Social Media for Social Good: VMware Alumni

You know, feel-good moments don’t come along too often, but based on what I’ve seen over the last few days, I think the human race is going to turn out OK after all.

As some of you know, I was a very early employee at VMware, and founded their first set of online discussion forums. I was somewhere around the 100th employee of what became a multi-billion dollar business, and my time there was extremely fun and rewarding. I found my passion for Social Business there, so I have VMware to thank for that. I left the company in 2007, and shortly thereafter joined a mailing list and group on LinkedIn called the VMware Alumni group. Over the years, this group has had varying levels of activity, often flaring up at the oddest times for the strangest reasons.

Day before yesterday, the official news came out that VMware was going to have some layoffs.  An email started circulating in the VMware Alumni group about the layoff announcement. What has transpired since that initial email has been nothing short of amazing.

The discussions that flared up were in three basic categories:

  1. I remember my time at VMware, and it was a lot of fun.  I’m so glad I can reminisce with former employees on this mailing list.
  2. I was caught up in a layoff at <insert company here> and it was a bummer
  3. Hey, my company is hiring, if you just got laid off and are joining the Alumni group, come work for my company!

It was that third one that amazed me the most.  The outpouring of “I’m so sorry for those that are losing their jobs, let’s help them find new ones” was really amazing.

The postings about jobs became so prolific that the group owner actually created and posted a spreadsheet for all of the job postings.  He also made it so that anyone could edit the spreadsheet and re-post it.

To my fellow VMware alumni who have recently joined, welcome aboard.  To those who have been in the Alumni group for a while, I hope you share a similar good feeling about how heroic this list became as quickly as it did.

And for those VMware old-timers who are part of the Alumni group, I have one message for you:  The intersection is flooded.

Is Your Facebook Private and LinkedIn Public? “Likely to change in 2011″ Says One Expert

walking out the door

Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Greg Coyle, co-founder of, cites data from the 2010 Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey to support his opinion, that Facebook profiles may go public in 2011.

Some of the data shared by Jobvite:

  • 83% of 600 surveyed employers will recruit in social networks this year
  • 46% will spend more on social recruiting
  • 36% will spend less on job boards
  • 80% review social profiles

Listed in the social media which companies use for recruiting? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube, and MySpace – in that order.

What’s the surprise? Facebook ranks almost as high for recruiters, at 55%, as LinkedIn which is used 78% of the time.

As Coyle states, “The perceived wisdom on privacy has typically been to make your LinkIn page public but keep your Facebook page private.” He goes on to say, “I think that’s likely to change in 2011.”

Coyle explains that recruiters are looking at Facebook - and that if you want to make your best impression, keeping your Facebook profile private may be “unwise.”

What is MyWebCareer?

As mentioned, Coyle is co-founder of MyWebCareer, a free online service which offers to “discover, evaluate, and manage online data that may help your career prospects.” The service analyzes your online footprint – like your profiles, network, and search results – and gives you back a career score.

MyWebCareer compares its career score to a FICO or credit score. The idea is, you – and others – can use the score to judge how hirable you are. Mercifully for now, the MyWebCareer team promises to keep your score private unless you give them permission to share it.

MyWebCareer is currently in beta. The team there writes a blog on managing your online social footprint for career-minded individuals.

Impact on Youth

It would be interesting to know if MyWebCareer intends to introduce similar scoring mechanisms designed for college-minded teens. The footprint evaluation process it uses seems similar to Reputation Management tools, including and SocioClean. At a minimum, young people should keep in mind that their online footprint will be with them long after college – and likely help or hurt their prospects of landing that first job.


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