. And if you want to try the NEXT next thing – you can get in on the beta of Space or wait to join @TwitterSpaces. which is moving fast.


I Hate Twitter’s 280-Character Limit

At the risk of sounding like the crabby old neighbor lady, waving an upraised fist and shouting “get off my lawn,” let me just say that I despise Twitter’s 280-character limit.

With a passion.

I’ve been hanging on Twitter since 2008, have participated in hundreds of organized chats, been known to tweet along at many a conference or event (one of my annual faves – #rexcomus – just happened), and have relied on the flow of my Twitter stream for both breaking news and levity.

But I am getting exhausted.

I jumped into a chat yesterday and quickly hopped off; I just could not even make the attempt to read the volumes of words flowing down the screen. There were WALLS of text as participants pontificated and wrote lengthy paragraphs when a simple idea or answer would have sufficed.

The fun of a Twitter chat, for me, has always been the fast-pace with quick-hitting (sometime edgy) comments; the platform was designed for rapid-fire banter and discussion.

Not anymore.

When Twitter expanded the available real estate it simply led to more rambling. Gone are the days of users relying on brevity with the need to be succinct, clear and concise.

If you want to be verbose do it on Facebook.

Or LinkedIn; I don’t read much over there anymore either.


Getting Sexy at #SHRM16 – Snapchat Style

snapchatI apologize ahead of time. This blog post may very well provide a vision of me, sitting on my porch in the 90 degree heat of a south Louisiana summer, yelling at the kids as they ride their bikes up and down my street.

I don’t like Snapchat.

Oh…I totally “get” Snapchat. I understand the appeal and see why it’s grown by leaps and bounds (especially amongst the 12 – 24 or 34 or whatever demographic).

But I don’t like it.

At all.

God knows I’m an ‘early’ adopter of most anything; Yo? ‘Ello? invites to every beta thing I can scrounge? Yes, yes and yes.  Good grief; I’ve had a Snapchat account since early 2014 (maybe end of 2013?? I dunno) and distinctly recall sending a snap to a friend with whom I was having lunch in Atlanta. It might well have been my first one and was a spectacular picture of the ketchup bottle. I tried to drum up some interest. We both tried to be amused.

Neither of us were amused.

I think I have sent exactly 1 snap since that auspicious beginning. I also received a fair number of male-genitalia “snaps” before I realized I didn’t have to, you know, open the stuff from random unknown people.

Interestingly enough no one seemed to really give a crap about Snapchat until all-of-a-sudden it seemed to explode, simultaneously, into the consciousness of my young-professional/Gen-X/even-the-Boomers circle of friends, family and acquaintances.

And then, heading into #SHRM16,  SHRM hopped on the bandwagon. Lord. I have yet to decide whether this will take Snapchat amongst the general middle-aged populace into the stratosphere of popularity or foreshadow a rapid (like by the end of 2016) decline. After all, once your mom, grandma, or the HR-lady-wearing-capri-pants-and-a-cardigan gets on Snapchat… it’s all over; know what I mean?

Listen…there are people doing fun and awesome stuff in the recruiting/HR space on Snapchat; check this great post (featuring loads of smart and innovative people) from my friend Lars Schmidt at Amplify Talent.

I adore these people; but I’m just not feeling it.

And then SHRM decided to go full-tilt on Snapchat for #SHRM16. Again – people I love and adore chiming in on this, is totally (totes!!) PUSHING Snapchat:

Noble effort and I can applaud it but it strikes me as pissing into the wind; I just don’t see the average SHRM member/Annual Conference attendee spending his/her day snapping away between sessions on “The 3 Most Important Things to do for 2016 FLSA Compliance” and “Claim Your Seat! How to Be a Strategic HR Business Partner.”

I predict this will be like the e-n-d-l-e-s-s experiment to get HR gals/guys (with egg avatars!!!!) to tweet MADLY for the 4 days they’re living it up in the conference city after which, of course, they immediately forget they even have a Twitter account until 365 days later when it’s time for the next go-round.

I should be happy I guess; SHRM is attempting to appeal to the masses in a current and youthful (wow!) way. And, interestingly enough, on a channel where it’s a bit harder to measure the efforts of one’s efforts/engagement.

I truly do hope it’s fun for everyone; I just hope I don’t get any genitalia-snaps from SHRM attendees……

Now #GetOffMyLawn


An Idea Worth Sharing: HR Style

coke-mean-joeThe other day, while sitting in a track at #rcnvstexas thinking deep thoughts about the future of work and HR and whatnot, I received a text message from a friend. It was a simple one. It was also one of the Top 10 most boring phrases every human resources professional must employ in her career: “I have to write a safety management plan.”

