How rumors get started (and stopped) at the speed of blogging

How rumors get started (and stopped) at the speed of blogging: Last night Chris Pirillo blogged a rumor he’d heard and this morning, the rumor gets squelched from the horse’s mouth (or some metaphor like that).

Chris’s strikeout post remains with this message:

Ignore everything that was written above (which I won’t delete, so that you might understand the following). Direct from Tim O’Reilly’s mouth:

I would have thought you’d ping me before putting something on your blog about massive layoffs at O’Reilly. The way things spread on the net, it could do a lot of damage before it gets corrected.

Where did you hear that? Would love to know how these rumors start.
Things are actually going pretty darn well at O’Reilly. We had a tough time back in 2001/2002 with the tech downturn, but we’ve been solidly profitable in 2003 and 2004, have been gaining significant market share in book publishing, as well as growing both our online and conference businesses. Layoffs are the furthest thing from our minds. We’ve got at least a dozen open reqs for hiring. We’ve just added about a dozen people, and are looking for more.

You did mention turnover in our HR department, and that’s true, but that was two voluntary departures.

I’m sorry if my early blogging of this added to the “spread of rumors,” however, my point in blogging “layoff news” (something I rarely if ever do unless it involves some pompous ass) was focused solely on watching O’Reilly’s response. He (and I say, “he,” as in this case the company’s name and “he” are the same) provides a casebook example of the way in which businesses should not be afraid of blogging, but use blogging as a means to engage in the conversation — especially those that are negative.