Amy Vernon was an accomplished journalist who had worked steadily as a newspaper reporter and editor for nearly two decades, before she lost her editor job at a suburban New York daily, The Journal News, during the "Great Newspaper Culling of 2008." Unemployed with two young children, Vernon found a new career in social media, which quickly became her family's means of support.
Prior to getting laid off, she'd already been dabbling in and seen the value in Digg, a social-news site that allowed users to vote stories up or down. For Vernon, it was a rush, since getting stories promoted to Digg's front page was wildly addictive, Vernon told AOL Jobs in 2011.
Vernon's first Digg front page was a post that she wrote on the TV show "24," which was so wildly popular that it crashed her blog. Her success continued, and Vernon, 43, has gone on to become a social-media maven, of sorts, sought out for her expertise and advice. In the now more than four years since she was laid off, Vernon has never had to apply for a job, she says. Jobs have come to her. Today, she is general manager of social marketing at Internet Media Labs, a social-technology startup, based in Manhattan.