Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Social Networking Sites = More Work for Me! Am I a Luddite?

I posted this note in both the SPM Discussion eGroup (900 members) and the WebCommunities eGroup (350) members. Lots of interesting responses; you can search the archives to find them without being a member.

    Subject: market/ social software = more work for me

    Although I am a big fan of social software in general, I've come to the conclusion that the existing social networking sites/tools (at least the ones I signed up for earlier this year) are simply a way for people I hardly know (or don't know) to ask me to do stuff that I don't want to do (e.g. update their address book) or introduce them to someone else who I hardly know (or don't know) regarding a subject or purpose in which I have no interest, knowledge, or is not even revealed to me.

    I admit I have put no effort into my profiles on these sites...after signing up for site number 4 or 5 the whole thing just got to be too much trouble.

    Am I a Luddite?

Elisa Camahort was among the many who wrote perceptive comments.
    "Networking is much easier for the extroverts among us, and these social networking sites give a false hope to introverts that they can achieve the benefits of networking without really have to interact with people on an individual basis."

And no, I did NOT make my post just for the joy of using the word Luddite.


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Academic Articles and Books on Professional Guilds and Open Innovation

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Career/Job Websites and Social Networking Business Model

There is the potential of an eBay-like economy, with a transaction-based business model, once professionals accept 1) everyone is a free agent in the 21st century, forget being an employee, and 2) a critical mass of professionals have a viable web presence. This new economy will be based on the exchange of professional services thru a bartering system – essentially bypassing national forms of currency. eBay is already experimenting with alternative forms of currency, e.g. frequent flyer miles. and I suspect they are very deep into analyzing a bartering economy, not whether to do it, but when. Bartering is already very big business on the web…just do a Google search and I suspect you will be astonished at the types of merchandise and services, and the companies, that are already participating in bartering.

I believe there are only two really powerful uses of social networks – for jobs/career for white-collar professionals and “employee-type” roles, and for yellow page advertisers (yellow pages are essentially the proxy for personal commodity services, often location-dependent, e.g. real estate agents and for small businesses).

Friendster is silly for a variety of reasons, and the other social networking websites that are targeting professionals have failed to appreciate that free agents want to OWN their data – thus proprietary based systems (e.g. LinkedIn,’s effort,, Spoke SW, Ryze) will fall by the wayside as open software solutions become available. In fact, it is already possible to create 95% of the needed functionality for an initial job/career social networking website out of freely available software and services (Google, Blogger, Yahoo Groups, etc.). See for a straightforward example.

For more information on the above topics please read other posts in my blog, visit the ResumeBlog blog, my professional website at, and the ProfGuilds/Software Product Marketing website.

I would love to get a small amount of funding for my concept – ProfGuilds – but unfortunately women entrepreneurs only receive 4% of venture funding. My team and I are looking for corporate funding instead.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Today I updated the post about Connections and Validations (dated Thurs Oct 30th). The post mainly links to an actual specification on Job/Career Networking Connections and Validations which I also updated.

I'm hoping to get some feedback.


Friday, November 07, 2003

Social networking is mostly silly

All of the rabid interest in social networking, and the use of the internet to do so, got me thinking about the real value provided. The whole concept may be flawed since "it´s who you know not what you know" is really a proxy for a measure of your competence, experience, and knowledge. That is, if someone is willing to recommend you (for a specific role) then that recommendation is a way of measuring whether in fact you have the knowledge, experience, talent, contacts, dedication etc. to actually accomplish whatever needs to be done. With the internet´s ability to allow you to actually demonstrate what you can and have done, and with validations by others that this is so (see my next post), WHO you know may actually be LESS important since you can demonstrate much more effectively WHAT you know and how you have successfully applied yourself in the past.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Here’s a specification for the social networking links for professional guilds (career/job) based around a member’s work history. I’m interested in feedback.

Here's the intro, go here for the entire document.

    Job/Career Networking
    Connections & Validations Specification
    Original Document completed on 4/23/03 by Cynthia Typaldos
    Slightly edited on 10/10/03 and 11/12/03
    See also

    This specification documents how to do the social networking part of a Job/Career website. Keep in mind that social networking isn’t everything for a successful job/career website, but it is important. There is a lot more information to be found on my website, my blog, the SPM (a.k.a. ProfGuild) website at, and also at

    There are several key points:

  • Paying members are able to develop a reputation thru the use of connections and validations. This, along with the ability to do activities, is the main functional difference between paying members and non-paying members. For more on this concept see the presentation on a similar system proposed to Napster on my website at titled “Monetizing File Sharing Services” dated 12/5/02 but actually developed over a year or so earlier (along with a prototype).

  • Even though non-paying members are not able to develop a reputation (because their connections and validations are not visible), they can still accumulate these connections (but not validations) at the request of paying members. Again, this is simply another example of the basic reputation-based subscription service laid out in the original presentation prepared for Napster. Once a non-paying member pays, the accumulated connections which were hidden (to peers) become visible.

  • A working prototype has been built by me and Patrick Neeman. For access to the prototype please contact me. Be prepared to do a business deal rather than just exchange ideas.

Career/Job Social Networking: Relationship Management of Connections and Validations

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Linkname: resumeblogsearchbox

Importance of Search Box in ResumeBlog Blogroll

(see my ResumeBlog)
ResumeBlog Blog

I'm just realizing how important the search box is (and the member links too) in the column on the right. The more ResumeBloggers we have the more likely it is that a hiring mgr/recruiter etc. will find one of our ResumeBlogs in a general search. But there is a LOT of stuff out there, so doing another general search with slightly different terms might not even get near a ResumeBlogger. However, once the googler finds the search box, s/he is now searching ONLY within our membership.

So, contradicting common sense, having more ResumeBloggers increases the probability that an individual ResumeBlogger is likely to be found. Another factor that rolls into this is millions (maybe billions?) or searches are made, anytime one of those connects the googler with a ResumeBlog, there is the possibility that s/he will abandon the general search and do the specific search.

I'm sure there is a mathematical algorithm here that would show at which number of members is optimum. However the algorithm would have to take into account the total number of pages on the internet that would show up as being relevant. Since that number is extremely high for almost any relatively general search, I suspect that the number of ResumeBloggers (in an industry/function) could be very, very high, maybe even include everyone in that industry/function.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Professional Guilds –
using the ResumeBlog™ to “Hang out your Shingle”

Linkname: hangoutshingle
This document is also at

What is SPM and how and why is it expanding?

SPM is a two-year old professional guild consisting of software, networking, and telecom marketing and business development professionals. Right now our main offerings to our members are a very targeted job posting service and an active discussion board about doing the job. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR personnel who post to SPM repeatedly tell us that our members are highly qualified. This is quite different than less focused job boards or the sites such as which will return literally hundreds of resumes with only a very few qualified candidates. Many job posters prefer SPM because of the smaller number of submitted resumes, and the much higher match of those that do apply. Numerous quotes from satisfied job posters can be found on our homepage at

We are actively branching out and creating additional professional guilds – and not just for software professionals. The new guilds and SPM will all be part of a larger whole call ProfGuilds.

However, posted jobs are only a small part of the total jobs open. We felt very strongly that we needed a mechanism to get our members in front of the hiring manager for the unposted jobs, which could be a very large percentage of the total. And our mechanism is the ResumeBlog™.

ResumeBlogs are a way to “hang out your shingle”

White-collar professionals had a big wake-up call in this current recession particularly in the technology industry where there have been thousands of layoffs and many people are into their third year of unemployment. Companies have been evolving to be more efficient, through outsourcing, streamlining, and depending more on part-time workers. But the typical white-collar professional was still sitting in his/her cubicle, working away, oblivious to the changes. And when that professional was thrown out like unwelcome guest, s/he realized that s/he hadn't developed the skills, nor had the resources and visibility to become a "business of me". Which is today's new reality – very eloquently discussed in the book "Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself". Small business owners, and many of the members of professions such as accounting, medical, legal, and academia have long understood that they have to make a name for themselves independent of where they are working, because what they do next will not simply be the company handing them a promotion – they have to go out and find the next project themselves.

