More media companies are laying off more workers and filing for bankruptcy.  Two friends from my NBC days recently lost their jobs at Media General and other people I know are facing job elimination.  People ask me if I have ever experienced anything like this and my answer is no.  And I don’t know what’s around the bend.

Whether you are in that position or not, the title of tonight’s post is directed at YOU!

What’s your social media profile?  Do you read blogs, write one, both?  (I do both.)

If you don’t like to Twitter, do you understand it?  If you try it, you’ll probably become addicted.

If someone asked you what feeds do you aggregate in your RSS reader, would you be able to say yes and, hopefully, understand what they’re talking about?  (I read about 20 sites using my Google Reader.)

Are you on LinkedIn?  Facebook?  Have more than 10 friends in each?  (I have about 80 on Facebook, 270 on LinkedIn.)

Here’s my point: do not wait until your job or career is in jeopardy to start building your social profile (Mashable wrote a great article about this recently)

At a January meeting in our Information Center, I asked our team to pick one and work on it, not for us, but for them.  I don’t think you can say you get social media and sit on the sidelines.

And, because I also hire people, I can say this: I do and will search your name if you apply for a job to see if what you say to me about social networking is really what you do.

So, finish reading this and ask yourself: Am I into social media enough to beat out all those other journalists for that job I’m going for?   Or, is this just a diversion, taking our attention away from our traditional TV or print platform.  I’d love to debate.