The changing face of Yahoo! layoffs and the social web

Last February, when Yahoo! did its last big layoff, Ryan Kuder live-twittered his layoff, followed my  twittering and blogging my dismissal.  Our public transparency made the news, much to our surprise–some people felt it was a first time that let go employees didn’t slink off and instead shared openly.

Today, as the world watches, Yahoo! is doing another big layoff, almost 12 months later. Only nobody is surprised by the tweets and blog posts about what’s going on. What’s more typical this time around is the tweet from just let go Brit @BenWard, who wroteTotally fucking laid off. You could say that I’m not very happy about it. You would be right to say that.” and had at least 20 people twitter advice and job help within an hour.

Even more pointedly, it’s almost a media sport, with what feels like at least hundreds of people tracking tweets and posting stories.

Even with the poor economy and all the other companies’ cuts, the reaction to the Yahoo! layoffs shows that we’ve clearly tipped into another universe, one where America is (finally) embracing high-touch communication and transparency and where getting laid off is something that happens, even if it sucks.