Blogs arrived in the nick of time to help us out. Within a few minutes, any mildly computer-savvy professional can create a good-looking "ResumeBlog™ which is the equivalent of "putting out a shingle”, that is, signaling that you are ready for business, and equally important, ARE a business.

Why are blogs so uniquely suited to being the professionals’ “shingle”?

There are 5 key reasons that blogs are much superior to having a website or using a webpage consumer service.

  • First, blogs are designed to be shared. It's easy to set up a blog where multiple people can post, comment on each other’s posts, and even edit each other’s posts. This is critical in today's world where the ability to collaborate, especially virtually, can mean the difference between getting a job or not. And it allows the blog to be not just about me, me, me, but also about me as a member of the professional community, and a member of a team.

  • Second, blogs are much, much easier to create and maintain than a website. I have several (OK lots) of blogs and two websites ( and Both of my websites are hard to maintain. It is difficult to share the workload, and doing even something trivial is not easy. For example, to update my website to include this text involves starting up Dreamweaver (a complex program in itself), figuring out what page to put this information on (or create a new page or a new section), getting it into the right format using several of the 10 or so little Dreamweaver toolboxes that randomly dot the computer screen, saving the page, firing up an FTP (file transfer protocol program), going the right spot in the website to update the page, transferring the updated page, testing it (I really should have a staging server), and so on. Actually, it's not even that easy. But for me to put this into a blog is completely trivial. I just log into my blog, put this all into a new post, push the publish button, and it's done. Now the formatting of my blog won't be as nice as it could be unless I am willing to do a little bit of HTML coding, but if you look at my website you will see lots of places where I tried to do nice formatting with Dreamweaver and somehow created a mess instead. As long as you know how to do the simplest things in HTML– bold, web links, headers, email links and bulleted lists, you will be fine.

  • Third, because blogs are easy to create and maintain, there are lots more of them. And that means you are more likely to have a colleagues and information that you want to link to that make your blog more integrated with the other blogs and websites. Traversing links is the basic lifeblood of the internet – links are the fodder that fuels Google – and are what makes your blog not an island, but part of a tapestry. With appropriate links pointing to and from your blog, as people browse the internet, they are likely to come upon your blog in the right context.

  • Fourth, it's easy for software developers anywhere in the world to design add-on tools to be designed for blogs. This means that lots of clever people are out there creating great tools that can then be incorporated into your blog. For example, we use a blogroll to maintain a list of all the SPM ResumeBlog members. We embed that tool in every single member's ResumeBlog (by having them use our standard template). For instance, in my ResumeBlog at you can find links to other members’ ResumeBlogs in the right-hand column. I doesn't have to maintain that list; it is pulled in real-time when his ResumeBlog is accessed. Incredibly, by using a trademarked keyword embedded in the blogroll, and a simple Google search box available free from Google's site, we have created a keyword searchable database of all of the ResumeBloggers! And we have done this without any software engineering, any purchased database software, and any hosting service! But we haven’t sacrificed quality – we have some of the best tools in the world at our fingertips – e.g. Google is our database search engine. Instead of outsourcing we have basically done away with the whole kit and caboodle of IT. Now, certainly someone is handling these issues for us...we use combination of tools from Blogger (now part of Google), Google itself, Yahoo, Quickbase (part of Quicken), CreateSurvey and so on. You can find the list of tools and services at

    We are very pleased with having these companies as the basis for our ResumeBlogs, because these are some of the best companies in the business! We haven't compromised at all by not doing anything except the assemblage. Now, it does take quite of bit of cleverness to put these tools together in ways that make sense, and we also have to constantly stay up on what's new (and what's gone stale) and provide support. We believe members will pay a small (medium iced latte) monthly price for that service. But since our costs are nearly zero, we don't have to charge much!

  • Fifth, the 21st century is going to be more and more "self serve", a trend that began in the 20th century with the cafeteria. It's often so much easier to just do something yourself than to spend the time to explain to someone else what you want and then interact with them as they attempt to deliver the goods. Hiring managers, even at the level of the CEO, are prowling the web for the BEST person to do the job. And they are just like us; they start by going to Google and typing in a bunch of key words. Let's say you wanted to find someone with skills in social software, at a CEO level, which is now or has been an entrepreneur. Reasonable search terms are: "social software" entrepreneur ceo. You may not believe this, but I did NOT check Google before I came up with those search terms. Then I went to Google and typed in the keywords. My ResumeBlog comes up as item #7 in a list of 240 items. Why is my rating so high? Because I belong to the SPM Guild and by linking to each other (in ways that matter), Google recognizes my blog as relatively important. So, by being part of a guild, everyone gets more of a web "presence". Which makes sense. In real life an isolated worker with few or no business relationships is not going to be someone that everyone knows about.

What are some productivity statistics or share some success stories of how Blogs have been able to find work for a candidate?

We are just implementing the ResumeBlogs now, but already in the first few weeks approximately 10 (out of 125) ResumeBloggers have been contacted by a hiring manager, HR manager, or recruiter about a job. In today's market, having someone call YOU about a job is almost unheard of. If you apply for a posted position, your resume goes into a black vortex. Our beta ResumeBloggers are thrilled...several have even gone for interviews that came out of these contacts. And, as we expected, the person with the job was just plopping in keywords to Google and seeing who came up. For several of the ResumeBloggers, it wasn't their ResumeBlog that came up first, but the googler also explored the links of other ResumeBloggers and found them by traversing the links. Now, as I explained above, there are a lot of things at work here that enabled this to happen...the ResumeBlog had to exist of course, but that ResumeBlog also had to be part of a tapestry that is in essence the community of professionals in software marketing.

What is the difference between belonging to a “professional guild” and being an “employee”?

Right, it’s changing your orientation from employee at XYZ Corporation who happens to be the controller, to being a controller in the automotive industry who happens to be working at XYZ Corporation. Interestingly, there are professors at several of the top schools in the country (MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc.) that are studying the (re)emergence of professional guilds. References coming soon. Being part of guild includes networking with others in your guild (e.g. other finance people in the automotive industry, and other types of professionals automotive industry and even other industries. It’s all about developing an expertise and they aggressively seeking out rewarding opportunities to use and enhance that expertise.

What are two or three gems of advice you would give someone wants to change jobs?

  • 1) You should always be thinking about the next job. That's a cliché, but it's truer than ever. That means you should have your "shingle" out on the web (using the ResumeBlog for example) you should be participating in activities that raise your Google presence (e.g. making presentations, writing articles, etc.), and you should be working part-time with others on consulting assignment where you can develop an expertise (or where you are already an expert). Your goal is that when the person with your perfect job types in the four or five keywords for that job, your professional presence (e.g. blog) comes up very near the top of the list.

  • 2) Find a way to interact once/month with professionals outside your core competency, and even outside your industry. This will add to your “weak ties”, that is, your number of acquaintances. Professor Mark Granovetter, now at Stanford University, studied the use of social networks as professionals sought new jobs, and discovered that the acquaintances were the best source of opportunities. For more about Granovetter’s “strength of weak ties” please visit

  • 3) Develop an unusual expertise along with your must have skills. With the internet it is actually possible to fill the perfect job with the perfect person, because every professional can make him/herself findable. Again, as an example, suppose I need a finance professional who is an expert in stock option programs for venture-backed startups. I don’t want just your average Joe or Jill; I want the best there is. So into Google go the keywords:

    finance “stock option” venture

    The first 100 references show only one professional
    He’s not a finance executive, but he’s got the right experience.

Don’t you want to found too? If yes, start ResumeBlogging at

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

From: Cynthia Typaldos []
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 12:14 PM
Subject: FOAF can be done for free!


