Socialtext Offers Networking Tools to Victims of Layoffs by ProQuest


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    Socialtext Offers
    Networking Tools
    to Victims of Layoffs

        know what you’re thinking: not another depressing story      but we really had to cobble things together from a bunch of
    i  about layoffs and the economy. This one is different,
    though, I promise. Ross Mayfield, chairman, president, and
                                                                     different places. … What [Socialtext] has got now is a full
                                                                     solution,” says Tennant.
    co-founder of Socialtext—a provider of Web 2.0 solutions            “In less turbulent times, large employers would invest in
    for the enterprise and other organizations—heard the news        hosting Corporate Alumni Networks for sharing connections,
    about massive layoffs at companies across the country. But       knowledge, and expertise. Unfortunately, just when
    unlike many of us, he was in a position to help. In light of     corporate alumni need to leverage these networks … HR
    recession-related layoffs, many of which affected his fellow     departments find such projects stalled,” wrote Mayfield in
    Silicon Valley companies, Mayfield decided his company           his blog in December 2008. Since then, former employees
    could offer its corporate social network solution, at no cost,   from companies such as Yahoo!, Merrill Lynch, and DivX
    to former employees of the companies that have laid off 5%       have started alumni networks.
    or more of their work forces. All the former employees have         “I got laid off in mid [to] late December, and I think I just
    to do is fill out an application.                                happened to see an article about what Ross Mayfield was
       “I was watching the news about massive layoffs, like          doing,” says Bruce Lidl, formerly of DivX. He shot off an
    everybody else. … It helped me remember what Steve and           email, and before Lidl knew it, he was up and running. With
    the PeopleSoft people had done,” says Mayfield. In 2004,         2–3 dozen members, Lidl says the DivX Corporate Alumni
    Steve Tennant, to whom Mayfield is referring, organized an       Network is still getting organized.
    alumni network when it was clear that Oracle’s acquisition of       “It takes a minute to create the Socialtext environment
    PeopleSoft was going to result in big layoffs. Tennant and       for them and hand over the controls,” says Mayfield.
    other former PeopleSoft employees were already scattered to      Socialtext is also organizing a public wiki to keep track of
    the winds. He says, “We were working at the
    companies that might be the ones to hire [the
    people being laid-off].” To get everyone
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