Wick Communications

Down but not out

In Ideas on 21 Jul 2011 at 5:13 pm

File this in the “wish I had thought of that” category.

It is one of Yahoo News’ superb attempts to cover the damage done to average Americans who are shut out of the job market. It’s a Tumblr blog that rolls out with story after story of the troubles of honest, hardworking people who can’t find meaningful employment.

Here is how Yahoo editors explain what they have done:

At the end of June, we asked for your stories of being unemployed for six months or longer. We received more than 1,000 emails and nearly 5,000 comments in response to our post. We’ve collected 58 of the stories here in the hope that they will help put faces to statistics that can grow abstract and numbing as the country wrestles with the scourge of joblessness.

Some of the stories are simply gut-wrenching and cumulatively they paint a dramatic picture. I think choosing the Tumblr format was sort of genius, too. It was made for a democratic listing like this, offered without hierarchy. Open it up and you’ll read things like this:

  • I have led men in combat, but my last job was a temporary cashier position in the women’s department at Nordstrom’s. Marshall …
  •  As you lose self-esteem you lose your ambition. Like others have reported, over time I experienced the change in sleep habits. Imagine lying in bed in the morning and saying to yourself, “What’s the point of getting up today? I won’t be any more successful with my job search today than yesterday.” David M.
  •  My family is eating stir-fried dandelions out of yards to keep from starving. I am college educated and cannot pay rent. I have not had a penny income so far this year. We were turned down for food stamps. M.C.


I urge you to be on the lookout for things you can do in this way. You can set up Tumblr or WordPress blogs in a few minutes. And they could change the way your readers understand their world.



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