I enjoyed your article...
    FAST FORWARD (article is below this email)
    I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends of Friends of Friends
    Ties created by social-networking sites have people excited.
    Sep 30 2003
    By David Kirkpatrick

...however, 95% of what these proprietary FOAF (friend of a friend) services provide can be done for free, using open web-based services such as Blogger, Google, Yahoo Groups, etc. And proprietary systems just aren't good enough anymore for two key reasons:
  • most smart people don't work in one company, therefore it's better to tap into the vast resources of the open source movement, and it's certainly less expensive;
  • in many areas, in particular in the job/career space, members will feel very strongly that they must OWN their data.

For example, my professional guild has created a searchable member database without writing a single line of code, buying any software, or procuring any hosting service. We simply cobbled together the services of Blogger, Google, and Yahoo Groups. Our ResumeBlog(TM) service is in beta now, you can create your own in 5 minutes (go to and look at mine We have a whole list of features that we will be adding in the next few months, including basic FOAF links* again using totally free tools/services and volunteer labor.

* We call them connections/validations. Members (2 or a team) describe how and when they worked together, and validations of their accomplishments can be made by others. This all feeds into a reputation system. We have a specification and a working prototype of this feature.

The other 5% of what the proprietary FOAF services offer that we cannot do without writing code is just plain silly. Here's an example from one of these systems. My organization did an early beta test of the Namewithheld Software so I am still in their system. Recently, a senior executive at a Fortune 15 company contacted me thru the system asking for an introduction to a senior manager in a start-up. I would have been happy to make the introduction -- except I didn't know either person! What kind of value-add is that? The reality is unless the people involved are within 2 degrees of separation maximum, or a harbor a contagious viral disease, the FOAF concept doesn't add any value. More on this topic is in my blog and on my website:
Links and Nodes in Social Networks:
More on FOAF a.k.a. nodes in Social Networking Software:

Social Networks have value, but not in and of themselves, but rather as part of a greater whole. In the job/career realm, we see social networks as one of the many mechanisms that connect members of a professional guild. These professional guilds are built out in other ways too such as member-supplied content, member-member work history, member presentations, member bartering etc.
The Present of Professional Guilds, by me
Retreat of the Firm and the Rise of Guilds: The Employment Relationship in an Age of Virtual Business by Robert Laubacher and Thomas W. Malone, MIT
The Era of Open Innovation, by Henry W. Chesbrough formerly at Harvard now at U.C. Berkeley

I hope this piques your curiosity and is helpful information. Of course, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends of Friends of Friends
Ties created by social-networking sites have people excited.
Sep 30 2003
By David Kirkpatrick

Joichi Ito, a venture capitalist in Tokyo, knows just about everybody in tech. That's good for business, but it also means others are constantly approaching him to broker connections around the world. Though the superkinetic Ito likes to help, he has trouble finding the time. "I need to throttle back my interactions with people," he says. "I need to get fewer requests from higher-quality sources." So this summer Ito joined a website called Linkedin, one of about 15 so-called social-networking companies or sites formed in the past year. These businesses, all part of the hottest online trend, act as intricate friendship flow charts, showing who is friends or partners with whom. The best-known site, called Friendster, launched in May and is already hosting almost two million users, most of whom--unlike the businesspeople using Linkedin--are looking for dates, love, or sex.

I know about Ito's network because a few weeks ago he invited me to join--adding my name to his 444 direct connections. (Not everyone is as dedicated; Ito is Linkedin's most wired guy). Now I have indirect personal access to 10,100 people on the site. What makes this different than just being able to rifle through his Outlook contacts is that any mail I send to a Linkedin connection of Ito's has to be approved by Ito. If someone I sign up wants to reach that same person, his e-mail has to go through both me and Ito. Today's social networks typically give you access to friends of friends out to four degrees of separation. Everybody you meet on such a site is thus connected to you by a traceable network of acquaintance. Not surprisingly, Ito hopes to use Linkedin to use his time more efficiently: "I can imagine eventually telling people, 'If you want to reach me, do it through Linkedin.' That way everyone would come with references."

In the free-ranging world of the Internet, the ties created by social-networking sites have people excited. Some are calling it a social revolution. Much of the talk has focused on how well sites like Friendster aid dating. But social networking can be used for lots of other things--for example, at a later stage in life, finding a babysitter. You might find someone to play tennis with, or someone who likes the same kind of music you do and can suggest new artists. And if the best jobs come through connections, what better way to find work than through a giant online social network? In San Francisco, where unemployment is rampant and social networking is nearly an obsession for just about everyone under 35, it seems everybody looking for a job is using sites like Friendster, Linkedin,, or Ryze, all of which allow you to join only if you invite friends to join with you, or if you are yourself an invitee.

The phenomenon may be seen as offering people tools analogous to the most powerful ones being used in business. Writes Yong Su Kim, who maintains a blog on software trends at "It's almost like the CRM and ERP of peoples' professional and personal lives. Social-networking software is designed to help people look for new relationships (acquire customers), maximize existing relationships (sell to the installed base), and optimize their social interactions (order management, manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution)."

So far Friendster and most of its competitors are free, and all the excitement is making this feel a bit like 1999. Dozens of companies are frantically trying to figure out how to make such connections into a profitable business without ruining their viral appeal. Venture capitalists are circling. Says one, Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital: "Free e-mail like Hotmail had viral marketing but not increasing returns. I see both in this social-networking thing. As the network gets bigger and bigger, there's more value to incremental users." Translation: The more people there are on the network, the more likely you are to find a hot date or a good job.

But where's the money? Gurley is certain it's there. "If you can generate that many users or page views--and I know this sounds very 1997ish--there's value." Ads, for instance, can be keyed to people's interests or hobbies. These sites could also end up being sold to the biggest Net players, helping them lure users. Few doubt that AOL, MSN, Yahoo, and maybe even Google will want to incorporate social networking into their portal businesses. Meanwhile new companies like Contact Network, Socialtext, and Spoke Software are generating revenues by selling social-networking software to corporations. Typically such products work behind the corporate firewall to mine employees' contact lists and e-mail traffic patterns. They have various ways of ensuring that no employee's data are used without permission.

There may be a new kind of Internet emerging--one more about connecting people to people than people to websites. The blog phenomenon, where blogs link to blogs, is another aspect of this same trend. Mark Pincus, an investor in Friendster and founder of, calls this the early phases of the "peopleweb"--a user-controlled network of identities and relationships that transcends any one site or company. How that web will take shape remains murky, but in the explosive growth of social networking we are surely seeing the future, using the Net to connect people with bonds of trust and friendship--and maybe sex.


David Kirkpatrick is senior editor for Internet and technology.

Questions? Comments? E-mail them to me at

Or to discuss this column with other readers, go to


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

-----Original Message-----
From: Marty Silberstein []
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 10:43 AM
Subject: Re: [new-sfwow] (off topic) % jobs posted to total jobs

Hi Cynthia,

Lots of conflicting stats out there. :-)

The conventional wisdom is that only 10%-20% of jobs are advertised anywhere (so old fashioned networking works well).

I haven't seen the breakdown between conventional vs. online postings, but ran across some interesting "factoids" for something I was working on.

The SHRM (Soc. for HR Mgmt.) claims 80% of HR pros use the Internet for job postings and to find candidates.

DBM claims only 6% of hires for mgmt-level jobs occur through any Internet sites (as opposed to 61% through networking).

Only 4% of US job seekers found employment from a site (Bernard Haldane, 1/03).

More hires are made through corporate web sites than through the major job boards. (CareerXRoads) Niche sites are effective.

Online help-wanted advertising is growing (from 15.1% of the entire US classified market in 2001 to 19.5% in
2005) (Morgan Stanley, Forrester - 11/02).

Hope that helps a little, Cynthia. I enjoy reading your posts and wish you every continued success with your business.


Marty Silberstein
Personal marketing & project management

--- Cynthia Typaldos wrote:

> I'd like to have a semi-reputable % of the number of jobs that are posted compared to the total number of jobs open.

