Getting Organized

January 13, 2009

photo-11Short version: If you like this blog, please subscribe to my new blog, Scalable Intimacy, here: Subscribe via RSS

Longer Version: Checking feedburner I realized how many of you have subscribed to this blog… I really appreciate it! I’ve made a few changes to my posting strategy lately, and want to make sure you’re getting whatever parts of ‘MikeTrap’ you find the most interesting (hopefully this will help you skip the points that aren’t.)

The basic idea is to begin to separate personal and professional content, so people interested in one aren’t subjected to the other, and people who want both can still get it.

Professional

Going forward I’m going to move all of my original posts about social media marketing over to my new blog, Scalable Intimacy. Please check it out if you haven’t already, the Manifesto is a good place to start. You can subscribe to the blog in your RSS reader here: Subscribe to RSS. When I find worthwhile content on this topic on the web, I’m going to post it to my shared items on Google Reader, which you can see here and subscribe to here.

Personal

This blog and facebook are going to be for general, personal use. If you’re not on facebook and want my posted items, you can subscribe to them here: Facebook Posted items

Everything

I’ll continue to use Twitter for whatever’s on my mind, though emphasis lately has been on building traffic for the new blog. The rest of my social networks are here: Mike’s Social NetworksFriendFeed will get you all of it, though if you’re not my mother (hi mom), I’m not sure why you’d want that.

Anyway thanks for playing, I’ll see you in the wires…


My Lifestream

November 16, 2008

I’ve been posting less original content here and more on Dad-O-Matic lately, plus directing lots of content from all over the web onto facebook. If you’re interested and on facebook, that’s probably the best place to friend and follow me. For those of you not on facebook, you can get all of my online content from a tumblr site I’ve created here, and which you can get to via http://troiano.me. You can subscribe to that feed in your RSS reader here.

Thanks for listening, and please let me know what you like and what you don’t.


Children’s Music Is Evil.

November 13, 2008

Cross-post from Dad-O-Matic:

I love to cook. For years my pantry included the “cooking wine” that’s probably in your pantry as well.

One day I was watching Michael Chiarello’s show on Food Network, a show about risotto con funghi, one of my favorites. He paused after toasting the arborio and said something like, “At this point I like to add some dry white wine to the rice, I find it gives it a nice crispness underneath. Now whatever you do, PLEASE don’t use that “cooking wine” you find at the grocery store for this. You don’t need anything expensive, but you should NEVER cook with something you wouldn’t gladly drink.”

It hit me like a stone. I tried it next time, and it added a whole new dimension to my risotto, and everything else I use wine in (which is a lot.)

What does this have to do with children’s music? Well, in my house (or at the very least in my car) the same principle applies. I do not play music for my kids that I wouldn’t listen to myself.

Why poison your child’s very soul with some saccharin nonsense sung by a frustrated night club dropout? For God’s sake, you’re trying to prepare that critter for a great life; a life rich with art, lyrical prose, genuine emotion. Raffi is swell and all, but compared to Stevie Wonder? Are you kidding me?

If you doubt this, spin Superstitious the next time you’re in the car with your kids. Give it 3 plays, and if your child doesn’t ask you for that song EVERY TIME they get in the car from then on, I’ll spring for the Laurie Berkner (the LEAST bad of the age challenged genre.)

Some other guaranteed midget-pleasers:

Full disclosure: Most of these are artists I love. But that’s the bonus here, Dadawan.

First time Dads think they need to change themselves, become suddenly interested in the elaborate, highly specialized Kid-O-Sphere that profit seeking enterprises have constructed around their children. Kids music, kids food, kids drinks, kids shows, kids everything. When we were kids we listened to, ate, drank and watched what our parents did, and in the process learned more about our parents and ourselves as people. We learned to love – maybe even later in life – some of the things they loved.

That’s a pretty special connection, I’d say. So which of the music you love can you share with your kids today?


