By Brian Kreissl
No blog exists in a vacuum. In fact, a good blogger should be reading other blogs and following online forums and different types of content relevant to the topic he or she is blogging about.
I also believe a good blog should — at least sometimes — link to other blogs and online content that supports (or even contradicts) the blogger’s opinions and arguments.
While every writer needs to be careful to avoid plagiarism, there is no copyright on ideas, and there’s nothing wrong with occasionally looking to other blogs for inspiration and even commenting on them sometimes. Just because someone else thought of a topic first doesn’t mean another blogger can’t have something important or relevant to add to the debate.
For example, while this blog post from a few weeks back was one of my most popular ever, I cannot really claim the idea as my own since so much has been written about “mindfulness” in recent months. In fact, I linked to another blog that supported my basic argument, although the author had a slightly different take on the subject (while he wrote mainly about meditation, I wrote about mindfulness mainly in the context of living in the moment and concentrating on the task at hand).
I do follow that blogger, Peter Honey, fairly regularly. Peter is a psychologist based in the U.K. who blogs on the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) website.
I also follow other blogs and online forums related to HR and work in general. Below are some of my favourites.
Canadian HR Reporter bloggers
It almost goes without saying that I follow my fellow Canadian HR Reporter bloggers religiously. Although we all blog about somewhat different topics, I do regularly read Todd’s, Stuart’s, Claudine’s, Dave’s and Jeff’s blogs.
Occasionally, we end up blogging about the same thing, but that’s pretty rare. When we do cover the same topics, we usually take a somewhat different perspective, although I can’t remember any of us outright disagreeing with one another in our blogs.
Other bloggers I follow
Most of the other bloggers I follow are in the U.S. or the U.K. While some of the posts occasionally relate to legislation, practices or trends that apply specifically to those countries, generally the topics have pretty universal appeal. But where there are differences, those can also sometimes be enlightening.
One site I really like is Fistful of Talent, a U.S.-based collection of blogs on issues related to HR. I follow all of the bloggers on there, especially Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn, Paul Hebert, Laurie Ruettimann and Kathy Rapp. They can sometimes be a little controversial, but a good blog should stimulate debate and shouldn’t just trot out the same tired old platitudes. In particular, I like how the Fistful of Talent bloggers don’t feel the need to be constant cheerleaders for HR.
My favourite Fistful of Talent blogger, Meredith Soleau, unfortunately no longer blogs for them. The reason is because she recently left HR to pursue a career in automotive sales (she was previously in charge of HR at a large automotive dealership in Perrysburg, Ohio).
One of the reasons I enjoyed Meredith’s blog so much was because, like my blog, she focused on the practical realities of the day-to-day practice of HR, while also exploring some of the more strategic aspects of the profession. And, while I didn’t always agree with her, Meredith’s posts were usually interesting and thought-provoking.
But even when Meredith left HR, I was intrigued because so few people in HR seem to end up leaving the profession — at least not voluntarily anyway. Her situation kind of mirrored my own, even though I never left HR entirely in pursuing a career in HR publishing.
Although she isn’t really an HR blogger as such, I also follow career advice blogger Penelope Trunk quite regularly. Her blog is relevant because career counselors are really the opposite side of the coin from HR professionals — at least with respect to recruitment.
Penelope isn’t afraid of a little controversy (in fact, some would say she deliberately creates it). She also gives some very counterintuitive advice about careers (which I don’t always agree with, like this post about how grad school is supposedly a waste of time).
Nevertheless, her blogs and the commentors on her site are always good for some stimulating debate and an interesting perspective on the world of work.