The media trade publication Journalisten in Norway reported today on what appears to be the first resignation via Twitter. Heidi Norby Lunde, opinion page and citizen journalism editor of the online news site ABC Nyheter, tweeted that she had cleaned her desk and was ready for new challenges on May 12th.
She had just returned from a meeting where she had been informed that her duties would expand to include all user-generated content for the web portal ABC Startsiden, which is the parent company of the news site. She was not the only newsroom member who would be given expanded duties.
“I was not particularly happy with the restructuring,” says Lunde “but I figured I would give it a try and see what happened. So I cleaned up my desk and prepared to move one floor up.”
Her boss emailed her a few hours later, asking her why she had resigned via Twitter without talking to him first. He said they would have a meeting about the issue the following day. That meeting never happened, but her new duties were presented during a town hall meeting with all the employees the following day.
Later that week, her new boss informed that she needed to submit a formal resignation since they were in the process of finding her replacement.
“If they have interpreted a Twitter message to be my resignation,” says Lunde “Then I guess that is my formal resignation. I know social media and I know what I do. If that tweet had been intended as a resignation, of course I would have talked to my boss about it first.”
It was Lunde’s unparalleled social media skills that landed her the editor job in the first place. She was offered the job after she was crowned Norway’s best blogger in 2005. At that point, she was blogging anonymously under the moniker Vampus in order to not mix her personal and professional life.
Lunde’s blog is taglined “Single Oslo woman with Cat, mortal fear of spiders, and more than 80 pairs of shoes. Writes about war and peace and stuff.” It is a mix of pointed political commentary and embrace of life as a single woman. When TV Norge launched Studio 5, which is a Norwegian version of the View, Lunde was asked to be one of the hosts.
It is not the first time her tweets has lead to stories in national media. Several newspapers ran a story saying she was looking for a significant other after a tweet about her mom welcoming her to the family cabin IF she brought a husband and child. The high media profile has not been a problem for ABC Startsiden before.
”I was thinking to myself, do I really want to work with this company if they choose to interpret a tweet as a resignation?” says Lunde. “My last day is August 31 unless we agree on something different. I am OK with that at this point.”
ABC Startsiden did not want to comment on what they consider an internal personnel matter.