Regarding CFBR: All social media is a game. LinkedIn, too.

The Times and the Journal have weighed in: people posting “commenting for reach” or CFBR (commenting for better reach) on layoff posts is now officially a phenomenon on LinkedIn.


  1. LinkedIn is a social network. Sure, it’s work related, but at its heart it has the same features as any other social network: a feed, connections among people, members striving to stand out, comments, reactions, and above all, an algorithm.
  2. People game social networks. Some people like to spread things and be active. They learn the tricks and use them. LinkedIn is no different.
  3. Social networks thrive because you can participate with a minimal amount of effort. You find out someone has cancer on Facebook? Click the care icon or leave a comment that says “Hang in there!” In 3 seconds you’ve done a good deed. Everybody loves that. CFBR is the same for people who’ve been laid off. It’s like pitching a penny to a beggar.
  4. Algorithms can change at any moment. LinkedIn tolerates and even supports this now because it makes the network seem more useful and human. As soon as it becomes exploitive, they’ll tweak the algorithm to downplay it. Trust me, they’re thinking about this a lot harder than you are, and they’re testing changes in the algorithm right now to see what happens.

For convenience, you can bookmark this post and reread it each time any social network experiences a “phenomenon.” Just change the specifics and it will still apply.

If you’ve been laid off, reach out to your network — individually. Those social media posts may help. But a call or email to each person you know that’s at a company that might help you is more likely to pay off. That’s the best way to use LinkedIn to get a job.

Good luck. There’s a lot of churn in the business world right now, so it’s a good time to be looking.

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