Layoffs 3.0: How social media accelerates information flow. community, brand

I was laid off from Yahoo! 4 days ago. Since then, it feels like things have happened at warp speed: new phone, computer, home office set up, tons of transition planning, lots of thinking about not only what I have to accomplish right now, but what do I want to do next.
With the power of social media, so much of this process is happening transparently, and in what feels like almost real time. Social media tools make sharing information, connecting around situations, and communicating with large and diverse groups of people–both one to one and more broadly–happen amazingly fast.
Here are some of the observations of what’s different about how we can use social media to communicate today.
1. Broadcast capabilities have multiplied and improved
2. Tribal affiliations mean people who have never met in person feel connected
3. Information transfers far more quickly and efficiently
4. Your personal brand is out there and quickly read
Here’s the detailed view:
Broadcast capabilities have multiplied and improved.
Back in 2003, when I was laid off from AOL, I didn’t yet have a blog. Most people didn’t (I started one that March). Letting people know what had happened to me was a slow, laborious process based on sending lots of emails. The way I looked for work was to talk and email with people and to subscribe to lots of email lists like the KTlist and to check job post, job sites, etc (I ended up deciding to start my own consulting firm, which I did, successfully.)
Today, blogging, FB, twitter helped me notify people simultaneously that I had lost my job. The news rippled so quickly that far more people learned this fact far more quickly than in 2003, and with a lot less time spent on communicating it on my part.
Tribal affiliations mean people who have never met in person feel connected.
Mimi Ito started writing about Digital Nomads and high tech tribalism a few years ago, and her work becomes increasingly more relevant as social media moves these concepts to the center.
In other words, people who have never met share identity in community because of shared interests, values, friends or lifestyle. Sometimes, this is people wanting to friend someone they perceive as famous or prominent; other times it is friending a perceived(yet unknown) peer.
In the case of my news, tribal affiliations meant that people who I did not directly know, but who read my blog or followed my tstream had feelings–and responses–around the news. Similarly, my extended network for friends on FB responded quickly.
In 2003, these tools just didn’t exist, showing that social networking supports affinity in a broader and yet more focused way than I’d thought.
Information transfers far more quickly and efficiently
Back in 2003, the press looked to companies for news.
This week, journalists watched the blogosphere, the twitter stream and even flickr for news related to the Yahoo! layoffs. They found lots of fodder, first from Ryan’s posts, then mine, and later Chip & Randy’s (among others). The interplay between press and bloggers–a new form of symbiosis– intensified the ripple effect, so much so that this post is currently #4 under my name at Google search.
Your personal brand is out there and quickly read
There is no question that the reason my news had impact was because I am a blogger and active in the tech/media/geek communities, as well as someone who’s been in the industry for 13+ years. My *presence* aka my personal brand was based on things I have done, said and written over time, many of which are available online, or have been chronicled as part of other records (talks, conference appearances and attendances, etc.).
In 2003, people had personal web sites, but there was no way to so quickly form the many-sided view of a person you can get fairly quickly today, if you have some context. What this means is not only can a broader mass of people feel like they *know* me (or anyone embedded in social media), but that employers and colleagues can form quick opinions as well.
Conclusion:
The tools are working. Hurricane Katrina, an Obama video, or some other piece of news can get quick play, but so can something as small as someone’s job loss–and that is pretty amazing.

Latest Comments

  1. michael fischer says:

    susan:
    I’ve recently become a reader of your blog…and am sorry to hear about yahoo.
    I currently run a radio station in Denver and am massive user and believer of social networking.
    I couldn’t possibly agree more with your comments here…technology is a funny thing…it expands our world by brings us closer…
    Keep writing…i’ll keep reading.

  2. Marty says:

    Hi Susan,
    All true. I think there’s a flip side to your post, as well. The “new world” you’re describing creates more public relations ramifications for companies who try to quietly let valuable, “connected” people go. In a world where all it takes is a “status message” to let hundreds of influencers know you’ve been let go, it’s not as easy as it used to be for employers to sweep layoffs under the carpet.
    Best,
    Marty

  3. Stephen says:

    About six months ago our mutual friend Farhad removed the thing on facebook that said “is dating so and so” because his girlfriend didn’t like it. Of course, everyone in his network got a notification: Farhad is no longer dating [his girlfriend].
    Naturally, he got a flurry of concerned emails and phone calls, as did she. So this thing can be a double edged sword…

  4. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  5. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  6. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  7. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  8. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  9. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  10. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  11. Mua bán nhà đất Nh& says:

    Thần Tài Nhà Đất, chuyên thông tin mua bán nhà đất, bất động sản, đất nền dự án, căn hộ cao cấp, Mua ban nha dat, bat dong san, dat nen du an, du an quy hoach, dự án quy hoạch khu vực Nhơn Trạch

  12. Fermin Iduate says:

    Hello Susan,
    I certainly empathize with your situation.
    It’s not easy setting forth on a journey without a clear destination…but then again…who says we have to have one?
    After all…our end destiny is not only a result of our own efforts…but of every environment we choose to interact with along the way.
    With so much changing in today’s world…with so much FUD being massively dumped into our personal radar screens…..its no wonder we’re seeing such significant changes in employment and job security.
    The future however is open…to opportunities..to innovation..to value generators.
    Yet the future is also plagued with a battle between consumerist exploitation and social investment and innovation. And the equalizing force supporting everything is the underlying albeit invisible technology platform.
    Best of wishes to you on your journey…rest assured that many are following you and astride with you at all moments.
    Fermin
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/iduate

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