Twitter Starter Kit For Execs

November 12, 2008

twitterrific-iconI get asked about this a lot… Here’s a kind of Twitter starter kit for execs:

First, my take on why it’s important, from this blog:
http://miketrap.wordpress.com/2008/03/21/thoughts-on-twitter/

Here’s a slightly more authoritative source on the subject: http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2008/tc2008095_320491.htm?campaign_id=rss_tech

After you join, pick a few folks to follow to get started:

* The Wall Street Journal: http://twitter.com/WSJ
* NY Times: http://twitter.com/nytimes
* Digg News: http://twitter.com/DiggNews
* The Paisano: http://twitter.com/Paisano
* Chris Brogan: http://twitter.com/chrisbrogan
* The Savvy Entrepreneur: http://twitter.com/cfavreau
* TechStars: http://twitter.com/techstars
* John Battelle: http://twitter.com/johnbattelle
* Kevin Burke: http://twitter.com/KB33
* Jason Calacanis: / Mahalo http://twitter.com/JasonCalacanis
* Andy Gadiel / Jambase: http://www.twitter.com/andygadiel
* Brian Halligan / CEO HubSpot: http://twitter.com/bhalligan
* Guy Kawasaki: http://twitter.com/guykawasaki
* Sean Moffitt / President, Agent Wildfire: http://twitter.com/seanmoffitt
* Rob Lane / CEO, Overlay.tv http://twitter.com/roblane
* Kevin O’Keefe/ Lexblog http://twitter.com/kevinokeefe
* Tim O’Reilly http://twitter.com/timoreilly
* Biz Stone / Co-Founder of Twitter http://twitter.com/biz

Other sources:

* The Top 100: http://twitdir.com/index.php?top=topfollowed&auto_update=on&search=
* Big VCs: http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/8/free-vc-advice-for-startups-via-twitter
* Directory of brands: http://blog.fluentsimplicity.com/twitter-brand-index/

There are also tools to search Tweets… Here’s the buzz on Obama: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=Obama

You can also import and search your own address book for members if it’s in Google or Yahoo.

Finally, here’s how to get more followers, if you want them: http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/11/looking-for-m-1.html

Did I miss something? Add it below!


Online Ad Targeting: From ‘Maximize’ to ‘Optimize’

November 10, 2008

Had this article published in e-Commerce Times today:

E-Commerce News: E-Marketing: Online Ad Targeting: From ‘Maximize’ to ‘Optimize’
The backlash against ad targeting is somewhat understandable, writes Mike Troiano, CEO of Matchmine, but advertisers rely on some degree of targeting to sustain their business, and customers really hate irrelevant ads. What about optimizing ad targeting rather than maximizing


Fin.

October 27, 2008

Today – more suddenly than anyone would have liked – matchmine came to an end. I got word of the decision on Friday, and told the team here this morning. We are shutting the company down immediately, though a few of us will stick around to try and support our partners through a transition, and notify others affected by the closing of our doors. If you’re a partner or a prospect and haven’t gotten a call from us, expect one from Shawn or myself soon.

Interesting Times

I think it’s safe to say these are are unprecedented financial times. While the nature of our financing meant that the financial market crisis overtook us more abruptly than most, in the end it’s my responsibility that we hit the wall like this, and I accept it. To my team and their families, our vendors, network partners and prospects, I can only say that I am deeply sorry for the way this comes to a close. And I don’t mean “press release sorry;” I mean really, personally sorry. Please know that I could not have imagined this last Thursday, let alone earlier. It is one thing to be failed, quite another to have been deceived.

For what it’s worth I still beleive in what we were trying to do here, in most of the ways we tried to do it, and in nearly all of the people trying to get it done. It’s been a privilege to chase this massive opportunity with these great people, and among the most painful parts of this experience is that it ends just as we are breaking through, having worked so hard to get here for these past 22 months.

Close only counts in bocce, though, and it’s taken us too long to reach this point. Rather than share my no-doubt-partly-delusional musings on how this came about, I’d like to do what little I can to help the people we let down today take the next step toward an inevitable future triumph. So…

ATTENTION TECH COMPANIES SMART ENOUGH TO BE GREEDY WHILE SO MANY ARE SCARED:

Here are links to reach the best people on this team. I suggest you hire them, en masse, while you can.

