This week, Cami Kaos and Rick Turoczy discuss startup lessons from MioWorks and SplashCast, Microsoft layoffs, new podcasts from Dr. Normal and Cort & Fatboy, Google and Rupert Murdoch, Google acquiring AdMob and Gizmo5, and Google Dashboard. Oh and Cami is wearing a Bac’n shirt, this week.
Well, well, well. It kind of snuck up on you a bit, didn’t it? I know. These things happen. But it’s Thursday and that means it’s time for another episode of memePDX, the weekly podcast about the hottest tech news in Portland… and beyond.
While mapping services are often one of the first places people start mucking with APIs and mashups, few take to it as well as Portland-based Cartosoft. Continuing to push the mapping mashup envelope, they’ve just announced the latest version of their award-winning flagship product, Mapdango.
From the Mapdango v2 post:
You spoke, emailed, and clicked – and we listened. After some relatively in-depth analysis for usage trends over the last four months or so, we custom-tailored mapdango to provide users with a better experience exploring different locations around the world.
So what’s new?
Well, what’s most important to a mashup? More stuff to mashup, of course. And Mapdango doesn’t disappoint. If it’s got an API available and some GIS info, it’s likely that it’s on Mapdango, now.
All in all, this feature-rich release marks another leap forward for Mapdango and Cartosoft. And it serves as a positive reminder to the industry that—with the continued proclivity toward open data exchange—individuals hold the power to accumulate and manage tons of data within a single resource.
It seems like only yesterday—or April—that I was pitching conspiracy theories about Portland-based WebTrends‘ new CEO, Dan Stickel. With Stickel being a former Google employee, I thought I saw the potential for our local Web analytics company—one with a bit of a checkered history—to have a clear path toward acquisition.
In naming Yoder as CEO, the board turned to a WebTrends insider with seven years of experience at the company, and who most recently led WebTrends to its most successful quarter in history as its vice president of sales. He also has been one of the key executives leading the company’s long-term strategic planning, and has over 20 years of global business experience.
Sources close to the announcement say that there is a “tremendous amount of excitement” about Yoder ascending to the leadership role. And that the news was incredibly well received throughout the company.
Yoder has been responsible for strategic oversight of all WebTrends marketing and sales activities in North America. Alex has built his team around industry and product expertise and has transformed the culture to emphasize customer relationships, providing complete online marketing solutions with world class services.
On a tangential and random “isn’t it a small Portland Web scene?” note, Yoder also graduated from the same tiny college that Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian and I did—Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. So I mean, that’s good, right?
Yoder joined WebTrends in 2000, then left early in 2007 to become vice president of sales at a company called Touch Clarity after becoming disillusioned with WebTrends’ direction.
Yoder rejoined WebTrends in January of this year, feeling that the company’s focus had returned. He said he hopes to bring stability to the Portland company, and said that he expects his history with the company will help him build trust with WebTrends’ employees.
In my opinion, having someone like Yoder, who has been with the company through the thick and thin of the last few years, should prove a positive move for the company. And should—hopefully—help WebTrends continue along its path to recapture the heights of its dotcom-days greatness.
And while it doesn’t necessarily take the whole acquisition conspiracy theory off of the table. It does make things seem a great deal more stable.
The move has been a successful one for Nike. And here’s hoping that it’s equally successful for WebTrends.
Portland-based WebTrends provides web analytics and online marketing solutions to optimize marketing campaigns and customer engagement. WebTrends Marketing Lab delivers the industry’s most recognized analytics, SEM, and visitor intelligence solutions to enable companies to understand their customers, drive customer engagement, and enhance marketing and brand awareness. Thousands of leading global organizations, including General Mills, Microsoft, Reuters and Ticketmaster have chosen WebTrends business solutions and client services expertise to optimize their customers’ online experiences. For more information, visit: www.webtrends.com.
Friend Connect provides a simple, effective, and fairly universal way of adding social networking features to a web site. Although Friend Connect is still in private beta, mapdango is one of the lucky sites that now includes Friend Connect functionality (it took a little cajoling) 🙂
Now, that’s exciting!
So, what’s Google Friend Connect? Well, it’s a social-networking widget. The most readily available analogy I have is “the Yahoo! MyBlogLog widget on steroids.” Or, as Google says:
Google Friend Connect lets you grow traffic by easily adding social features to your website. With just a few snippets of code, you get more people engaging more deeply with your site.
Now granted, Google Friend Connect is not without its shortcomings—or its detractors. But let’s suspend disbelief for a brief moment, disregard that silly “privacy” thing, and revel in how cool it is to see a Portland company among the very fist to get the chance to test-drive this technology.
As always, I’m very interested to see where this goes.
To try Google Friend Connect for yourself, visit Mapdango.
Now, I realize that Portland-based WebTrends isn’t exactly a “startup” around here anymore. (Although some would argues that the company continues to go through fits and starts as it navigates the ever-changing Web analytics landscape.)
Meet Daniel Stickel, a Harvard-educated engineer—Magna Cum Laude, at that—who also boasts a rich 20-year history as an executive, with an impressive record of building businesses.
But I’m especially interested in his experience with preparing for—and living through—acquisitions. According to Stickel’s resume, he was an executive at K2 Technologies before and throughout acquisition, he helped establish the foundations that built Delfin Systems into an acquisition target, and he managed the Alta Vista engineering team that turned that property into a valuable commodity for purchase.
What’s more, it’s not often that you hear of companies in the Portland area hiring folks away from Google.
Let’s see… he worked at Google and he’s got experience in being acquired.
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.