Archive for the ‘Boards’ tag
Are you a content marketer? Do you love Pinterest? If you don’t, you should, because there is no better place to find relevant content for your industry, nor is there a quicker way to share that content. Not only can you find plenty of items to educate you on the latest information in today’s online [...]
YouTube is already on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ but today they’re announcing that they are taking their social media influence (or should we say pinfluence?) to the next level. That’s right—YouTube has joined Pinterest and they’ve already put together a whole slew of boards for you to follow.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Web-clipping and bookmarking tool Clipboard is dressing up in its best new features and making a grand public debut today. The site, which has been invite-only since it launched in October, is finally open to anyone who wants to sign up. It is also introducing a new Boards feature, which lumps items into collections by tags, as well as a few other new tweaks.
Clipboard lets you bookmark, collect, organize, and share web-clippings. It’s not limited to images — it clips text, audio, animations, and fully formatted sections of webpages with links intact. You can keep your clippings private and use it as a self-organization tool, Evernote and Delicious style, or share them with a select group or the world. You can also follow other users and checkout their public clips.
Though Clipboard founder Gary Flake bristles at the comparison, his baby obviously has a lot in common with visual bookmarking juggernaut Pinterest. There’s the basic clipping concept, the image-heavy irregular-grid layout, and the buttons to like or re-share a bookmark. Even the star new feature, Boards, begs a comparison to Pinterest’s Boards, what with the exact same name and almost identical design (pictured right).
But comparisons are beside the point. Clipboard takes what Pinterest does well and expands on it, improves it, and I think infuses it with a new level of usefulness that is missing from the shallow, all-social site.
Computer scientist Flake has thought extensively about what he calls the “sharing landscape,” coming at it from the uniquely cerebral background you’d expect from a former technical fellow at Microsoft. He’s carefully considered the other major players and the different motivations of their user bases.
“What you put on Facebook is to a great extent what you want other people to think about you. What you put on Pinterest is more about your aspirations,” said Flake. “Clipboard is much more about getting stuff done. The focus of our DNA is first and foremost to be good for one user, and then be social, and then be aspirational.”
Clipboard accomplishes this by having more useful content than Pinterest. Where a Pin might show a pretty image of a cake recipe, you still have to click through to get that list of ingredients. Clipboard displays the full recipe along with any relevant in-text links. It also shifts the focus from exhibitionism to useful tool by being private-by-default with social options instead of the other way around.
“We respect users’ privacy more than anything else,” said Flake. “You own the data and you are lending it to us. It’s your stuff, not ours.”
Flake was kind enough to sketch up this awesome chart (right) showing where Clipboard falls in the ecosystem of sharing and clipping tools (we love it when founders draw diagrams for us). It is ambitious, able to collect complex data instead of just images, and works as a solo or a social sharing tool.
Currently, Clipboard is just focused on wooing new users and getting established, but Flake has something rare in Silicon Valley: a plan to monetize his product that isn’t based on selling the company. One option is to take “the intent and the context and how that’s presented and turn that into a similar alignment of interest.” That means Clipboard could one day use your data to serve you with offers, products, or ads that are right up your alley. Other possibilities Flake is considering are an enterprise product and revenue sharing.
The young company has already rolled up a couple of competitors, Amplify and Clipmarks, but faces stiff competition from the revived Delicious and Snip.it. Clipboard has received funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Betaworks, Index Ventures, CrunchFund, SV Angel, First Round Capital, and others.
Posted by kaiserthesage
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
When I started to work as an SEO for an Australian-based SEO agency in early 2010, I never knew anything about the work (optimizing websites and building links to them) and definitely unsure of most of the things that I have worked on during that time.
All I did was to follow all the instructions given to me, build links in volume and research/learn all the basics of SEO from scratch. I got the hang of it after a couple of months, and I thought that I was doing great. Then I got fired.
