Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.
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Friendster cans coder for blogging

Joyce Park is a coder who worked at Friendster, leading the charge to re-engineer the poky, Java-based back-end with fast PHP. She blogged about it, got slashdotted, got written up in the press -- and got fired. Even though there was nothing confidential in her blog posts, the new CEO shitcanned her.

[I]t's especially ironic because Friendster, of course, is a company that is all about getting people to reveal information about themselves...
Link, Link to Jeremy Zawodny's instructions for resigning from Friendster

(Thanks, Jeffreyp!)

I can't find any more information on this story, but this sounds like pretty crappy behavior on Friendster's side. I haven't used Friendster in months. Maybe it's time to drop out.


Jon Udell seems to have most of the low down.
I think his post is key because one of the reasons Joyce cited for getting canned was Jon's post that mentioned Joyce's post.

It is likely that there is more to the story, but if not, the leadership team and friendster should be ashamed of themselves.


Isn't the problem with her signing a confidentiality agreement in the first place, and not her blogging content ? Without knowing what is in that agreement, then how can anyone know whether or not it was a wrongful termination ?

Alpero: There is what is "legally correct" and what is right for the company. Contracts, and in particular employment contracts, are sort of a last resort. I know of many cases where companies have got as far as buying intellectual property written by employees, even though it probably belonged to the company already according to the contract. It's more important to keep your customers and employees happy than to execute the letter of the contract... unless executing to the letter of the contract is better makes business sense. Which in this case, I have yet to hear why it would make business sense.

This was truly a thoughtless move by the Friendster management. Joyce is a well-regarded author and programmer and I'm sure her talents will not go to waste.

If Friendster decides to comment on this situation, they'll have made an admission of their mis-step. If they don't comment on this situation, everyone will continue to guess at their reasons. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

I don't see this as a damned if they do, damned if they don't situation. It's in the handling of mistakes that brands are often strengthened...or damaged. My friend Johnnie Moore just wrote on his blog: "I think it's in these exciting boundary zones that organisations are defined - not in the comfort of strategic planning committees, not in elaborate corporate identity manuals, but in the little bits of frisson between stakeholders. That's why smart companies get excited about "service recovery" stories; they know that it's how they respond when things go wrong that their brand is really created..."

I never expect companies or individuals to be perfect, but I do expect them to listen, absorb, learn, and be honest.

Is Joyce Park going to Mind Deposit now? I bet she would be great there!

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