First, our best Architects, Engineers, and Project Managers. Dr. Jim Butler, Rajan Desai, and Brian Connor – our CTO and his great architects. Yury Faktorovich and Alvaro Cruz – The leaders of our engineering team; great people, coders and managers. Our fantastic Software Engineers: Irina Berdichevsky, Joachim Martin, Sarah Valentine, Aravind Damodharan, Christopher Huyler, Gary Moh. You guys are all great. Our dedicated PMs, Leigh Krastin, and Kathy Teehan. And our tireless and dedicated QA folks, Bob Ingalls, and Srini Velagapudi. Thanks for the late nights, guys.

Our incredible Science team… the brilliant and practical Dr. Scott Oddo, our VP of Science, and the person most responsible for turning our recommendation approach into something that worked in the real world. His truly outstanding team, rock star Domain Manager Susan Ciatto; Science Engineer Dean Cerrato; Dave Walend, Software Engineer; and Gary Kadet, Domain Expert.

The Product Managers who kept us all on the same page and focused on the external reality: Scott Centurino, our VP, Product Management, and quite frankly my best guy, again. Erik Holm, a truly great Sr. Product Manager, and Adam Rosenberg, our Product Specialist and consummate team player.

The Marketing team who helped shape our brand identity, explain what we did to the world, and put our daily adds on a slope we were becoming proud of: Michelle Heath, a great VP of Marketing and spiritual leader within the company; Nathan Burke, power blogger and Web Community Evangelist, and Tom Boates, our massively talented Graphic Design Manager and part time Johnny Knox impersonator.

Our Business Development team who came so close to bringing our partner network from zero to 12 Million average monthly unique visitors. Shawn Yeager, our VP, Business Development and my accident prone partner on more trips than I care to remember; Ken Gellman, our great East Coast Director, Sales; and the big man, Steve Caroompas, our top guy out west. Thank you for the hard work, guys.

My good friend Tod Amazeen ably built and led our Partner Services team, which rose to a whole ‘nother level with the addition of rock star Senior Relationship Manager, Denise Gibbons. Technical Consultant and future CEO Craig Blum stepped up every time we asked for 110%, and Rob Eaton was our Tech Lead in Client Services.

The Operations team that kept us all running was led by Director of Ops/IT Eric Paul, and manned by Systems Engineer Keith Barnes and Systems Administrator Bill Norris.

And finally, our G&A team led by my friend and 3-time CFO David Chapman, HR superstar Amy Cohn, and truly fantastic Executive Assistant, Jess Mollet.

Last but not least, our Founder & Chief Innovator Trent Adams. It remains a great idea, Trent – I’m sorry I couldn’t make it real for you.

There is not a single person on this page I wouldn’t gladly work with again. And be forewarned… I will actively seek out most of them when I figure out what’s next for me.

What about the IP?

If you’re interested in building on what we’ve built, let me know. We’re open to selling the IP and patent portfolio, and just as willing and able to protect it.

If you want to reach me for that or anything else, you can do so here. We’re going to do our best to settle our outstanding obligations, and you can call me at 781.433.5302 if you have specific concerns or gripes. I’ll continue to post on my personal blog, at least after a stiff drink and some time to figure out what I should learn from this.

I guess that’s it. Thanks for your interest, faith and support, and good luck to you all.

Mike


First Dad-O-Matic Post

October 12, 2008

Let me know what you think…

A big part of being a good Dad is arming your kids with the tools they’ll need to understand and navigate the world successfully as adults. When I first became a Dad, I took some time to reflect on the adults I knew… on what the ones who were doing better seemed to understand, and on what the ones who were doing worse seemed to have in common.

I uncovered a few insights that seemed important, and now as I await the arrival of my fourth child, I’m pretty sure about the most important lesson I’ve had for the first three.


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