More on FOAF a.k.a. nodes in Social Networking Software
linkname: moreonodes

This note is in response to the short article by Marc Cantor in AlwaysOn, "Social Networking as a Bubble".

For most social networking, once you are more than 1 degree away from a target, the whole thing gets pretty silly. That is, it makes sense for a colleague to introduce two people that s/he knows (you are A, your colleague is B, B knows colleague C and introduces A to C ), but little sense or A be introduced by C to colleague D (where D is a colleague of C but not of B or A).

There are 3 types of items that can be passed up and down a social network: physical items, information, and introductions. A three dimensional matrix can be built of these three items vs. node motivation & need for closure of feedback loop. If the node is not motivated, nothing will happen despite a million links between that node and the other nodes. If a feedback loop is needed it doesn't matter how many nodes the item successfully passes thru but only whether the first node, who initiated the activity, ever gets a response.


  • Physical item - example is a virus of an infectious disease. Nodes are all powerfully motivated by natural selection (that is, the virus is designed to infect others), but no feedback loop is necessary.
  • Information item - example is salesperson wants contact info for target customer. Nodes need to be given a reason for motivation (reputation enhancement could be a motivator), and it is essential that once the node with the information is discovered, the feedback to the initiating node is completed.
  • Introductions - example is a job reference. Introducing node must be 0 degrees away from one introducee, and 0 or 1 degree away from the other introducee.

Continuation is here:

I was actually on the panel at Stanford on 9/16/03 that Marc refers to when he writes "Tony Perkins - went on and on on Tuesday night (9/16/03) about how social networking had the feel of a new bubble. He was basing this conjecture on the # of VCs in the audience - all there to hear Reid Hoffman, Ross Mayfield, Jonathan Abrams et al spiel on about their various ventures." Since I am not named as the one other panelist, I must be the "et al".

At the event, I did make a few comments, one was about use of social networks for introductions which I will repeat here. I belong to several of these commercial but experimental web-based social networking systems*. Recently, thru one of these systems, I was contacted by someone I didn't know, and asked to make an introduction to someone else I didn't know. While it's true that both of these people's email addresses were in the 18,000 unique addresses in my Outlook database, I still didn't know them, and the two people were surely better off going directly to each other.

*Note: in my organization we are creating our own web-based social networking capability but it's a simple element of a tapestry that a person creates regarding who they are in the context of being a member of a professional guild. We are also building it out of free services with no software development, no licensing fees, and no hosting or IT expenses. You can find out more about us here: Software Product Marketing eGroup and here: ResumeBlog(TM).

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Named link is

Social Networking Sites and Software

with perceived focus

The below is a simple list. Please go to the Quickbase spreadsheet and add your knowledge!

Social Networking Websites by Type

The list has been moved to here: Social Networking Sites and Software sorted by name
Please note that YOU can edit this list yourself to make it more accurate and up-to-date! I am not personally maintaining this list anymore, I am counting on all of you to continually keep it updated. Thanks very much.

Ryze: business
ecademy: business
LinkedIn: business
itsnotwhatyouknow: business
Friendly Favors: business
ZeroDegrees: business (corporate)
Accolo: jobs
RealContacts: jobs
Eliyon: business, jobs
Friendster: friendship, dating
Sona Matchmaker: friendship, dating (India)
Huminity: friendship friendship
Ringo: friendship
PalJunction: friendship, business, dating, roommates
Tribe: friendship, business, dating, roommates, classifieds
Club Nexus at Stanford - need URL: alumni, article
MeetUp: in-person
Buddy Zoo: IM social networking analysis
*PayDemocracy: political groups
* alumni
* alumni
*InfoSpace: yellow pages (references)
*SwitchBoard: yellow pages (references)
* dating
*People on Page: friendship, dating
*all of the other dating sites
People Aggregator: ???

*= could easily cross over into social networking

Spoke SW: business (corporate)
Visible Path, business (corporate)
**wwPlaxo.: contacts
**GoodContacts: contacts
**Accucard: contacts

** contact software could easily add social networking features as they have all of the necessary data

Blogs with some features of Social Networking
livejournal: blog
Expressions: visual blogging
Fotolog: visual blogging

Question Marks

Preliminary Analysis
It seems pretty clear that not all of these social networking sites or software will survive. Clay Shirky states "The *only* thing these services have to base a business on is lack of interoperability". I believe there is another part to the value proposition that they offer users -- the ability to go beyond 1 degree of separation. However, it's really difficult to think of situations where going more than 2 degrees of separation is worthwhile, unless you are a contagious disease - see my whitepaper Links and Nodes in Social Networks. Unless >2 degrees of separation and node secrecy are valued by users (maybe not everyone but an interestingly large set of users), an "open" networking service will make these proprietary services and software obsolete. before they've made a penny.

Thanks to the many people who helped me compile this list including:
  • Clay Shirky
  • Danah Boyd
  • Doug Rush
  • Sean Murphy
  • Debi Jones
  • Patti Anklam

If I left your name off let me know and I will add it.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I don't remember this being discussed at the Reputation Symposium (at MIT in April) or on this list before, but has anyone studied the effect of a transaction fee on reduction of fraud?

For example, Friendster is also called Fraudster because many of the members are fake e.g. Jesus Christ. If there were, and probably will be, a member fee, most likely Jesus will disappear*. Transaction-based reputation system can exploit the relationship between transaction fee and fraudulent behavior even more powerfully -- the transaction fee itself discourages fraud. For instance, on eBay sellers planning to commit fraudulent activities first develop a positive reputation. Once they have some credibility they commit the fraudulent act (e.g. no delivery of product). However, the the transaction fee for creating the positive reputation (and also selling the fraudulent item) is high, it can serve as a deterrent. Even better, the marketplace (in this case eBay) could make a argument for the transaction fee being higher (in either % or actual value) for certain categories of products by claiming that the higher fee reduces fraud. It's kind of like castor oil, even thought it tastes terrible, it's good for you.

Has anyone on this list explored this relationship between reputation and fees? My organization, the SPM eGroup and its sibling professional guilds, are going to be charging a member fee soon. It would be terrific if I could point to some academic or other studies that "prove" fees actually raise the quality of the interactions.



*Just for the record, I don't think Friendster has a successful business model if it is a subscription fee. The person who is most needed on the site, the matchmaker, has no motivation to join. And the matchmaking is only convincing if the matchmaker knows both of the people who are seeking a date. Is it really necessary to have a system that tells you who you already know? And the reputation system rewards not matchmaking, but the gathering of "friends" whether real or fake. For more on this go to: .

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Two new documents added to my website:

White-Collar Professional Guilds - Executive Summary (ProfGuilds)
--- The coming demise of the Jobosaurus Era and how to profit from it ---
Rev 3.0

Thoughts on : "Ignorance, Knowledge, and Outcomes in a Small World"
-----Original Message-----
From: Cynthia Typaldos []
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 12:25 PM
To: SW Prod Mkting eGroup
Subject: finding a job using the internet

Everyone - here is a link to a new research paper by Christine Fountain at the Univ of Washington. It's very relevant to SPM and to each of us as a job seeker.

See especially the section titled "The strength of online ties", starting on page 26.

I just learned about the paper thru a posting on the Fast Company Blog. I added a comment to the blog about the SPM ResumeBlog project and how it helps the right candidate be found online since most jobs are never posted. The SPM ResumeBlog project also eliminates the resume in place of a 360 degree robust validated view of the job seeker's experience, skills, and professional network. Create your own ResumeBlog.
My major efforts continue to be the SPM ResumeBlog Project, signing up leaders for the new software guilds, and developing a value statement for membership fees.

The most recent instructions on how to create your own SPM ResumeBlog.

Two SPM BlogProject team members are putting the instructions into a combination of screen shots and text. Then we hope to turn it into a presentation (ppt with audio). Here's an example from my website - Web Communities, Web Collaboration, Social Software

I'm working on a presentation that explains the purpose of the ResumeBlog (and its accompanying services such as the SPM Knowledge Center,, etc.)