I guess it was a tragic story, but not quite true, since I was immediately hired by Affilorama and Traffic Travis right after getting ditched by my former employer. Fortunately, this led me to getting acquainted with the works of Ross Hudgens, Garret French and Wil Reynolds in mid-2010 – the people in this industry who have really influenced my thinking on SEO, particularly in scaling almost all encompassed processes and methodologies when optimizing a website, which certainly include building and promoting “linkable assets”.
So let’s head over to the main topic of this post (sorry for the long introduction), and start defining what a linkable asset is. Basically, a linkable asset is any part of a website or organization that its target audience will genuinely perceive as worth citing/referencing to. It could be people, content, events or anything that can be really interesting to a specifically targeted market.
This aspect of a website is so important to any form of online marketing campaign, especially these days, seeing as these materials are able to benefit a site/brand in so many ways, such as:
- Ability to continuously attract links to the domain
- Strengthen a site’s online brand presence (substantiates the brand’s authoritativeness)
- Generate more interested/fascinated brand followers and leads to the business
- Becoming more visible through search and social channels (and yield more traffic to the site)
To give you a clearer picture of how linkable assets work, I’ll give several samples below as well as the link building methods that you can implement to promote each type of content.
How to build links to online Award-giving Bodies:
- Provide embeddable widgets – Offer widgets that the award’s nominees, finalists and winners can use and embed to their sites/blogs, which will link back to your site.
- Get press mentions – find columnists and authority bloggers who will most likely be interested to cover your online event (particularly those who write about your business’ industry). Engage and pitch a newsworthy angle about your upcoming event. For a more in-depth guide on pitching news to authority news sites, you can check out Chris Winfield’s recent post on getting press coverage.
- Reach out to content curators – identify the top curators in your industry, probably bloggers who have published lists of top blogs and resources in your field. Contact these people and ask if they’ll be interested to make a write up about your event, or offer to do a guest post for them.
- Leverage social sharing to nominees, members and/or winners – encourage participants to share their entry, as the more your content gets across their network and audience, the greater chances of getting second wave coverage/links from small and medium-sized blogs.
News Voting Feature
A news voting feature is best built to already existing communities that have a strong following base, like industry-specific forums and blogs, since they already have users who can regularly submit articles and contribute to discussions. It’s also a great way to engage an already existing community, seeing that you can incentivize the approach by allowing your community to promote their own content within the site.
How to build links to a news voting section of a site:
- Get press coverage – as always, getting links from news sites that have strong readership can help drive massive traffic to your site, especially in its launching stage, and can eventually bring more natural link acquisition opportunities from bloggers in your industry who might write about your site’s news voting section. Track and make a list of the people who’ll share the news articles about your launch, and segment those who have blogs, as you can also reach out to these people and ask if they’ll be interested to link to your news voting page.
- Embeddable widgets for top members – you can also choose to offer widgets to your active members to generate more links to your site.
- Acquire links from industry resources pages – Find resources pages in your industry and offer your news voting section to be included on their list of resources (you can start with queries like “keyword news” + inurl:resources). Given that this area of the site will be mostly user-generated, your link requests will have higher chances of getting approved.
- Get blogroll links – start with blogs that have already linked to your site in the past and with individuals that you have already connected with, and pitch the idea of including your news voting site to their blogroll links. Psychologically, the request will have more impact, since the page will surely be offering fresh pages/articles about your industry around the web (which means the page is able to offer real value to possible click-through visitors).
Free Learning Tools and Extensive Lessons
- Affilorama’s Free Affiliate Marketing Lessons
- Team Treehouse’s Web Design and Web Development Lessons
How to build links to free lessons:
- Contextual links from externally distributed content – cite your extensive free lessons whenever you contribute to other blogs through guest blogging. Place the links within your guest posts’ content and always vary your links’ anchor texts. You can also link to them through the other formats of you content you distribute, such as free whitepapers, slide presentations and newsletters.
