SHRM, Greater Than Yourself, and The Marketplace


The contest is over and you gave great advice to SHRM regarding their forthcoming social networking platform. Too bad you guys don’t charge for your advice like other social media gurus. You could make a killing, yo.


I spoke with Gary Rubin, last week, and gave him a ton of things to think about — but I forgot to tell him that I don’t know anything about social media and I’m just pretending to be an expert. I just like to talk. (Mostly out of my butt.)

Here’s what I said.

  • You need to give people a reason to visit SHRM on a daily basis. Migrating content and ongoing conversations from the existing website into a new, fancy user interface isn’t going to help create a destination.
  • SHRM’s social network needs a face, and Lon O’Neil isn’t it. You can’t even get to his biography unless you are a member, which is problem #1. So much of the site is locked behind a wall, and SHRM would benefit from creating a community manager position that operates like a true community manager — someone who is big enough to have a personality that drives traffic to the site but small enough to be a guide. I cited Jason Davis as a good example of a leader, a moderator, and a mediator when his community needs it.
  • I think the most important part of building a community is creating a space for important conversation and interactions that you can’t get anywhere else. Don’t try to be Facebook because even Facebook sucks at being Facebook. Focus on the purpose of the community — and create a user interface that is flexible enough to adapt and grow as the community matures.


So here’s the winner of Greater Than Yourself by Steve Farber.


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