Every once in awhile, I stumble on something so stupid that it captivates my attention. Last week, I found a post called What’s Up With The CelebutaHRd Phenomenon?

Seriously. That’s the title of the blog post.

Basically, the author takes the piss out of HR celebrity bloggers who don’t do ‘real Human Resources’ and have the audacity to sit at the back of conferences and fart around on the internet. This is how he begins his surgical strike on the industry.

Caveat here… some snarky humor is coming in this paragraph. One of the most important things that came out of this, the 2011  Conference Season, was the true arrival of the “CelebutaHRd”. You know what I may be talking about… those people who are self-appointed, social media climbers, HR vendor types, who have been crowned by the ether of the social media world as “Celebrities in HR”. Or, as I call them, CelebutaHRds.

No, really. Some dude wrote that. Without any hint of irony or introspection. And sadly, I left three comments. (Sigh.) But fefore I left any blog comments, I reached out to the author to make sure this wasn’t a joke — because who uses the word celebutahrd?  More importantly, I wanted to clarify that he wasn’t writing about me.

Sadly, it wasn’t a joke. Even more unfortunate, the author is referring to someone else.

Right. Yeah, okay. There are like six social media/HR professionals who travel to conferences and blog & tweet. In fact, I was part of a group of bloggers (all more talented than me) who helped to establish this trend in HR/staffing as a legitimate way to access conferences.

So if the post is not about me — and I accept that — it is about one of my colleagues. And while I understand the author’s frustration with the kids these days, I found his blog post to be intellectually vapid, mean-spirited, and silly.


The post includes all kinds of crazy accusations. Read this.

For example, here are these people, many of whom have never been (or very briefly were) in an corporate HR or Recruiting leadership role, and are out in the social media-sphere spouting out edicts on how our profession sucks, how HR is “not at the table”, how this tool or that tool will change our industry, etc. At the recent ERE conference, let me say, that the conference was so full of CelebutaHRds…that I counted no less than half of the main room full of people not paying attention to the sessions, but typing away with Hoot Suite, Tweetdeck, or some other site blaring away in their faces so that they could be consistently be building more inbound marketing and enhance their own sphere of influence to do whatever with. How could they be actively participating in the live discussion?

I get that social media can be a distraction at conferences. Frank Roche and Chris Ferdinandi have written about this very same phenomenon. But this isn’t how you offer helpful or constructive feedback. And I want to know — who goes to conferences and just dorks around on Tweetdeck? Who goes to a Human Resources conference for fun and inbound marketing opportunities? And who the hell does this author think he is to presume to know the business of anyone at a conference?

Come. On.

And let me say this. There are easier ways to achieve notoriety than being a Human Resources blogger. Believe me.


So I tried to leave a comment and explain my discomfort with the blog post — but that went over like a lead balloon. Obviously I don’t get it. The author wrote this response.

The post was not meant to poke anyone individually or personally… it was meant to get the HR practitioners out there (much of our audience), to get more involved and be a voice in the HR social media game and be more of an active audience. Carmen’s response (another blogger)to the post was right-on… she got the gist of my commentary.

Right. I lack the comprehension skills and the ability to read the brilliant subtext. But I accept the feedback (sorta) and I slept on it. And based on a critical re-reading of the blog post, I don’t believe that the post was written as a call to action for HR professionals. Maybe it’s the old HR generalist in me, but I suspect that the author may have a personal beef with someone and doesn’t want to come out and say it or he is just creating a straw man to make himself feel better about his career.

Regardless, the piece is #weaksauce and the post is a prime example of how you can easily fail at blogging. I work with amazing writers and celebutaHRd bloggers — many of whom will be at this event if the author wants to meet them — who thoughtfully evaluate the HR industry with style & substance. Unlike the author, they refuse to use their blogs to wage a passive-aggressive character assassination campaign against someone in our industry. As leaders, these bloggers name names, speak truth to power, and discuss bigger issues. And if they don’t name any names in a post, they have a conversation with the person (or a group of people) before they write about something.

I suppose I am too busy fucking around on Twitter to have a legitimate opinion on the author’s self-proclaimed brilliant piece on social media and Human Resources; however, if you’re going to assume a position of moral superiority and write a call to action, you don’t mock a group of people and use the word celebutaHRd.

You use the word assbag.

That’s a celebutaHRd tip from me to you. No charge.

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