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.

OSS Changes Its Tune!

Peace in the Midst of Giants

(Photo credit: IntelFreePress)

Hello all,

Up to now, OSS had been writing about Internet Safety and how teachers and parents can keep their kids safe on social networks.  As many of you probably have noticed, we took an extended break from this mission in the spring of 2011.

After some evaluation and discussion, I have decided to pick this site up and start blogging again.  I will still talk about how to keep kids safe online now and then, but I’ll also be blogging about general social media issues, basic SEO principles, and other topics that cover a little more territory than just the internet safety topic.

I’ll also be re-evaluating OSS’ resources and news sections to figure out whether to continue doing news and updating these sections or not.  More to come as time goes by.

For those that have been readers of this blog in the past, thanks for reading!  I think you’ll find some of the information in here to continue to be useful if you have a general interest in online interaction and social networking :)

If you’re brand new here, welcome to OSS!!

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