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