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<nettime> from the dotcom observatory
geert lovink on Sat, 30 Jun 2001 21:32:36 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> from the dotcom observatory

1. Pink-Slip blues from Fast Company:

Last Friday, we wrapped up the second week of our survival guide for the
economic downturn, but we have more great features to tell you about,
including advice and counsel from top recruiters, job-hunting tips, career
alternatives, and more. Read them all:


Read Between the ( Unemployment ) Lines | by Anni Layne Help for the
frustrated, frazzled, and fired has never been more readily available ...
or more overwhelming. That's why Fast Company has compiled these book
recommendations from four highly regarded career experts.

Pink-Slip Blues | by Anni Layne

The psychological repercussions of layoffs may sabotage downsized
employees, survivors, and companies for years after a cutback, says author
Ruth Luban. Here, she offers tips for softening the emotional blows of a
pink slip.

More or Less | by Fast Company

Readers respond to our Web-exclusive series about layoffs with harrowing
anecdotes, harsh criticism, and hard-boiled advice. Join the debate online
now. http://robin.fastcompany.com/cgi-bin/nph-t.pl?U=322&M=89354&MS=468


2. laidoff.com, a special issue of seattle weekly.
the table of contents:


And the intro:

The New New Economy?
As Seattle brushes off from the dot-com fallout, other strategies emerge.


Everybody knows somebody who was laid off from a dot-com recently, but
does this mean that Seattle's heralded place in the New Economy has
slipped? On the streets, it'd certainly seem so; just pass by a Capitol
Hill coffee shop on a Tuesday afternoon and count the healthy-looking,
unemployment benefit-receiving masses. Or tally the number of "Apartment
for rent" or "Office space for lease" signs popping up around town like
ads on a Web site.

Does such visual evidence confirm suspicions that the dot-com downturn is
real, or are we being misled by media outlets that thrive on gloom and
doom, on tracking layoffs and spreading gossip about fucked companies?

The truth, as it turns out, is elusive.

Because the state Employment Security Department and the federal Bureau of
Labor Statistics don't issue separate numbers for the dot-com sector, it's
impossible to provide an accurate gauge of New Economy outcasts. Or to
predict how many of these former employees will find work with another

"It is the Employment Security Department's feeling that the re-employment
prospects for laid-off dot-com workers, while perhaps unfavorable in the
dot-com sector itself, is relatively favorable in non-dot-com industries,"
writes Gary Kamimura, a senior economic analyst with the ESD, in an

Not only do the numbers show that ex-content providers, Web developers,
and the like can find work away from computers--the state's unemployment
rate fell to 5.3 percent in May--but statistics recently released from the
trade group WSA suggest that trained specialists can choose from plenty of
jobs in the local high-tech industry. WSA's report says that the state's
tech industry is still thriving, with employment growth of 39 percent over
the past two years and $30 billion in revenues. (Formerly known as the
Washington Software Alliance, WSA represents software and Internet
companies including Microsoft, but not e-commerce companies like

How does this jibe with conventional wisdom about prevalent layoffs or
recent reports of skyrocketing vacancy rates for Seattle office space? WSA
President and CEO Kathleen P. Wilcox says not to believe the hype. "We
were growing faster than the national average, so a slowdown for us means
we're still doing well," she says.

Perhaps. But a report released last week by Los Angeles commercial real
estate company CB Richard Ellis' Seattle branch indicates that downtown
office vacancy rates dropped from 7.59 percent in 1995 to a slim 1.01
percent in 2000, then shot up to 9.6 in the past year. What spurred such a
dramatic turnaround?

"Unquestionably, the failure of all the dot-com and high-tech companies,"
says Stanley Kravitz, first vice president for CB Richard Ellis.

Such figures always come with the caveat that business is cyclical, but
this does little to assuage the frustration of those who've been laid off
or to encourage the ex-dot-commers to reenter the job market.

"There's not enough known about the cyclical nature of this industry,"
argues Marcus Courtney of the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers,
or WashTech, an employees union. He says that high-tech executives and
politicians aren't too keen on finding out more about the downturn, in
part because mention of layoffs is bad P.R. As a result, government
officials were ill-prepared. "They missed what was going on in the tech
economy by a thousand miles," he says.

Despite executives' and government officials' unwillingness to confront
the issue, a significant portion of Seattle's populace is struggling to
come to terms with the post-dot-com boom. Whether by necessity or choice,
these ex-tech workers are now working out some intriguing post-employment
philosophies. In this series of stories and essays, Seattle Weekly
explores the various ways young Seattleites are responding, from turning
their backs on high-tech to wondering what went wrong to those few who
still believe in the quaint notion that the New Economy offers big payoffs
to those with bright ideas.


3. From the NTK London newsdesk:

         THOSE WE HAVE LOST>> after 4 years and 200 issues, it's time
         to toast our homies who didn't make it this far, to give props
         to the fallen and pour a 40 on the kerb (whatever that means).
         Still warmed by the ashes of the WIRED UK "unpleasantness" we,
         in our own unique way, mourned the deaths of Dennis' ESCAPE
         magazine (recently followed by PC GEAR), last year's oh-so-
         brief INDUSTRY STANDARD EUROPE, long-running goofsters TIMES
         INTERFACE (FEATURING DR KEYBOARD), and a shelf-full of Future
         closures, including CONNECT, ARCADE, MP3 MAGAZINE, CULT TV,
         and AMIGA FORMAT. EMAP's CU AMIGA joined the rest of the Amiga
         biz in that great pre-emptive multitasking environment in the
         sky - along with the DREAMCAST, the ACORN NETSTATION, and we
         haven't heard much about the BEBOX recently either... other
         technologies came and fluttered away like leaves in a breeze,
         including PUSH, VRML, the original DIVX, and literally $$$-
         worth of dumb cybercash systems (the currently ailing BEENZ),
         revealing unexpected flaws in the business plans of ONLINE
         MAGIC, all the free call ISPs, BOO, CLICKMANGO, the amusingly
         named http://www.theman.com/ , URWIRED and now GAMEPLAY (a
         third high-profile project from Mark Bernstein, the man behind
         VR videogames flop Virtuality, and the impressive roster at
         http://www.midnight.co.uk/entline/new.htm ), as well as freaky
         networking ideas like http://www.sixdegrees.com and FIRST
         TUESDAY. And, in the real world, whatever happened to all the
         high-street TANDY stores?... back with the media, it was
         goodbye to (and from) extropian goons THE SHAMEN, god-awful TV
         show DOT.COMEDY, the swiftly-buried Mitnick movie TAKEDOWN and
         soporific Gibson adaptation NEW ROSE HOTEL - plus, rather more
         distressingly, US chickzine BEN IS DEAD and happenin' London
         hangout BACKSPACE. Online, we bade farewell to NTK wannabes
         NINFOMANIA and THE LARD ENQUIRER, Register ripoff THE BULLET,
         dire cyber-satire http://www.rant.co.uk , doomed comedy mag
         THE CURMUDGEON, and Mondo 2000 cyber-legacy sites like
         http://www.stim.com (and almost everything else RU Sirius has
         ever done). Friends and enemies alike, we salute you. And if
         you're actually not dead, and reading this, do get in touch.
         We'd *love* to hear what you're up to next...

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