August 13, 2008 25 Comments
On Wednesday August 13, I start my new job as Senior Product Manager for Connectbeam. Connectbeam provides social bookmarking and networking to the enterprise. The goal is to foster better information management and discovery, and to connect colleagues around projects and common interests.
Going a bit further, here is a note from privately-held Connectbeam’s about page:
Connectbeam’s architecture and core application (Spotlight) were designed to help people in any role, across the enterprise, connect with both the growing pool of information and colleagues with the expertise and experience to help them get their jobs done more intelligently and more quickly. We enable this by aggregating the social metadata that is generated naturally by using the web into a single repository that everyone in the company can access and use.
The problem Connectbeam is tackling greatly interests me. How to manage information to make individuals smarter, help people find information and determine the ways in which common interests establish and build relationships. There are many posts on this blog along those lines. Here are six of them:
- FriendFeed ‘Likes’ Compatibility Index
- Hey Yahoo! Forget MSFT, GOOG. Change the Search Rules.
- Who Is Your Information Filter?
- Knowledge & Innovation: The Journey Is as Valuable as the Destination
- Tag Recommendations for Content: Ready to Filter Noise?
- Social Media Consumption: You Want Signal or Discovery?
I also like Connectbeam’s delivery model. I am a fan of cloud computing, and in my experiences at eFinance and Pay By Touch, customers got comfortable. But I also ran into companies that only wanted applications behind their firewall, which is what we sold at BEA Systems. Security, control and reliability are still important, and recent outages at Amazon S3 and Gmail highlight those concerns. Connectbeam runs as an appliance behind companies’ firewalls.
Connectbeam delivers its model as an integration with existing search engines and other applications. For instance, Connectbeam now has an integration with Microsoft’s SharePoint, the most pervasive collaboration software out there. The Microsoft SharePoint Senior Technical PM even tweeted about it.
I’m a big believer in the ability of enterprises to improve the ways that information is created, disseminated and managed by employees. Those that get this right will be better-positioned in our information-centric economy.
FriendFeed Has Opened My Eyes
I joined BEA Systems to do product marketing for enterprise 2.0. Prior to that, I had done a little tweeting and had a Facebook profile. But not a whole lot of social media. I started blogging in February to eat my own dog food when I was marketing web 2.0 to companies. I needed to immerse myself in the world to really understand it.
Well, blogging has become quite important for me. FriendFeed has become just as important.
FriendFeed opened my eyes to the possibilities of knowledge as the basis of relationships. The ways in which content from a variety of sources is a powerful, addictive basis for learning, conversations and collaboration. How activity streams are compelling reads. I’ve been active on FriendFeed since March, and it shocks me how much I know about web 2.0 and technology in general versus last year. I’ve still got much to learn, and FriendFeed will continue to be a good source for that.
So why can’t companies get better around that too? Having eaten my own dog food on FriendFeed, I’m ready to work with employees and companies to improve the ways in which information is created, tracked and shared.
How Social Media Got Me the Job
You’ve probably seen more than a few posts saying that today’s resume is your Google search results. Your social network sites, content, updates, what others say about you…all of it is searchable.
Like me, Connectbeam CEO Puneet Gupta subscribes to Google Alerts for “enterprise 2.0”. Well one of my blog posts was listed in an alert. It caught Puneet’s attention, so he read the blog a bit more. Liking what he saw, he then investigated my name out on the web. Among the sites he found was one where I was a recommended blogger to follow (thanks Daryl, Franklin, Louis, Mark, Mike, Rob, Steven). Those recommendations were in part made due to the wonderful effects FriendFeed has for bloggers.
It didn’t hurt that I had been involved with enterprise 2.0 at BEA Systems. So after doing some due diligence, he left this comment on my blog:
Would love to connect with you and discuss some ideas.
I reached out to him, did some interviews, and the rest is history.
The new job will give me a more structured basis for looking at the ways in which information is managed. I plan to look more deeply at some of the consumer social bookmarking sites.I’m a product manager for Connectbeam, but a lot of my job will involve product marketing too.
I expect working in this area will influence my blogging subjects some. But I’ll blog about other fun stuff along the way as well.
Gotta go – my commute is from San Francisco to Mountain View. Need to battle the 101 traffic.
If you want an easy way to stay on top of Enterprise 2.0, I invite you to join the Enterprise 2.0 Room on FriendFeed. The room takes feeds for Enterprise 2.0-related items on Twitter, Del.icio.us and SlideShare. To see this room, click here: http://friendfeed.com/rooms/enterprise-2-0
See this post on FriendFeed: http://friendfeed.com/search?q=%22I%E2%80%99ve+Joined+Connectbeam%2C+and+Social+Media+Got+Me+the+Job%22&public=1