- Push content via social media – increase awareness by launching a social media campaign for your free lessons. With more people discovering the content, the more it can translate to possible editorial link opportunities and acquisitions. You can start with a Stumbleupon marketing campaign through paid discovery or by just promoting the shared links through su.pr to increase unique pageviews to your free lessons.
- Linker Outreach – make a list of known linkers and social sharers in your industry and let them know about your free course. You can easily identify these people by tracking your competitors’ social and link data, particularly from your competitors’ strong content. To learn more about this method, you can check out this guide on linker outreach that I wrote several months ago.
- Request links from .edu sites – this type of material will almost always have higher response rates when pitched to .edu sites, knowing that the offered content is providing high-value information. Search for .edu sites (ex: “keyword resources” site:.edu) who might be interested to add your lessons on their resources pages.
- Build links through community discussions – search for questions that relates to the information supplied by your lessons on related forums and Q&A sites. Link to your free lessons’ page when contributing to these highly-relevant discussions and make the link serve as a reference.
- Get featured on other bloggers' newsletters – if you’ve done your homework and have managed to build relationships/connections with bloggers in your field that have a substantial amount of email subscribers, then pitching to have your lessons featured on their newsletters is a very feasible idea. Absorb their audience to take a look of your site and try to contain them once they land on your free lessons page.
How to build links to a page with series of videos:
- Embed and incorporate videos when submitting guest blogs – this will make your guest posts look more comprehensive and it also gives you the right to link back to the category or main page of where you host your videos.
- Promote via Stumbleupon – this social platform is a home to millions of cerebral and social media-savvy users, they basically know how social media works, so you’ll definitely want to have your page filled with high-quality videos in front of their users. You can invest $20 – $100 on paid discovery just to get a jumpstart with your social media campaign and probably expect to have your pageviews multiplied if you’ve positioned your social buttons well to act as obvious CTAs. The more the content gets exposure from these types of viewers, the more opportunities your page get for link acquisition.
- Track the links and social shares from your competitors’ videos – you can use tools like Topsy and Ahrefs to identify the sites and Twitter profiles who have shared their content. List these people/blogs and try to be in touch with them, and then ask if they’ll be interested to see your videos and perhaps share and/or link to it as well.
How to build links to Job Boards:
- Blogroll links – most independent blogs are publishing tutorials to help their readers learn, earn and probably get a job, and with that being said, requesting for them to link to your site’s job board makes it absolutely reasonable and relevant. Start with blogs who have already linked to your site in the past, as these blogs are already aware of your brand and somehow trusts you as a resource in your field of expertise. You can eventually expand to your other link/blog prospects along the process of building relationships with them.
- Acquire links from those who are posting job offers in your site – some of these businesses could be a good link/content partner for your site, so it’s best to build relationships with them as well.
- Encourage visitors to socially share their entry or the job board page – building social signals is quite important these days, as it will not just help in making the page more visible through search and social, but it also denotes high-activity and usage of the page.
- Request links from .edu sites – there are tons of .edu sites that list job vacancies/openings from different companies, primarily to make it easier for their students to find jobs right after they graduate. Use Google Search to find job resources pages from .edu sites and make contact to ask if it’s possible for your site’s job board to be included on their resources page. Specificity is the key to get high approval rates from your link requests. Ensure that the jobs being offered in your page will bring value to the page you’re trying to get a link from.
- The Hidden Cost of War – Kinetic Typography
- The State of Internet 2011 – Interactive Infographic
- World Bank's Data on Philippines – Linked Data
How to build links to these types of rich-media content:
- Create news through your data and pitch the story to news sites and authority blogs – journalists and top/pro bloggers love data and numbers, so if you can do an extensive research about your industry, which can provide stats that could be helpful to build a newsworthy story, then you can improve your chances of getting solid links from authority domains just by presenting your data to columnists/bloggers who specifically write about your industry.
- Offer embed codes – make it easier for others to copy and embed your rich-media content to their own blogs (that links back to the original source of the content – your site).
