Layoff 3.0: How the social graph changes everything

There’s nothing like having your very own personal experience illustrate the immediate power of the social graph–and the power of activity streams.

This morning,  I got the news I had been laid off from Yahoo! at about 11 am. Around noon I posted a note to my blog, a note to my Facebook status, and a tweet to my twitter stream.Â
By 5 pm, there were 44+ comments on my blog post, 21 comments on the FB note, 15 FB emails, 20 Yahoo emails and 20 Gmail emails. Plus perhaps 6 twitter-derived notes.Â
That’s over 100 responses generated within 6 hours of the actual occurrence. Â
To me, that’s amazing–and also a smaller scale, real time example of how quickly the social graph allows news to spread–and how easy it is now for people to communicate.
One interesting observation was that all the emails  received were from friends and colleagues and people I personally know, supporting the concept that email is an essentially 1:1 private medium (as in strangers are cautious about sending email). Â
In contrast, the people responding to me  were more diverse in their relationship to me.
 Many of the blog comments were from friends, but a significant percentage were from blog readers or people I have not meet face to face.Â
On FB, the wall and post comments ranged across friends, acquaintances, readers, with at least 50% from people I do not know well. Â To me, this illustrates that one aspect of the social graph is the desire and ability for people to demonstrate affinity and support with people they *like,* but may not know well in the real world, and yet feel connected to through blogging, twitter, etc.
Anyway, as I read through all the great notes, calls to action, and expressions of support–all of which I very much appreciate (and need/want) I was struck by how much social media tools provided this situation with what felt like  almost real time communications–and how much smaller and more intimate the world feels because of the speed and directness with which we can now interact when something happens.

Latest Comments

  1. Unkown says:

    social graph and search harnessing social graph behaviour and preferences are really great areas. My best wishes for your future endeavours

  2. Jason says:

    Hi.. its a shame that you had to get layed off to realise this!
    Anyway best of luck with your continues career.
    I got layed off 6 months ago (I live in Paris France) and for me it was the best thing that ever happened to me. After 6 months resting I start a new position in March.
    Bon chance from Paris

  3. Max Manshel says:

    In What area did you work at Yahoo?

  4. Michael Fitzgerald says:

    Hey Susan,
    I’m sorry to hear this news. At the same time, I know you’ll do well. I’m happy to chat with you about my experience from a few years back anytime.

  5. Tom Morris says:

    Sorry to hear about your redundancy. Please can you not use the word social graph though. It’s essentially meaningless and can be replaced with the far more understandable term ‘social network’ with no information loss.

  6. Bill Alldredge says:

    Hey Susan – don’t worry. This reminds me of Mark Jen’s big public firing from google, but then he went on to bigger and better things at Plaxo.
    Creative People are Creative People. You might be able to take the job from a person, but you can’t take the creativity away.
    Cheers & Best Of Luck

  7. Ken B. says:

    Susan – When I first caught news of your layoff, I was briefly saddened but things seem to have turned around quickly for you. Your personal example is a testament to the power and speed of the social graph. I wrote a quick note about it over on my blog. I’ve added your site to my feeds and will be reading regularly now. Good luck finding a new challenge that interests you. Doesn’t seem like that will be a problem.

  8. Carl S. says:

    First of all, my condolences about you losing your job. I stumbling across your blog after reading an article from the BusinessWeek website looking for news on Yahoo’s next move.
    I’ve had a Yahoo email account since 1999 and I’ve always liked Yahoo. I have my office website hosting by Yahoo and I’m even a die hard 360 fan, so I’ve been a little frustrated while waiting for Yahoo to roll this “universal profile system” to replace 360.
    One wonders if the management team is asleep at the wheel.

  9. Juno Henry says:

    Just chiming in over a week later… i’m so sorry I’m so late in this, Susan, I’ve not been keeping up with the news.
    (There’s a headline for you: Juno Henry, Not Cutting Ege After All.)
    Just to wish you all the very best. Someone with your talent will not be jobless for long, and I only hope that your next employer values you for the unbelievably talented person that you are.
    Warmest regards,
    Juno x

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