Meebo’s Jen: How to Find Hard-to-Find Talent


At GigaOM’s recent Structure 08 event, Meebo co-founder and engineering chief, Sandy Jen, joined a panel to talk about scaling your computing infrastructure for explosive growth. Jen also spoke with Found|READ, this time to offer founders tips on how to overcome what she calls the internal scaling challenge: hiring.

Meebo launched in September 2005, when it unveiled the first Ajax application that allowed users to access several instant messaging clients (AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, etc.) from its home page. Back then, Jen and co-founders Seth Sternberg and Elaine Wherry were bootstrapping, even using personal credit cards to lease the three servers they needed in order to launch. With no money left over for marketing, they went guerrilla. Read More about Meebo’s Jen: How to Find Hard-to-Find Talent

What Makes Gaming Social?

While it may temping to lump every game that has chat or a shared leaderboard under the social gaming umbrella, to do so muddies the water of a category that just may be the natural progression from social networking. It’s time to define what we mean by social gaming, so that we can better focus on the actual value we are creating for the players themselves — and avoid the trap of slapping a sparkly new phrase on any gaming startup that wanders onto the scene.

Geek Out: How Facebook Scales Chat

Neither Om nor I are shy about talking infrastructure, but the High Scalability blog has gone totally geek and parsed the details of how Facebook plans to scale its new Jabber chat service to 70 million members using a hella lot of servers and Erlang. As Sandy Jen over at Meebo can tell you, chat is a challenge to scale because it requires a constantly open connection to the servers and low latency. That’s a recipe for a lot of hardware and some flexible architecture. Good thing Facebook has $100 million to spend, but bad news for the firm if the money spigot closes.

GigaOM Daily: MySpace Mobile Launches, Meebo Money & More

[qi:083] MySpace Mobile is now live at http://m.myspace.com. You can do most of things you do on MySpace via the mobile page like Reading, composing and replying to MySpace Messages, viewing photo albums and posting comments or blog entries. During the beta phase, MySpace Mobile Web was getting about a million unique visitors per day, the company claims.

[qi:115] Meebo raising another $25-to-$30 million at a valuation of $250 million? Matt Marshall thinks that in the current economic environment it is going to be hard for the company to get the money. He forgets Meebo’s backers include generous folks at DFJ.

[qi:011] Jack Meyers says “Media Industry is in an Unprecedented State of Economic Disarray.” I would say that is an understatement. “The focus instead, it seems, is on advertising as a commodity rather than advertising as a tool for building brand awareness and sales.”

[qi:020] Sick & Tired of seeing the Universal Service Fund (USF) phone tax revenues go waste and spent on illogical projects? Then speak up at Cap The Fund. By the way, USF phone tax is set to jump in the second quarter of 2008 from 10.2 percent to 11.3 percent of carrier revenues collected from phone consumers.

[qi:006] This overwhelming need to couch everything we are doing these days in terms of these so-called new social media might be fine as a way to create a new business niche as companies try desperately to use any available trick to gain market share; but really do companies – or people for that matter – need this new media they way they are being led to believe. [WinExtra by Steve Hodson]

Will It Scale?

That was the question asked of the four panelists on Monday’s Scalability Boot Camp Panel at South by Southwest. The panelists, who represented various consumer sites, all said that at some point in their online ventures the answer to that question was no. As a result they’ve ended up learning how to build network architectures that can support a large number of users.

One way (are you listening Yahoo?) was to restrict launches by making them available to a limited amount of people over a fixed period of time, because no one server can handle all the users of a site hopping on all at once. Another was to figure out what your users want before trying to figure out your network architecture. Blaine Cook of Twitter confessed that when they launched their service, no one was sure what people would use it for, calling it the worst idea ever.

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Meebo Grows Up, Goes Beyond IM Roots, Launches Platform

[qi:006] Meebo, the Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up that popularized web-based instant messaging, is celebrating its second anniversary today. The three-person company we first wrote about in September 2005 is growing up literally and figuratively. The company is expanding beyond its instant messaging roots and is now embracing realtime interactions via what co-founder Seth Sternberg described as Meebo Platform.

The company is offering application programming interface (API) to its community of web-based IM users that will allow developers to write essentially widgets to the Meebo platform. Sternberg described this as a move to go beyond the IM and embrace “real time interactions” around your pre-existing social network, “your buddy list.” [Screen Shots below the fold]

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