February 27, 2012 By Stacy
As a primarily B2B company, InfoSpace’s social network is more active on LinkedIn more than it is on its more consumer-facing social networking pages on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and YouTube. We’re pleased that we have an online social outlet to share InfoSpace’s company news, job opportunities and industry trends on our LinkedIn Company Page. In fact, our new LinkedIn Group, “Infospace Search Group” started just recently, and we’ve been able to get discussions started with our business partners, peers, and colleagues in the search space. Sign into your LinkedIn account and join our group or follow our Company page at: www.linkedin.com/company/infospace. You can also click our new LinkedIn “Follow” button on the homepage of our corporate website at www.infospaceinc.com, or click the icon right here:
November 7, 2011 By Stacy
The latest BLS job report released this week has shown an improvement in the labor market with an increase in hiring across the nation, however the same can’t be said for the tech sector in the Greater Seattle area. With Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo and Expedia headquartered here, it didn’t take long before tech giants like Google and Facebook set up offices here to compete for engineering talent in the area.
“Finding the right person to fit an open position is incredibly challenging even in today’s market,” said InfoSpace Sr. Manager Maureen Linekin. “Meeting the needs of the role and the unique company culture are both equally important and you can’t meet one need without the other.”
Our search partner, Yahoo!, recently asked its readers of “The Lookout” about long term unemployment for a project titled, “Down But Not Out.” Thousands of readers responded with stories of their personal experiences, and some even provided helpful job search tips after gaining employment. Although it’s always tough to give advice from the other side of the fence, since any one of us can easily find ourselves in the same position, Linekin offered a few additional tips from an HR manager’s standpoint to help today’s job seekers better connect with HR staff and recruiters:
Have an Active and Optimized LinkedIn Profile – This may seem like an obvious resource to some, but surprisingly, a lot of job seekers don’t have a profile on LinkedIn. Make sure your job skills listed on LinkedIn includes the precise keywords known within your field so you can be more easily found in a search by recruiters.
LinkedIn also serves as a good resource to read up on companies you’re interested in through company profiles. Like some companies, InfoSpace’s LinkedIn company profile page gives contact information to the person directly in charge of hiring for open positions, which can be an added bonus in personalizing cover letters after weeks of feeling you’ve only submitted applications to non-humans.
Companies also include job listings on their Facebook pages, so be sure to include Facebook as part of your job search and as a resource. InfoSpace uses LinkUp to sync to its career openings on its Facebook page, but also posts occasional job tips and links to Facebook job seekers and fans.
Stay Connected – While you’re on Facebook, network and ask for leads from friends, family members and former colleagues. InfoSpace has a referral program for its employees when they successfully refer a friend to join the company, resulting in a win-win solution for all.
Keep Your Skills Sharp – Participate in group discussions about your area of expertise on LinkedIn, attend trade industry events or social gatherings, participate in community hackathons, tune in to webinars, follow tweetups and other free resources. Employers participate in these events and may reach out to you if you present the skills they are seeking.
Training and Forward Thinking – Use this time to read up on industry trends, learn new skills or volunteer for events in your sector. Earlier this month, for example, InfoSpace co-sponsored a Mathfest for grade school kids in Seattle to become exposed and enthusiastic about math. The event attracted numerous students, educators and professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Observing industry events from a different point of view can often provide a fresh perspective that can lead to creative ways at looking at your own area of expertise, and perhaps new job opportunities.
During the toughest of job hunts, it’s easy to give up or feel down. With a little creativity, focused job hunting, continued determination, networking, sprinkled in with well-deserved breaks and hope, the job suited for you will come soon enough. Good luck!
October 27, 2011 By Stacy
One of the exciting announcements we made during our earnings announcement today was the launch of a new local search functionality on Dogpile. Released by our Search Platform team this past month, this feature enables consumers to find local information faster and easier during their online search experience.
We partnered with CityGrid Media as our content provider for local data, which includes both paid and non-paid results. The partnership has quickly shown how local listings are beneficial for online users just as they are for businesses.
In a sponsored study released just today by the media company, CityGrid® shared survey findings and found that “when it comes to people researching and finding local businesses at the desktop, the majority of people (two-thirds) reported that search engines and review sites are their first stop when looking for local information online.”