Here's a draft of the email I plan to send to the SPM Members this week:

    Subject: The Future of SPM - pls read

    Dear SPM Members,

    On November 15th, SPM will be two years old. During this time we have grown to more than 4,000 members and each weekday post approx. 10 (?) jobs targeted for software marketing and business development professionals. The SPM Members are recognized as a high-quality focused group from which to find software, networking, and internet marketing and business professionals. Job posters continually tell us that when they post a job to SPM, the percentage of qualified respondents is very high (approx. 70%), As you may know, the biggest challenge facing a job poster is sifting through the deluge of respondents to find the qualified candidates. Other job boards typically have a much lower ratio of qualified to unqualified candidates and the best candidates can even be overlooked! The jobs SPM posts are of equally high quality. The SPM Job Posting Team screens each job to make sure it is appropriate for the group, ensures that the job information is adequate, and structures the job posting in a standardized way to make job posting scanning easy.

    But....with 4,000 members and 50 job postings per week, it will take 15 years for every SPMer to find a job.

    So, we are devising new services to enable the SPM Members to tap into the jobs that are never posted, but are instead filled by the hiring manager, human resources manager, or recruiter seeking out and finding the appropriate candidate. Estimates vary widely on the percentage of jobs that are filled this way, but we believe it may be as high as 80%

    In order for SPM to develop these new services we need funding. While I believe there are seven potential revenue streams for SPM (and its siblings - Software Engineering Professional Guild, Software Entrepreneur Professional Guild) the two simplest to implement at this time are:

    • charging for job postings
    • charging a membership fee

    Within the SPM Management Team, we have decided that charging for job postings is not a wise move at this point for several reasons:

    • given the state of the market, putting any barrier up for a job poster is not appropriate
    • given that the number of jobs posted is 50 per week, charging for job postings would not bring in much of a revenue stream unless the fee was in the mid-hundreds of dollars
    • most importantly -- we believe the job seeker/job poster relationship is undergoing a profound change -- fewer and fewer jobs will be posted and more and more jobs will be filled by the candidate being "found" by the person who has a job to fill

    We are aware that other job boards charge a job posting fee, and while that may be currently viable for a job board which has tens of thousands of members stretching across all markets and roles, we do not believe this is appropriate for us, or even a sustainable revenue stream.

    Therefore, the SPM Management Team has concluded that in order to continue forward with SPM and its sibling Professional Guilds, we will need to impose a small membership fee starting in the last quarter of 2003. While the exact fee has not yet been determined, we estimate that it will be $10/month or less. In return, SPM Members will receive additional services, in particular, a service that allows the member to create a "360 Degree Resume", that is, a multi-dimensional view of you as a professional. Key to our implementation of this service is the concept that YOU, the member, will have full ownership of your data. While it may be OK to let an organization like Friendster own your profile as a friend, and links to your friends, when it comes to your career and professional persona on the web, no corporation should have those rights.

    We are looking for additional volunteers to help us design and implement the new services. Here are some of the volunteer roles that need to be filled. All tasks are done as projects with 2-3 people per project. Volunteers must be able to devote at least 4 hours/week.

    • volunteer project management
    • "360 Degree Resume" definition, implementation, rollout (this is an extension to the ResumeBlog project)
    • pricing analysis, cost/benefit analysis
    • implementation of membership fee software
    • incorporation as a not-for-profit
    • survey analysis and reporting
    • press communications
    • job postings
    • partner alliances
    • other?

    To find out more about my vision of the future of SPM, visit The Future of Professional Guilds.

    SPM Management is also working with the top academic researchers in professional guilds, labor relations, social networking, and contractual relationships. We are on an inexorable migration from the "lifetime employee" environment to professionals being their own business, or "free agent". Professionals will no longer be able, or want to, rely on any employer to manage their career. It's now solely our responsibility to build our own business of ourselves, and we need to invest in the infrastructure to do so.

    Feedback welcome. Please send it to the SPM Management Team at


Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Purpose of the SPM ResumeBlog:

  • Learn to blog in a quick and painless way

  • Get some experience blogging so that SPMers can speak intelligently if the issue comes up in an interview (web collaboration is hot now)

  • Use the ResumeBlog blog as the "professional home" for the SPMer's bio or resume -- this is especially useful for the majority of members that do not have a web site. Even those who do have a website may also want to have a ResumeBlog (and a also regular blog) because it is free and much easier to maintain than a website. The format of a blog is quite different than that of a website so it is useful for posting on-going progress updates and opinions and ideas. The blog also easily allows the blogger to capture information from other bloggers value and give credit, and link to others.

  • Provides additional mechanisms for a hiring mgr, recruiter etc. to find the SPM member on the web: a Google search on the member's name would bring up his/her ResumeBlog, a Google search on keywords that are in the member's ResumeBlog could bring up his/her ResumeBlog, once someone has brought up one SPM member's Resume blog he/she can traverse the links to other SPM members' ResumeBlogs, links to the ResumeBlogs will also be placed on the SPM website. Note that we do bios for the SPM Volunteers on the SPM website now, the ResumeBlog is a way of giving all members that service, without the overhead of a volunteer having to maintain the website.

  • Most importantly, the ResumeBlog gives the SPM member enough experience blogging so that s/he he can contribute to the SPM Knowledge Center (which is also a blog). Originally I started the SPM KC first but quickly discovered there was not enough experience by most of the members of the SPM KC team in blogging so get any momentum. Once a member has created his/her ResumeBlog (or any type of blog), s/he will be in a great position to add his/her content to the SPM KC. The SPM Knowledge Center will not only be a source of information for software marketing subjects, but will also be a place for the SPM member to "show off' his/her work.

Since the ResumeBlog only takes 10 minutes to create, why not try it out for a few weeks and see if it provides value?

When doing new things on the web I've found that it is better to experiment than intellectualize, because you get new insights by doing that you can never have imagined.

Directions on how to create your ResumeBlog.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Rise of the Blogeoisie

The whole article is interesting -- a fresh look at the blogging world and the bloggers who inhabit it. Note how Google's PageRank reputation algorithm has been turned into a tool for the blogeoisie to exploit. Below are my favorite paragraphs but go to the link to read the whole article.

    15 May 2003 - Spiked-Online

    Blog eats blog

    by Bill Thompson

    NOTE: This is the "Cynthia's Condensed version of Bill Thompson's article". THIS IS NOT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. Go to
    to read the entire article.

    "The O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference (ETCON) has established itself as the highlight of the geek calendar after only three years - the place where technology meets the street.

    "Every talk, keynote, informal session, water-cooler conversation, party and failed sexual encounter was extensively covered, in real time, by bloggers who would rather write 'I am sitting here' than sit there, and note that 'the audience is not paying attention' rather than consider that they aren't paying attention either.

    "Sadly, hours spent with my head down the wirelessly-enabled toilet that is today's blogosphere revealed only that these many and varied comments form such a complex tapestry of overlapping meanings, that they make the reports from embedded journalists in Iraq seem like models of clarity.

    "Reading the blog coverage may not tell us much about what actually happened, but it does reveal something of interest. Within the blogosphere, we can identify some that belong to a new intellectual elite - a small influential group of people, who have managed to turn their self-publication obsession into a power base. It will come as no surprise that many of them either organised or spoke at the conference.

    NOTE: This is the "Cynthia's Condensed version of Bill Thompson's article". THIS IS NOT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. Go to
    to read the entire article

    "Howard Rheingold, Tim O'Reilly, Clay Shirky, Doc Searls, Dave Winer and Ben Hammersley (no, I'm not going to promote them even more by linking to them) are all what Register reporter Andrew Orlowski calls 'the A-list bloggers', the people whose regular musings on their personal websites can shape debate and make reputations.