- Feature it on your guest blogs to increase approval rate – you can also build more content that supports the data/information provided by your infographic/video and submit those as guest blogs, along with your infographic/video embedded within your guest entry. This will then amplify the reach of your data, as more brand signals will be sent out to people (your blog prospects’ audiences) who will be able to see your contributed content.
- Promote heavily through social media – reach out to known influencers in your industry and ask for feedback or if they can share your content on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc…). It's important to evaluate your content, if it's really compelling and share-worthy, before sending your pitch.
Coin a term
Creating your own brand’s industry term or technical terminology is a form of thought-leadership, and it’s definitely a linkable asset, wherein people will give credit to your brand whenever they use the term you have created. That’s why it’s imperative to build a definition page for the term(s) that you’re planning to invent, which should clearly define the meaning, usage as well as the history of the word, to own it in the SERPs.
How to build links to your technical terminology’s definition page:
- Use it frequently when distributing content externally – use the term and make it link back to your term’s definition page (hosted within your domain) when you’re submitting guest posts to other blogs, participating on community discussions and distributing free downloadable ebooks or slide presentations.
- Create a Wikipedia page for your industry term – use your definition page as well as other high-authority pages/articles that have used the term as references.
- Set up Google Alerts for your term – track blogs/sites that might use your term through Google Alerts, and try to ask for link attribution whenever you see it getting mentioned by other sites (if it’s not linking back to your definition page).
Extremely Useful Apps and Browser-based Tools
How to build links to Web-based tools:
- Every major tool version update is newsworthy – if your site is offering free web-based tools, you should take advantage of its major updates, as you can publicize it through content distribution (press release and blog posts). Google is doing it, why shouldn’t you?
- Get links from bloggers (experiential reviews) – reach out to highly relevant blogs, and see if they’ll be interested to try out your tools. Provide them with all the resources that they might need to help them understand how your tool works, as this can somehow make them more interested to write about your tool. You can also check this list of alternative blogger outreach techniques to improve the chances of acquiring links from them.
- Obtain links from list pages (top and best resources/tools in your niche) – find pages that list the best tools and resources in your field. Engage the publisher of the content and invite them to try out your tool. Send a link request if they’re satisfied. You can also use the broken link building method to speed up the process of acquiring links from these list/resources pages.
- Guest blogging – write advanced tutorials on using your tool and/or on how it can improve its target users’ productivity, and then submit it to high-traffic and highly relevant blogs. Use strong calls-to-action on these guest entries, to have better chances of absorbing and converting their readers.
- 217 Link Building Articles, Posts, Interviews and Columns from Eric Ward
- SEO Strategies Resources by Kaiserthesage
Custom categories or high-quality resources pages can easily attract links, seeing that it contains links to highly resourceful pages, in which the traffic it’s able to acquire will more often than not save/share/bookmark the page, particularly if they have found the links that the page host very useful.
This type of page also has greater chances of achieving higher search rankings for industry head terms, since the absolute relevance of the content (based from both internal and external links it hosts as well as the anchor texts used pertain to thematically related subtopics).
How to build links to custom categories:
- Guest blogs – build contextual links to your custom categories through your guest blogging campaign.
- Interviews – link to it whenever you get a chance to be interviewed by other bloggers, given that it’s a good page to refer their readers to, wherein they can see almost all of your published works in one place.
- Author, Social and Forum Profiles – building links through your external profile pages (from other web communities) is also a great way to make this page more visible to your target audience. This will also allow search engines to regularly crawl the links in your custom category/resources page (as well as the new links that will be continuously added to the page).
- Constantly drive new traffic to gain more natural links – based on my experience, once the page is constantly generating new visitors (when it’s ranking highly for its targeted head terms), the more it can naturally attract and acquire links.
Finding possible linkable assets
There are also other types of web content that could possibly fit as a linkable asset that you can work on for your link development campaign. It could be a well-researched blog post, crowdsourced content, a forum thread, or even sales/product pages.
