This is the social world

My love for all things social media is well documented in this blog.

Social has changed, is changing, will change some more, the way that we work. How we communicate and collaborate, at a fundamental level. No longer are we limited to or by our own team, organisation, locality, time zone. Because social blows the bloody doors off.

Here is just one small example of how social makes new possibilities. Last year I participated in the CIPD Hackathon. The output was a hack called ‘Chuck out Your Chintz’, focusing on those unnecessary but value poor activities that you often find carried out in HR departments.

A few weeks ago the hack was mentioned by Richard Westney in the weekly #nzlead HR twitter chat. Someone suggested that the chucking out of people related chintz was a good topic for a future discussion. And on Thursday this week Richard and I will co-host this chat together. You can find the link here.

But here’s the thing. I have never met Richard. Not in what we still call real life that is. Never even spoken to him outside of a social network. He lives on other side of the globe. Operates in a different time zone. As I write this on a lazy Sunday afternoon, he is probably fast asleep. If we had wanted to collaborate face to face on this little project, one of would have had to travel for over a whole day to do it. Not to mention spend a whole heap of cash.

But who needs to do that when you have social technology? During the chat on Thursday I will be sat at my desk, probably eating my breakfast, with my first coffee of the day. Those people that chip in from the UK might be doing that too. Or maybe they are on their morning commute into the office checking their timeline on the train, or getting in a tweet while getting the kids off to school. As for some of the other folks taking part in New Zealand? Their working day is done. They might just have had their evening meal. Maybe they are tweeting with one hand and a cheeky vino in the other.

HR folks, separated by thousands of miles but not by shared experiences, ideas, energy. Geography and timezone rendered irrelevant just for one hour. Collaboration on a project by people who met on twitter, but have never met face to face. Would never have engaged but for the tech in our pockets.

This is the social world.