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.

I am one statistic in a new report from Pew.  It shows the number of adults who have set up social networking profiles has skyrocketed almost 30% percentage points in a little more than 3 years.  That part does not surprise me.

Here’s what did – 50% of the adults surveyed have a MySpace page, but just 22% did.  I know MySpace is more for adults and Facebook is where my teenage daughters live, so maybe it shouldn’t surprise me.  Still, it did.  And it makes me question our current social networking strategy.

Our website often will display a banner asking our customers to join our Facebook group.  We have well over 1,000 friends and growing.  We’re also starting to see all that work pay off in terms of new traffic back to our site.  It’s not a lot, but it’s a start.

We also just started a group on LinkedIn, which is my I do the most social networking.  But it’s only used by 6% of adults, the average user being a college-educated white man in his 40’s.  Who knew!

But we do not have anything going on MySpace.  This report leads me to think we should at least have the conversation.  If anyone knows of a TV station who is using MySpace well, let me know.