You can simply find and identify these strong pages resting within your site through assessing and sorting your site’s pages by:
- Most linked pages or pages that are naturally attracting links (via Google Webmaster Tools)
- Most visited pages with high user-activity, particularly from search engines (via Google Analytics)
Once you have distinguished pages that can possibly help you build more links with minimal effort (by just constantly bringing targeted traffic to the page that have high probability of sharing or linking to it), start enhancing these pages to strengthen its ability to automate a fraction of your link building process. Enhancements could be on areas/elements of the page such as:
- Length Content
- Call to action
- Internal links to the site’s other important pages
- More inbound links to the page
It’s also best to understand the linking behavior from your newly discovered assets (or even the linkable assets of your competitors). Know why people are naturally linking to it, so you can have more ideas of how you can replicate the approach for your content as well as to your site’s other possible linkable assets.
Discerning the natural linking activities to your pages will also enable you to create powerful outreach templates that you can use to build more solid links to these pages, as you’ll be able to weigh the value that resonated to your previous linkers, and could then be elaborated as the value proposition of your outreach copy.
Prolong the purpose of the content
Optimize for search
Optimize the page to target industry-specific keywords as it will have better chances of competing for tough keywords, given that you’ll be working on to drive powerful links to the page, as well as with the page having the capability to attract links (where natural linkers will mostly use the content’s title as anchor text when linking to it).
Always Test and Update calls-to-action
This is vital, especially if your site’s strong and link-worthy pages are constantly driving new traffic to the site, as you can always change its call to action whenever you have new offers and/or products, which will allow you to effectively convert new visitors.
Let the continuously driven traffic to the page know who created the content. Highlight brand and trust signals on some parts of the content to improve brand retention.
Social CTA to force multiply social sharing
Make the content’s social buttons very visible, to continuously gain social shares, along the process of getting new visitors to the content (probably from search engines and other referring sources).
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- Women make up the majority of bloggers, and half of bloggers are aged 18-34
- Bloggers are well-educated: 7 out of 10 bloggers have gone to college, a majority of whom are graduates
- About 1 in 3 bloggers are Moms, and 52% of bloggers are parents with kids under 18 years-old in their household
- Bloggers are active across social media: they’re twice as likely to post/comment on consumer-generated video sites like YouTube, and nearly three times more likely to post in Message Boards/Forums within the last month
- Three out of the top 10 social networking sites in the U.S. – Blogger, WordPress and Tumblr – are for consumer-generated blogs
Launched as a closed beta in March 2010, Pinterest is a lighthearted niche platform getting serious amounts of mainstream attention. It even made it to the Channel 4 News tonight in a well rounded report by Benjamin Cohen who compared it to one of my favourite places in London, the amazing John Sloan Museum. So via popular demand, I’m posting the briefing email I wrote for our clients on the top three things that make this growing platform important for big brands.
Pinterest self describes as a Virtual Pinboard and their wonderfully simple interface is as intuitive as tacking postcards on a bulletin board or pasting images in a scrapbook. One of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2011, data from comScore shows Pinterest recently hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history and had a 55 percent gain in unique visitors between November and December 2011. A hot site indeed.
1. A niche network for a heartland audience
Especially for all brands courting the 18-45 female consumer demographic, the reports that 97% of users on Pinterest are women are music to a social marketers’ ears. Fashion, food, and family milestones like weddings lend themselves to visual image Boards made easy by Pinterest. But don’t discount this site as an addition to your social strategy just because your audience skews male or your brand is B2B. I think we’ll see use of the platform from all sectors. Check out a macho Board from GE titled Badass Machines or our own Duncan Gallagher’s Race and Rally Car collection.