Now that’s some #sexyHR.

And, the wheels of commerce being in constant motion, this meant she needed to (a) write this plan in a week and (b) roll it out – presumably with the accompanying training for employees, managers and company leaders.

Yup. #SuperSexyHR

My friend followed up her original text message with another SMS: “do you by any chance have a plan I can use as a template?”

Luckily, since I save e-v-e-r-y- t-h-i-n-g, I was able to say “I sure do; give me a few and I’ll email it to you.”

Which I did.

Social. Sharing. Somewhat detailed. Not necessarily cutting edge content of course; pretty pedestrian when all was said and done. Kind of dull and, let’s face it, probably google-able. The kind of stuff that bores some people to tears. “OMG…I would stab a fork in my eye if I had to do that kind of crap.” Real day-to-day trench HR. Mind-numbing to some; comforting to others.

Necessary to many.

That 5 minute interaction between colleagues, in its ultimate simplicity, defines the foundation of open source HR. #HROS is, as defined by Lars Schmidt and Ambrosia Vertesis, “a movement designed to encourage employers to open up their HR playbook, share their best practices, inspire and learn from their peers in talent acquisition and management.”

The vision of #HROS is to transform the field of HR to become more strategic and innovative with values of:

  • Sharing is caring (openness)
  • Have an impact (action)
  • The community is greater than the individual (humility)
  • Learn through collaboration (inspire)

Do the HR gals and guys at your local SHRM chapter meeting yearn to be more strategic? More innovative? Are they consumed by desire to set the world on fire? Well…not all of them. But some of them.

I do believe, I really do, that more and more and more HR practitioners are restless. They want to bust out and try something different. They crave new information. They want to be inspired.

We who work in HR, especially in fly-over country (aka not Santa Clara. Not NYC. Not London) may feel as if we’re the only ones slogging about with spreadsheets and word documents. Streaming is banned. There’s no wifi at the office. “For the love of G-*-D I have worse technology at work than I do at home!!” has been the keening lament of many an HR lady.

We sometimes feel like the only ones in an analog world while everyone else is living digital.

But you’re not alone, my fellow HR practitioner. You’re never alone when you have access to people. When you have access to ideas.

Is a safety management plan inspiring? Innovative? Transformative? Maybe not. But it’s shareable.

And sharing…IS caring.


Check out HR Open Source (#HROS). I’m truly honored to be serving on the volunteer team with a bunch of inspiring friends, colleagues, and overall amazing people.


Carnival of HR: News, Updates and Fun Stuff

Female_animal_trainer_and_leopardA few weeks ago we learned that the HR Carnival’s Ringmistress of 7 years, Shauna (Moerke) Griffis was ready to pass the stewardship of the Carnival to the next willing participant. Always up for an adventure, I opted to step into the fray.

The Carnival of HR was started in 2007 by Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady), passed on to Allison Green (@AskAManager), and then managed by Shauna (@HR_Minion) beginning in 2009. I hope to continue their great work and keep this community going strong as we ramp up to our 10th Anniversary in 2017!

What IS a blogging “Carnival?”

A blogging carnival is a social media meme in which a group of bloggers submit blog posts to a “host” who compiles the posts into one collection that is then published on their site on the prearranged day. The posts and bloggers are generally focused on an similar area of interest, such as Human Resources, and may or may not have a theme which unites the posts on a specific question or topic. Carnivals occur on a regular schedule, monthly/biweekly/weekly, and the carnival hosts change after each event. You can find more information about blog carnivals here.

So what’s the deal with the Carnival of HR?

The Carnival of HR is a monthly carnival that focuses on Human Resources, Recruiting, Business, and Management blogs. Each carnival brings together a diverse collection of posts that will make you think and introduce you to new blogs and new writers. If you chose to participate this can also be a great way to drive traffic to your site.

How can YOU participate?

I’m looking for 2016 Carnival of HR hosts (you can see the schedule here) so if you’re a blogger and want to have some fun send me an email and let me know!

I’ve decided (for now) to move to a monthly schedule (as opposed to bi-weekly). But that doesn’t mean we won’t host more than 12 Carnivals during the year – in fact we have a special HR Tech Europe edition scheduled for March! So, if you ever want to host a special (i.e. off schedule) Carnival, just let me know.



image credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Vallecita’s leopards: Female animal trainer and leopard.


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word.