Who Was Your First……Social Media Contact?


February 27, 2010

Did the title get your attention?  I thought it would.

It’s a serious question though.  I signed up for Twitter two years ago and I didn’t “get” it.  So I left it.  Then, one year ago, I decided to give it another try.  I had watched a short video about how to use Twitter and I thought there had to be some benefit of connecting with other people who have similar interests.  Turned out it was the best move I could have made.

So, I tweeted.

I searched for human resources and recruiters to follow and within a few days I was following some interesting people.

Who were the first three who connected with me, interacted with me, and made a real impact on my life?

Michael Long (@theredrecruiter)

Michael, the Red Recruiter, has been instrumental in developing my social media skills.  He was the person who made me pick up a phone and *meet* him.  He was the person who encouraged me as my blog was new.  He was the person who has supported my efforts every step of the way.  Michael has helped so many people learn how to use social media to meet people in the industry.  Long before Twitter had lists, it was Michael who created the #FollowHr hash tag so that HR and recruiting professionals could find each other easier.

Steve Boese (@steveboese)

Steve, author of ‘Steve Boese’s HR Technology‘,  has been one of my biggest supporters.  He has included me many, many times in his HR Happy Hour radio show on Blogtalk Radio.  He was also one of the first people to jump on board with the first HRevolution un-conference. Steve spent countless hours making arrangements so that HRevolution would be a success.  Since then, we’ve collaborated on e-books, posts, speaking engagements, and business ventures.  He also opened my eyes to HR technology, an area of HR that I never felt comfortable with until this past year.  He’s still right there in my corner for HRevolution 2010 and I am so grateful he was one of the first people I met.

Mike Krupa (@pdxmikek)

Mike is the perfect friend.  He showed me right away that it’s easy to make a connection with someone online.  He is genuine and sincere, and snarky too!  He’s one of the smartest HR tech guys around and always willing to share his ideas with me.  When I met him in person at the HR Technology Conference last fall, it was if I had known him forever.  I know that I can pick up the phone and call him day or night.  He also writes a great blog (www.infoboxinc.com) and always supports mine.

So, as you can see, I got really lucky when I started using Twitter.  Since then, I have met more great people than I could ever name.  I’ve traveled with them, shared family stories with them, became true friends with them.

So, who were your “firsts”?  Tell me about them in the comments.


  • Hi Trish,

    This is a timely post as I’m set to celebrate my social media birthday shortly (I started tweeting and blogging back in March 2009). For me there were a 2 key individuals who in the early days helped me navigate the waters online:

    1. My wife: Everything I do online she did (and continues to do) before me. Twitter, blogging, Facebook-you name it and she’s been involved with it. It’s because I got tired of looking over her shoulder, trying to figure out what the hell she was doing, that I got involved in social media. She continues to be my secret weapon when it comes to providing quality content to those that follow me across the Web.

    2. Jessica Lee: She was the 1st HR pro that I spoke to offline after discovering online (via the Fistful of Talent blog). She was generous with her time and knowledge. This was special to me considering that she didn’t know me at all; she was sharing her talent with a total stranger. It was because of her that I convinced myself that I could become a HR blogger.

    • @Victorio- Well, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your wife, but I have met you, thanks to Twitter and blogging. And, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Lee several times and I completely agree. She is generous with her time, encouragement, and feedback. Looks like you were lucky starting out too. Happy Anniversary.

  • Hi Trish!

    Like you, Michael was the person who encouraged me (scratch that – pushed me) into social media when I didn’t get it either. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this space at all. But of course, I already knew him.

    The very first person I met in real life, who I only knew via Twitter was my friend @ColleenPence, owner of social media mentoring. http://www.socialmediamentoring.com/index.php She and I interacted on Twitter and she invited me to come to what has now become one of the largest, most regular Tweet Ups in the world.

    I’m looking forward to the day you and I get to meet face to face!

    • @Beth- Yes, a “special” hug to you for being the first tweep-turned-peep for me. I was so nervous to meet you and Mark Stelzner. But, after about one second with you, I was at ease. Mark….now that’s another story….ha ha.

      @Alicia- You are top of my list to meet this year Alicia. I feel like we’ve already collaborated, you’ve sponsored HRevolution, and been a great Twitter friend. This year is our year for sure!

  • Trish-
    I have only been involved in social media for a little over a year. @theredrecruiter Michael Long, was incredibly generous with encouraging me to jump into the social media world of twitter. I from there met some really amazing people. Another was @karla_porter. Karla has always been there for me to answer questions, guidance, and actually encouraged me to blog. I really hope to meet many of my Twitter connections in person later this year. And You Trish has always been so supportive on my job seach.

  • I would have to say the first social media contacts were my students. Before it opened to the masses, Facebook was the domain for only colleges and universities. In 2005, my students asked me to join.

    For Twitter, it would have to be China Gorman. She came to speak at a SHRM Town Hall meeting in Milwaukee and encouraged us to get involved.

    • @Shennee- Michael is probably a key person in social media development for many people. I haven’t personally met Karla yet, but hoping to in 2010. I know I enjoy following her online.

      @Benjamin- Thank you!! Now we just have to meet in person. HRevolution 2010

      @Bill- I definitely want to come back to the HR Technology Conference in 2010 and hopefully blog and contribute. I firmly believe we need to be spreading the word about HR technology to HR generalists. The resources are there, the content is there, they should be there. I’m ready to learn and participate.

      @Matt- I love that it was students who brought you to social media and you who continue to bring social media to your students. Also, you couldn’t connect with a finer HR pro than China Gorman. She has certainly encouraged thousands of people to get active with social media.

  • Deleted my reply as it is totally innappropriate and way too personal in this forum 🙂 and will simply thank @DarinRMcClure and @LisaMcClure for teaching me Twitter.

  • Very similar experience for me. I joined Twitter and tweeted with a friend a few times then gave up because I didnt get it. I went to a local chapter meeting where Kris Dunn was talking about the joys of social media. I followed his advice and got my butt back on twitter, he and Michael Wolfe were the first to welcome me back. My first to meet in person, was Ben Eubanks and Sharlyn Lauby at the ALSHRM meeting.

  • Hi Trish! What a fun post and great idea! I too started a twitter account over a year ago, then recently I started tweeting again. My first contact was YOU! You have been the best teacher and a I appreciate all your advice and support. My next two “influencer/connections” were Jessica Merrell @Blogging4jobs and Ben Eubanks @beneubanks. I have met many more talented supportive people. I cannot wait to all of them in person.

  • My co-worker Jen, (@jubileeautism) pushed me kicking and screaming into the Twittersphere. I didn’t get it first at all!

    Michael Long was one of the first HR contacts I remember, very helpful and gracious. And Ben Eubanks, the first one to call me offline.

  • I am so honored to be listed as one of the first three. Is that anything like the final five (Battlestar Galactica anyone)? I love that you describe me as genuine, sincere, and snarky. And yes you can call me day or night.

    I originally joined Twitter for some of my non-HR technical work but my first HR/HR Technology social media contacts were @jcorsello, @steveboese and @thehrmaven. Jason, Steve and Dee drew me in quickly to use Twitter for engaging in dialogue surrounding HR and HR Technology and they continue to do so to this day.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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