2. ‘Frictionless Creativity’
We all want to be creative, but not everyone can be a famous artist or a Martha Stewart. The stats around Pinterest rocket ship growth are interesting, but we can learn more studying the reasons why people love it. Digital scrapbooking has been around since the early web, but never has a site made it so effortless. Users simply click to ‘Pin’ any large image from a website onto a ‘Board’. Voilà. I’ve ‘made’ something creative that I’m proud to share. Other people can like, comment, and of course repin to their own Boards. It’s addictive, expressive and fun.
3. Cross platform social is the new SEO
Pinterest is a great example of how digital platforms link together. User can choose to sign in via Twitter or Facebook. You can’t pin images directly from a Facebook Page (although there are workarounds) but you can now add pins to your Facebook Timeline.
And the big news for ecommerce retailers of all kinds (including hotels and tourism, consumer electronics and most brands at this point) is how much referral traffic is coming from Pinterest. Pinned images keep the url of the site they originated from. So if I pin something from Etsy, the link back to that Etsy page openly stays with the image. Pinterest can also display all the pictures that come from the same source.
However, companies can block the pinning of their content. This is a smart move by Pinterest founders to counter the fact that most pinned images violate their own Terms of Service, which state users must have the right to post that image. But smart retailers will encourage their customers to pin freely and should start adding a Pin It button to their product pages, as Etsy and Threadless have done.
In general, Brands using Pinterest well are companies that are doing a good job integrating social overall, like Burberry or Wholefoods. They respect the Pinterest founders request to “Avoid Self Promotion” by not posting ads and understand the power of the visual over the verbal. Non-profits are another natural fit for visual sharing sites. Events, sponsorships, sustainability programs, any brand anniversary — all can make great use of this free platform. How might your company experiment with Pinterest?
Referral traffic is pouring out of Pinterest and Facebook’s Open Graph frictionless sharing. With Sociable Lab’s licensable EverShare you can snatch their functionality without any serious development work and soak up some page views. EverShare lets you host your own Pinterest-style product or content boards to give your users their social curation fix. It also instantly roots your site into Facebook’s confusing APIs so purchases, comments, reviews, and pins are automatically blasted at friends of your visitors.
Pinterest’s simple, stable sharing canvas has struck a chord with ecommerce shoppers and middle America’s women in particular. You could add Pin It buttons to your site and hope they get clicked, but great websites steal, they don’t borrow. Sociable Labs licenses a website personalization SaaS to sites that want to instantly get social. EverShare Gallery mimics Pinterest’s home page activity board, but only displays trending products and those shared by a user’s friends.
I’ve spoken to several developers and they want to add Frictionless Sharing, but they’ve found the Facebook developer docs confusing. Considering how most sites and apps that integrates it see traffic go through the roof, there’s surely plenty of sites looking for a turnkey hose into the Facebook Ticker, Timeline, and news feed. EverShare Connector makes it as easy as writing a check.
Once integrated, users don’t even have to go back to Facebook to see what friends are sharing. The sidebar activity feed also includes the option to turn off sharing, for those who don’t want friends to know how many shoes they buy.
Virality best practices are developing faster than most companies can employ them. Meanwhile, good developers and designers are in short supply. For content sites, buying referral traffic might not produce big ROI. But for ecommerce sites, a monthly SaaS subscription could pay for itself quickly since Sociable Labs says socially sourced traffic converts 250-300% higher.
There’s no reason to keep your cutting boards all stacked up together under the sink, constantly falling over when you move the bottle that’s propping them up. Head to your local office supply store (or supply cabinet at work) and snag a file folder rack. They’re usually wide enough to keep your cutting boards organized without scratching them, and small enough to fit on the countertop or under the sink. More »
A combined hackathon and roadtrip to South by Southwest, the StartupBus is in its third year and becoming a bit of a tradition — and this time, it won’t be limited to the United States.
That’s because, after doubling the number of buses, the organizers decided to choose participating cities a little differently this year. To make sure it wasn’t overlooking any cities with passionate startup communities, StartupBus organizers allowed people to vote for their favorite regions. And it turns out that Mexico City was one of the top vote getters, behind only Cincinnati and Tampa Bay.