    "If this was just a random collection of people with more time than sense - a self-referential group of average intellects sharing their views on the internet - then it would not be worrying. But these discussions do not take place in a vacuum. Despite the findings of the Pew Internet and America Life Project - that the number of regular visitors to even the highest-profile blog is too low to be statistically significant - blogs exert real influence over how many others think about the internet and its future.

    "Fortunately for them, in the hyperlinked world it is not necessary to airbrush dissenters out of the group photograph. You can simply wait for Google's PageRank to promote the ideas the A-list find acceptable and linkworthy to the top of the page, while the websites of apostates disappear below the fold and out of history. Who needs a memory hole when the world's favourite search engine does the job so effectively?

    "These people are not quite an aristocracy. Perhaps they are simply the blogeoisie (pronounced bloj-wah-zee), a dominant class in network society. Or it may be simpler to think of blogs as a feudal system, with respect and links acting as the chief currency. The peasants toil in the low-rank blogs, paying their tithe in LazyWeb projects to the lords of the link in return for an occasional mention from Hammersley or Searls."

    NOTE: This is the "Cynthia's Condensed version of Bill Thompson's article". THIS IS NOT THE ENTIRE ARTICLE. Go to
    to read the entire article.


My term for what Bill Thomson calls the 'blogeoisie' and Andrew Orlowski calls 'the A-list bloggers', is the '20 guys blogging each other'. Less elegant but perhaps more descriptive.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Garden photos.

Bloggers add Babble to Google

Google hogged by blogs
Spiked Journal
July 15, 2003
by Sandy Starr
'Google works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting websites to determine which other sites offer content of value.'

Best paragraphs are here but the whole article is good.

    PageRank is a wonderful innovation, which has been of considerable benefit to web users over the past few years, regardless of what Google's more irrational critics say. The ideal behind PageRank, of combining a faith in the judgement of others with a desire to make high-quality content easily and publicly available, is a laudable one. But this ideal has been shot down by blogs.

    The self-obsessed nature of many blogs, the incestuous relationships between them, the frenetic rate at which they are updated, and their obsessive use of links, have distorted the snapshots of the web that Google gives us. Blog culture has made links and idle comment into ends in themselves, irrespective of the merit or relevance of the content being linked to or commented upon. It is this failing of blogs, not any failing of PageRank, that has meant that the assumptions which made PageRank work so effectively are no longer tenable.
I sent an email to the author:

    Dear Sandy Starr,

    Great article. I wrote a brief note about this on May 27, 2003 and sent it to several lists that I belong to.

    I got a huge amount of responses that were so interesting that I put up a web page with them.

    I also wrote a note about this topic to your colleague Martyn Perks on July, 6, 2002, and I posted it in my blog:

      Dear Martyn,

      I read with interest your article about the panel discussion. Your last comment is excellent: "It is unfortunate that the more we grasp of the potential of technology to solve problems, the more technology geeks want to play social engineers."

      I see much of what is being done and called social software right now as "20 guys blogging each other". The technology industry is well-known to be exclusionist, elitist, and women-unfriendly, but the frenzy these 20 guys have worked themselves up to, and gotten to the head of the class thru blogging each other, is unprecedented.

    -- Cynthia

Friday, July 18, 2003

I'm so busy working on my other blogs that I don't have time to update my main blog.

We've kicked off three new projects in SPM.

SPM-Bio-Blog Project
Goal is that every SPM member has their bio on the web (using a blog). Here are the instructions. My Bio-Blog.

SPM Knowledge Center
SPM Knowledge Center eGroup
SPM Knowledge Center Prototype

New Software Guilds

-----Original Message-----
From: Cynthia Typaldos []
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 10:15 AM
To: SW Prod Mkting eGroup
Subject: [spmjobs] !! new SW eGroups !!

Hi everyone,

We (SPM management/volunteers) are opening up new egroups covering the entire software industry to complement SPM (which is focused on software marketing and business development).

Our not-so-modest goal is to capture all of the job postings for software industry professionals.

The software industry includes internet, embedded software, software that is part of a hardware offering, social software, web-based software, networking software, telecom software, enterprise software, application software, etc.

Here is the list of the software job functions that will have each have its own focused egroup:
marketing and business development (i.e. SPM)

  • sales
  • engineering
  • QA, technical writing, project management
  • finance & venture capital
  • human resources
  • system administration
  • customer support
  • international
  • entrepreneur
  • legal
  • everything else (kitchen sink)

We are looking for entrepreneurial leaders to head up each of these new egroups and build a small team to run them. We (SPM) will train the egroup leader and provide the management tools. We will together form a software industry professional keiretsu.

Please forward this note to people you believe would be interested in being one of "professional guild" leaders. While these "professional guilds" will be not-for-profit organizations, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to challenge the big job boards (e.g., HotJobs) and turn these endeavors into member-owned organizations that put our careers under our control. Our goal is that these professional guilds are the tool for white collar professionals to manage their own destiny and maximize our independence from employers and recruiters.

To apply to be the leader of one of these new software professional guilds, please respond as follows:

Send an email to the appropriate egroup below


Provide relevant information about why you want to do this and why you will be successful. Since I don't beleive in resumes, please use other tools (e.g. your personal website, googlization factor, short bio, etc.) to validate your claim.

  • Be prepared to commit 20 hours a week getting the new professional guild launched, then as you build a small team, you will be able to scale back to 10-15 hours/week.
  • Be prepared to be an aggressive leader and spokesperson for your professional guild in meetings with company executive management, recruiters, reporters, investors, and government officials.
  • We are international and virtual, so your location is NOT important.

We welcome all general feedback, suggestions, comments, etc. You can email me directly or send to the SPM Management Team at

Thanks very much.


Sunday, July 06, 2003

Here's an article about a panel discussion in the U.K. where the panel members presented their views on how social software will manipulate people into being better citizens.

Article17 June 2003, Spiked Online magazine
Computing Communities
by Martyn Perks

Here are the last two paragraphs:

The beef of the social software evangelists, perhaps, is democracy itself - because they refuse to trust individuals to make the right choices. All we are left with, then, is a belief in participation for its own sake, devoid of any content or realised goal. How could anyone hope such a model will change society for the better?

It is unfortunate that the more we grasp of the potential of technology to solve problems, the more technology geeks want to play social engineers.

I just sent this email to Martyn Perks:

Dear Martyn,

I read with interest your article about the panel discussion. Your last comment is excellent: "It is unfortunate that the more we grasp of the potential of technology to solve problems, the more technology geeks want to play social engineers."

I see much of what is being done and called social software right now as "20 guys blogging each other". The technology industry is well-known to be exclusionist, elitist, and women-unfriendly, but the frenzy these 20 guys have worked themselves up to, and gotten to the head of the class thru blogging each other, is unprecedented.

I would appreciate it you would look at a couple things on my website The "12 Principles of Civilization" which are based solely on sociological principles, and my presention titled "The Future of Professional Guilds".

The the latter presentation I rate a number of the social networking websites against the 12 Principles and they come up woefully inadequate.

The internet is just another tool for us to use, not a tool to change or manipulate us. It is powerful, as are the alphabet and the telephone, but it will not change our basic behaviors and instincts which have served us well for millions of years.

By the way, the very top Principle (they are formed in a pyramid) is Purpose.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Sunflowers and California Fuscia photos taken with my $40 StyleCam Blink Digital Camera:

StyleCam Blink Camera

I posted this to the SOCNET list:

Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 2:50 PM
Subject: more on Networking as a Business

Several of us gathered up a list of all the the sites/software that are attempting to commercialize on networking. I thought the rest of you might also be interested in the list. No doubt there is already one, or more likely, many lists of these sites/sw in someone's blog. It's hard to do anything original anymore :-)

List generated by input from Doug Rush, Sean Murphy, Debi Jones and myself. I will also post this on my blog


the one that is being done at Stanford but I can't remember the name (contact update sw, but headed in the same direction) (contact update sw, but headed in the same direction) (contact update sw, but headed in the same direction)

I am planning on launching a site myself as soon as I have some seed funding. It would be quite different than the existing sites/software in that it uses networking as a tool to accomplish a purpose, rather than just being a networking tool all by its lonesome. Some of these sites are the equivalent of trying to turn a communication tool into a purpose, which is the equivalent of having a network built around the phone system. The phone is a tool for all kinds of purposeful activities, but not a goal in and of itself.

