Laid off? Share the pain (L.A. Times)

…No one knows that better than Susan Mernit, who was a product team leader at Yahoo Personals with a strong background in social media. One hour after she was laid off on the same day as Kuder, she decided to test the power of such tools. She posted the news on her blog, added a tweet to her Twitter stream and updated her Facebook status. In five hours, her experiment delivered immediate proof: 100 responses from friends, colleagues and strangers who, as readers of her blog, felt connected to her.

“I had no idea that it would be communicated as broadly or quite as publicly as it was,” said Mernit, who lives in Palo Alto. “Social media accelerated the reach and the speed with which I could communicate what happened to me.”

The outpouring moved Mernit. It differed starkly from the isolation she felt after being laid off by AOL four years ago. At the time, she lived on the East Coast, had fewer ties to the tech community and did not blog. But shared values and interests and her popular blog have united her with a broad community that closed ranks around her when she needed it.

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