Until now, the main StartupBus event — founded in 2010 by Elias Bizannes — has limited its departures to US cities. Still, there were signs that it was starting to attract an international following. Entrepreneurs have flown in from other countries to join the US buses, and there was a StartupBus bound for Le Web last December.
Eoin McMillan, who is both “conductor” (basically, the organizer) of the Mexico City bus and director of operations at Bizannes’ new StartupHouse venture, says the entrepreneurs who will actually ride the bus are still being selected. (For logistical reasons, the bus will leave from San Luis Potosi.) In the meantime, there are other obstacles.
The main one, not surprisingly, is money. Some of the costs will be covered by Tec De Monterrey Zona Norte, which McMillan describes as “the MIT of Mexico” and which is sponsoring the bus. In addition, StartupBus will probably be reducing or waiving its normal fee (needed to cover costs like gas and paying the driver). But there are still the basic travel costs associated with the road trip, like buying food and paying for nightly lodging, that could make the trip too expensive for some Mexican entrepreneurs, especially college students.
So McMillan is hoping for help — ideally, he’d like to find a big sponsor who can providing the funding to give each passenger a small travel stipend, but failing that, he’s interested in talking to anyone who might be willing to help. If that’s you, email him at email@example.com.
McMillan can speak passionately about the life-changing aspects of riding the bus — after all, he took the trip himself last year, after traveling from Australia to San Francisco to pursue his dreams of entrepreneurship. Now, he admits to not just drinking the StartupBus Kool-Aid, but “mainlining it,” and he says, “The thought that someone amazing who wanted to get on the bus might not be able to because of finances pisses me off.”
He also argues that Mexico City’s involvement is symbolic of a larger trend toward international entrepreneurship.
“It’s no longer about, ‘Can Mexico City compete?’” McMillan says. “It’s about, ‘Can San Francisco compete against the rest of the world combined?’”
Don’t you just hate when you’re out skateboarding, minding your own business, and suddenly one of the wheels comes off and you break a kneecap? Well now there’s a new startup called BoardProspects, which aims to help companies build better boards. A quick glance at their website reveals that the company is not going to be able to solve your skateboarding woes, however, but it may help your business roll more smoothly.
If your company is in need of new members for the board of directors (cough Yahoo cough) or the advisory board (cough Honeywell cough), you may want to give Boston-based BoardProspects’ upcoming offering a second look.
Having just raised a $650,000 seed round, BoardProspects basically offers a platform that connects individuals (‘prospects’) with organizations, and also provides educational resources and tools to improve boardroom service.
The online community is set to launch some time in the second quarter of this year, but the first 1,000 people to pre-register for the service will receive a free lifetime premium membership (the company didn’t mention what this entails, but surely it must be good!).
Here’s the problem that BoardProspects says it identified:
There are more than 60,000 publicly traded companies in the United States that are required by law to have a board of directors. In the Fortune 1,000 alone, there are more than 1,100 directors currently serving that are over 70 years old, according to GMI Research, the leading independent provider of global corporate governance, ESG and accounting risk ratings and research.
The number of vacancies for the nearly 1.6 million non-profit organizations in the United States is exponentially larger, with more than 1.8 million of these seats turning over each year. These dramatic numbers do not include the hundreds of thousands of private companies that could benefit from building a board of directors or an advisory board, recruiting valuable members, or applying best practices to improve board performance.
Poised to prove that it’s not just about ‘who you know’, BoardProspects aims to apply social networking mechanics and technologies to “transform the way that boards and prospects connect, communicate, and serve”. It’s unclear whether they also make rad skateboards.
Angel investors who participated in the seed round include Mike Verrochi (managing partner at Blue Rock Ventures), Brendan McCarthy (managing director of Goldman Sachs) and Paul Sullivan, partner of family-owned Sullivan Tire.