On my website I have a presentation on "The Future of Professional Guilds" and I welcome any feedback. Also, there are a few slides which compare many of the sites/software listed below against each other and against my "12 Principles of Civilization"

"The Future of Professional Guilds" presentation can be found by going to this webpage and selecting it from the table:
or by going directly to
The presentation.

The slides that do the comparisons are slides 37-40.
I'm considering setting up another blog, for personal blogging. Of course, how personal can it be since it's public and anyone can read it! The biggest downside is that I will then have two blogs to maintain, rather than just one, and just the one is a pain in the ***. Once I get into the rhythm of publishing on this blog, I will reconsider having two blogs. I define "rhythm of blogging" is making at least two posts/week.

When I re-read my blog (and I'm probably the only person that reads it at all!) I keep finding grammatical errors. I can't decide if I should fix them or not. If I become a perfectionist about blogging then the time-sink of maintaining it will become unreasonable.

SPM Knowledge Sharing eGroup formed to create the SPM Knowledge Center

Here's some news about SPM (Software Product Marketing eGroup). We have formed a sub-egroup called SPM Knowledge Sharing to figure out the requirements, and then mechanism, to allow all SPM members to post their works: presentations, whitepapers, working documents, etc. The goal is to share knowledge amongst each other, and also give the now nearly 4,000 SPM members a public place to publish their best works. By doing so the member's Googlization factor will increase. I currently publish my works on my website but creating and maintaining a website is even more trouble than blogging. So many SPM members don't have a website. Of course, they can start a blog too, and we will be encouraging that, but a directory where all the quality (I hope) works of SPM members can be found would raise the visibility of all members, and of SPM. We are going to call it the SPM Knowledge Center. Anyone is welcome to join the SPM Knowledge Sharing eGroup as long as you are also a member of SPM itself. Since it is free to become a member of SPM, that isn't much of a barrier, but it helps to weed out the riff-raff. To join SPM go to to the SPM website and follow the links for "job seekers".

Right now we are working on the requirements for the Knowledge Sharing technology. Here's what I have posted to the egroup as a straw person

From: "Cynthia Typaldos"
Date: Wed Jul 2, 2003 12:07 pm
Subject: SPM Knowledge Sharing Group Kickoff

Hi Everyone,

25 people have signed up for the SPM Knowledge Sharing eGroup. [note - there are now 29 people.]

To kick things off, I have included my original email about the purpose of this endeavor below. Please re-read it to refresh your memory.

The first topic we will discuss is the REQUIREMENTS of the SPM Knowledge Center. I will create a straw proposal right now, and let's have a dialogue. I plan to post the highlights of our discussion on my blog at

no central authority (e.g. no bottlenecks)
peer review for contribution reputation (does NOT have to be very sophisticated)
member can update/replace/remove/manage all of his/her contributions easily
and without needing help from anyone else
must start with a good structure
search capability
members receive full credit for their contribution(s)
uses free or sponsored software/website tools

Goal is to agree on the requirements by Friday July 11th. Then we will discuss possible implementations.

To read the rest of this email please go to the message in the egroup. Anyone can read the messages but only members can post.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

I had bronchitis from my trip, probably due to the 30 hours being in a plane. I'm fine now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I'm home now (in Silicon Valley) from Bs. Aires. Arrived yesterday late morning. Getting to and from Argentina is truly the travel trip from hell. It takes 22 hours door-to-door. Most people don't realize it but Bs. Aires is 2 time zones further east than New York City, in fact South America is not even under North America.

Coming back involved an hour + drive out to the Ezieza Airport, hanging around for 3 hours, a 9 1/2 hour flight to Miami that arrives at 5am Miami time (4am Bs. Aires time). 2+ hours of passport control, customs exams, and security procedures, then finally a 5 1/2 hour flight from Miami to SF. [During daylight savings time Bs. Aires is 4 hours ahead of SF, during standard time they are 5 hours ahead]. For the first time in my life I had a little argument with he random person sitting next to me. He insisted on sticking his feet on my side under the chair in front of me. This of course left me no place to put my own feet unless I wanted to intertwine them with his, which I did not. I asked him to please keep his feet on his side and he started to argue with me. I just told him I was not going to argue and we both shut up and endured each other's silence for 5 hours.

Unfortunately I caught a cold, a sinus infection, pneumonia or SARS (I'm not sure which) in Bs. Aires and I couldn't even visit my ill friend for the last 3 days. As explained below, I idled away my time in internet cafes and made international phone calls. Everything is dirt cheap for Americans in Argentina -- even I, jobless for 20 months, felt quite comfortable spending money. For example, a dinner at a very nice restaurant for 3, no wine but with dessert, cost $33 TOTAL including tip.

The Argentines make beautiful clothes and there are thousands of shops all over Bs. Aires. Given their terrible economy, I'm not sure who the heck is buying the stuff though. When I first started going to Argentina 20 years ago I was obviously "the American visitor" because all of the women wore dresses or skirts, even to do grocery shopping! It was like the 50s were here. I was wearing casual clothes and comfortable shoes and really stood out. Now, I was mistaken many times as an Argentine. For a day I had laryngitis and couldn't speak so I was able to keep up the charade (my Spanish is awful but it gets me by).

Update on my friend -- I went to Argentina urgently to be with my friend of 25 years before she went in for brain surgery, and to visit with her afterwards in the hospital. She is recovering well, but for those of you who have had a friend or family member of colleague with a brain tumor, you know that this is a very, very serious problem. Her diagnosis is the same as that of Dan Case, former CEO of Hambrecht and Quist and the brother of Steve Case, founder of AOL and Chairman of AOL Time Warner. I remember very clearly when Dan announced he had a malignant brain tumor as it seemed so senseless and uncommon. I now know a lot about brain tumors, and the kind that my friend has in particular -- Glioblastoma. Dan and Steve set up a fund called ABC2 and today I spoke with the Executive Director John Reher. He was very kind and helpful. John mentioned that although glioblastomas are not a common disease, there seem to be more of them in middle-aged Silicon Valley male executives but they don't know why. Actually, from my studies, doctors don't know what causes any of the brain tumors. Along with helping my friend plot and execute a treatment path I am also hoping to find another Latin American person with this disease so she has someone to talk to (in Spanish) who is going through the same process.

Here's a wonderful quote from Dan Case "If there's one lesson I got from this,'' he said, "it's much more than we have to fix brain cancer, it's that people are amazing if you just give them a chance to be kind.''

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I'm in an Internet Cafe in Bs. Aires, Argentina. I've been trying to blog for several hours but the Blogger site was out of commission. I just read on their homepage that new software will be available soon. I sure hope it is more robust than the current software. I know some of the other blogging sites/tools are better than Blogger but this seems like the least painful way to keep track of what Google is doing with blogging.

I've been in Argentina almost one week, will be returning home (Silicon Valley) in a couple days. Unfortunately I had to miss the Planetwork Conference due to this emergency trip. I was scheduled to give a talk yesterday, Saturday, titled Professional Guilds on the Web (note: the title of my talk changed but due to this emergency I was not able to notify the conference organizers, that´s why the title on the conference site is "Web Communities and Social Software"). I wish I could have been at the conference -- there are (it is still in session thru Sunday then a special software meeting tomorrow) many interesting presentations, people, and ideas. Jan Hauser, one of the authors of the Augmented Social Networks [ASN] whitepaper, gave my presentation for me. I know he did a good job because he and I have been in continuous discussion over the last year about the concepts.

When I return home I will put my presentation on my website. By the way, I have now finally updated my website to contain many of my presentations, whitepapers, etc. I will soon add a lot more information about the products developed by my previous company, RealCommunities. Unfortunately, due to the economic meltdown, I had to sell RealCommunities prematurely to another software company called Mongoose Technology.

