[HTML2]Long absent from the burgeoning Portland Web scene, our friends over at Webtrends have come back with a vengeance. They were quintessential to the success of Open Source Bridge, from sponsoring the event to hosting volunteer meetings to co-hosting Portland Lunch 2.0 to providing an adult beverage friendly venue for the after party. They’ve become a gracious host for events like CloudCamp PDX and WordCamp Portland. And, of course, they hired Justin Kistner, founder of Beer and Blog.
I often say that Silicon Florist is less of a breaking news site and more of feature site, like People or Parade. And while I’m not expecting to be able to fill James Brady‘s sadly empty shoes, it only makes sense that we spend some time catching up with some of the folks around town.
I brought the lead for the first two, and helped pitch the last two.
What kind of work are you doing for these clients?
We’re working with Soloflex on building their online presence to boost sales, which is anchored by the Soloflex blog. We’re working with Gerding Edlen on promoting the Cyan apartments.
We’re helping Intel build their social media engagement for their embedded systems group.
WebTrends is an integrated communications program. We’ll be helping them with PR, AR, and social media. In fact, we just launched a new WordPress blog for WebTrends’ Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, the vice president of marketing.
We’ve seen your company and clients sponsoring some of the events around town, like Ignite Portland, which is great. Is that something that’s likely to continue?
Voce has sponsored Ignite Portland a couple of times and has more plans to support the Portland tech scene. Having an on-the-ground presence here locally, will only increase our ability to sponsor, host, and just generally get involved.
So there may be more of Voce in Portland in the near future?
We’ve gotten support from upper management on opening a local office. I’d like to see us open an office in Portland.
Another Vocian who you may have met at Beer and Blog, Colin Crook, owns a house in Beaverton, but is currently living in the Bay Area. He’d like to be able to move up here.
In fact, he was the guy that was leading the pitch process with Jive, which is how I met Voce. Colin cut his social media teeth on the Spread Firefox team along with Vidoop employee Chris Messina. So there are a lot of connections for us here.
Speaking of Beer and Blog—your side project—you’ve seen explosive growth over the last year. How popular is it, these days?
Beer and Blog started with four people meeting at the Lucky Lab just over a year ago. Now we see 40-70 people every Friday at the Portland chapter.
We also started expanding to other cities this year and now have 10 chapters including our first overseas: Tokyo.
With Silicon Florist, it was very much a dumb luck, right place at the right time situation. While I’m sure Beer and Blog was a little more planned, did you ever expect this sort of response to the event?
I was very surprised by the popularity of the format. Prior to Beer and Blog, Portland didn’t have a weekly meet up of any relevant size, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The truth is, it started as a means to round up all of the people I was helping for free, so I didn’t expect it to grow beyond a dozen, maybe 20 people. I heard naysayers telling me weekly was too much and we’d burn out our audience.
However, time has shown that it actually works better for people because they don’t feel as obligated to make every one. New people consistently tell me that it feels more accessible since it happens every week too.
It’s great to hear about this kind of stuff happening in the Silicon Forest, especially given current economic conditions. Hopefully, you’ve found Justin’s insights as interesting—and as positive—as I did.
Speaking of what people are doing…. Not to overstate the obvious, but I’m a firm believer that people in Portland consistently do amazing things. And they deserve to be able to tell people about it. So now is as good of a time as any to mention that I’m working to rekindle Portland on Fire this month. If you’re interested in participating, please make sure to submit your Portland on Fire profile.
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.
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.