Furthermore, when it comes to consumers searching on their mobile phones, the research finds that consumer behavior changes and people are more likely to base their decisions on a search engine (17%) than on a review site (15%) when searching for a local business or restaurant.
So, merchants need to enhance their content by being more mindful of how their business appears online, which, in turn, helps increase their local search results.
Find out where your business is ranked among others locally, or as an online consumer, check out the new local search tool on Dogpile.com to research and find your next local business or restaurant with this quick overview:
Visit www.dogpile.com and click on the local tab.
Type in your keywords and the city in the search fields, and then click “Go Fetch!” for your information.
In the search results, you’ll find geographical listings which can be sorted alphabetically, by relevance, highest ratings, most reviews, or by listings with offers. Search results can be further refined by additional factors such as cuisine, restaurant features and price ranges. These filter categories change based on the type of search that is submitted.
At Dogpile, we have the opportunity to improve the depth and breadth of our content by augmenting what we get from our partners, the major search engines – Bing, Google and Yahoo!, enabling a better user experience for our consumers. We’re excited that we’ll continue to add additional features to further improve this tool, and soon be able to offer this feature for our global distribution partners to use for local searches throughout the world, too.
October 20, 2011 By Stacy
In an article published recently on Forbes.com, contributor Joe McKendrick wrote about a study that claims that cloud computing makes it easier to innovate. In the Accenture-sponsored study titled, “A new era of innovation: Cloud and the future of business,” the study’s authors identified the adoption of a company’s use of cloud computing in three stages:
1. Technology and operational changes – McKendrick describes this level as, “The one-of-one exchange of traditional applications and resources for those offered as services through the cloud, such as Software as a Service (SaaS).”
2. Business process changes – This stage allows companies the capability “of delivering market innovations that enhance existing products and services, create new ones and enable entry into new markets.”
3. Innovation in business design – The final stage is considered the stage that a company reaches when the commit fully to cloud computing, and “may provide a platform for radical innovation in business design.”
Through this article and study, we’re able to gauge where InfoSpace is positioned among these stages.
For the first level, an example of where InfoSpace made an exchange from traditional software to cloud computing services is with our WebPosition SaaS Reporter product, as referenced in an earlier blog entry.
We have been using cloud computing services, such as those described in the second phase, to enhance our current portal service offerings for our distribution partners. Our new content experience platform, which expands our portal offering to include access to content using mobile phones, tablets and readers, was developed on the Heroku platform (Platform as a Service or PaaS), which, in turn, is hosted on Amazon’s Web Service (Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS).
Despite its current popularity, cloud computing hasn’t entered the technology space without concern. InfoSpace CTO Travis McElfresh is well aware of the potential risks of relying completely on cloud providers, yet considers the public cloud to be an important part of the company’s IT strategy.
“We are at the beginning of reaching the third stage,” he said, “with a considerable amount of attention dedicated to ROI and risks associated with a transformative move towards a deeper leverage of a cloud strategy”, he said. “Still, we expect to be well into this stage by the end of 2012.”
McElfresh shared this and more of his thoughts on cloud computing as a panelist at a recent Harvey Nash CIO Forum.
InfoSpace CTO Travis McElfresh talks a bit about the public cloud before sharing his viewpoints with a panel of other CTO/CIOs.
Whether your company is in the first stage of cloud computing, fully embracing it, or not using it at all, there is still a lot to be discussed over cloud computing, including privacy and security issues to name two. To continue the conversation, or to share how your company is using cloud computing, please visit us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/infospace.
September 23, 2011 By Stacy
The following blog entry is a post by Vinaya Kansal, Lead Software Development Engineer in Test (Lead SDET) in InfoSpace’s Operations department.
Last Friday and Saturday, Seattle held its first Rails for Women workshop in association with RailsBridge. The ongoing goal is to increase gender diversity in the Ruby community by helping women learn Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The workshops are geared to help primarily women learn Ruby on Rails. It is a free workshop and any level of experience is accepted. We had a full house – 19 students participated including me, Marisa Bickeboeller and Pradeepa Sekar, with the help of 14 volunteer teaching assistants primarily from Seattle Ruby Brigade. We had a high-level overview of Ruby and Rails and deployed applications to the web.
It was a great learning experience and the curriculum was amazingly planned and was very easy to follow with dedicated TA’s helping us building the application beyond the curriculum. They made RoR seem easy and made me eager to continue learning it.