Full title and link to the ASN whitepaper:
A Link Tank Report
by Ken Jordan, Jan Hauser, and Steven Foster

One big problem with these Internet Cafes in Argentina is everyone smokes. The air inside is oppressive. In fact both the indoor and outdoor air is so polluted that yesterday when I woke up I could not speak at all! I had laryngitis for the very first time in my life. I´m better today and hope tomorrow to be fully recovered. This Cafe is in the center of the city, open 24 hours, and very active. There are 40 or so workstations, good performance, and lots of people here. About half or more are all kids playing multi-user games. Actually right now I think I am the only adult in the whole cafe! The kids are all about 12-16 years old, all boys. It's 4pm Bs. Aires time -- 4 hours ahead of CA time during PDT, 5 hours ahead during PST.

On a personal note - I came to Argentina urgently as my very best friend for the last 25 years was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. I got here just a few hours before the operation. I've seen her every day since as the hospital. She is doing extremely well -- she was in intensive care for only 2 days and is now in a regular hospital room. On Tuesday she will go home. Unfortunately I have to leave on Monday -- I was able to get a pretty good last minute e-fare from United for $670 but the dates are very rigid when I can travel. Also, I need to return home to continue my quest for revenue-producing activities.

Dang this stupid Blogger tool. I see now it has decided to ignore all of the paragraph and new line feed control characters. They are still here in the edit area, but the display is just one big blobby blog.

I can't take the smoke in here anymore, or the horrible TV noise where they must be watching a sports event, hard to say what since I can only hear it not see it. Lots of announcer frenzy and loud noises.

Just one last point -- go here to see Jay Fienberg's blog of "my" talk as given by Jan.
The Future of Professional Guilds Part I
The Future of Professional Guilds Part II
my comments (at the bottom of this page)

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

My response to a comment in SPM Discussion about bell curve vs power law.

I'm the one that posted the article about the bell curve. The article did not say that the bell curve doesn't apply, it just said that it doesn't apply in some situations, in networks in particular. It's very clear that the bell curve does NOT apply to internet traffic at nodes, not only by analysis, which has been done ad naseum, but even just thinking about it rationally. The internet consists of a few very, very large nodes and gazillions of small nodes, such as my blog ( [Please excuse the use of technical terms e.g. "gazillions" and the blatant self-promotion of my blog.]

Here is more info:

The most interesting thing about this topic is when I searched for a credible source of info most of the stuff that came up at the top in a Google search were blogs! Something has gone terribly wrong with Google's reputation system when what an individual says, and a bunch of his/her friends point to, ends up at the top of the stack over a research paper from an academic institution. I finally gave up trying to find one, although I know they exist because I took a class on Networks at Stanford in the winter and this was one of the covered topics.

Google is in wonder they bought Blogger...they need to separate out the riff-raff from the raff-riff.

Monday, May 26, 2003

I'm finally returning to my blog. It's just one more darn thing to keep updated.

I've been working on my was pathetically out-of-date. Now it's nearly up-to-date but my design skills are terrible. Especially my choice of colors. However, it's still better than Bud Uglly Design. My favorite Uglly Design on their site is Rev 2.0.

Anyway, I've actually got something to say. But first I'd better save what I already wrote since this darn Blogger software isn't very stable.

OK, save complete.

So here's tonight's story on the Typaldos Blog --
Topic: Senior Management Women in Venture-Backed Startups.

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Jennifer Pittman for an article in the Silicon Valley Business Journal titled "Women-led startups get smaller share of shrinking funds". The SV Business Journal decided to write a story around the latest numbers from "Alternative Investor, an umbrella data and analysis organization of San Francisco-based VentureOne Corp. and Wellesley, Mass.-based Asset Alternatives. The group tabulates venture capital deals with women-led companies every six months."

The numbers for women founders and members of the senior management team have gone down in the last few years, not just in quantity which of course is too be expected given the economic downturn, but also in percentages. The calculation is kind of dumb anyway...if there is just one woman on the senior management that counts. Of course the one lone woman is typically the VP of HR -- certainly a very important position in any company, the employees make or break a company's success, but not a line position. Sometimes the lone woman is the CFO. Anyway, the study shows the following statistics for women founders:

Amount of Money Raised by Companies with a woman founder (as a percentage of the total amount of money raised that year), in the IT industry.
1997 3.48%
1998 5.56%
1999 6.36%
2000 7.58%
2001 7.36%
2002 4.69%

A downward trend to be sure.

I mentioned some other related issues during the interview, most of which didn't get into the article. Here are my follow-up emails to the reporter:

Regarding the Forum for Women Entreprenuers
I originally sent this email to the FWE CEO.

From: Cynthia Typaldos []
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 1:09 PM
To: Susan Hailey
Subject: has FWE been successful?

Now is the time to do a very honest appraisal on whether FWE has been successful.

The purpose of this appraisal would be to figure out if the approaches tried in the past are the ones to keep doing in the future. It's all been a big experiment, and like any experiment, it needs a quantitative analysis of the results.

Running programs is not a measure of success. It's a tool for creating success. Measurements of success could be (over the time frame that FWE has been active):
% improvement in funding to women entrepreneurs
% improvement in viable public companies where a woman was one of the founders
% improvement in number of women on viable VC-backed companies
% of women in management in VC-backed companies

I run a very large job board for hi-tech marketing professionals, and I still see start-up company after company where the entire management team is ALL MEN (OK, maybe the token women is the HR VP). And the same seems to be true in hi-tech public companies despite the tired PR recycling of Carly Fiorina, Carol Bartz, and Judy Estrin.

Email dialogue with Margaret Heffernan

From: Margaret Heffernan []
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 8:17 AM
Subject: Re: your article in Fast Company

Dear Cynthia,

You are absolutely right - women do not need to be "fixed"; the world in which they are forced to operate is what is broken. And many men know it, as well as women.

Thanks for taking the time to write.

Best wishes


Margaret Heffernan

From: "Cynthia Typaldos"
Subject: your article in Fast Company
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 08:59:13 -0700

Dear Margaret,

I was just at a FWE (Forum for Women Entrepreneurs event last night here in Silicon Valley. FWE has a new CEO, Susan Hailey. and the meeting was held to introduce Susan to some of the members. Susan gave a short talk, and then asked for input and questions. My input to Susan was to
change FWE from an organization that tries to "fix us" to an organization that tries to "fix the system". I'm tired of being told how to speak, dress, act, etc. I'm a 51-year old confident women, with science and business degrees from UC Berkeley and MIT. What I need is for the barriers be recognized, challenged and destroyed, not new underground tunneling methods. If I have to tunnel I can't be myself.

Thanks so much for writing that article. The men won't like it, and the "let's just get along" women won't like it either. But you're right and it's time that someone had the ovaries to say so.


Study on discrimination at MIT against women faculty members
This is the complete study along with MIT's reaction and action to address the issue of discrimination against female faculty members. I was very impressed at the honest and candor and seriousness that MIT took toward the study.


On the same topic, but a completely different situation, I just got invited to a "private" meeting to discuss social software and its implications to society. (In case you've been under a rock, web communities/collaboration have been reinvented by the people that didn't get it a couple years ago, and annointed a new name so that they can all claim to be pioneers.) I'll post the people invited to this event if I get permission from the organizer, and if I update my blog again this year :-) There are 47 people invited, 2 of them being women. That's a lousy 4.2%. When I asked the organizer about the nearly complete absence of women, his response was "I thought about that, but its tough in a geeks' world." I'm not faulting the organizer at all, he picked the people he thought would be appropriate, and that's how the cookie crumbled.

Well, enough whining, at least for tonight.

Wait, one last whine. This blogging thing coupled with keeping my dang website updated coupled with running SPM, is an enormous time sink. Am I better off by doing this? Is the world better off?