Internships at FamilyLink – Utah’s fastest growing web company

It’s still a well-kept secret, but last month FamilyLink was the fastest growing web site in the US according to Comscore. But you wouldn’t know it from the (low) number of requests we get for part-time employment or internships.

If you are studying web development, marketing, multimedia or business at BYU or UVU, wouldn’t you be excited to find a part time job or internship with a company that is growing this fast? You can learn so much and meet so many great people working at a company that is growing so fast and providing value to so many millions of families.

I often refer local job hunters to SiliconSlopes.com to find Utah companies that have raise capital. That is usually a sign of a company that is growing. You will find FamilyLink listed there, but you can also find stats about FamilyLink on Quantcast.com, which shows FamilyLink ranks about #100 of all US web sites for monthly unique visitors.

Almost every time I lecture to college students and entrepreneurs, I talk about catching the next wave in technology or business. FamilyLink is riding the huge wave of social networking fueled by Facebook’s platform, and is going to be launching mobile applications for families on iPhone and other platforms as well. But we need more talented and passionate people to make these things happen!

I’m very surprised at how few potential employees and students are contacting us to tell us how much they want to work for us, or intern with us. Either everyone is already employed, or maybe everyone is just busy playing Farmville on Facebook or something – because they certainly aren’t knocking down our door. We had a popular booth at a recent BYU job fair, but the conversation always starts with us explaining what we do. It would be much nicer if everyone already knew about us and what we do — then we might have people with passion coming to us with ideas about what they want to do for us.

We’re about to launch our first billboard on I-15 – so hopefully awareness of FamilyLink will grow in the next few weeks. I’ve always wanted to do a billboard (See Recruiting with Billboards), and now Cydni Tetro (our CMO) is making it happen.

Some of the positions (or internships) that we could create for part time employees this spring or summer include:

  • web analytics
  • graphics design
  • banner creation – dynamic, flash, social, targeting
  • brand partnership project management
  • agency and advertiser account management
  • css / javascript coding
  • twitter / facebook marketing
  • mobile app development (android, blackberry, iphone)
  • mobile marketing
  • pay-per-click marketing
  • seo
  • content licensing / business development
  • sales lead generation and “setting”
  • viral video production and marketing
  • localization / translation

If you know any students who are smart, passionate, and get things done, have them check us out and give us reasons to create a position for them this spring or summer. Last summer we hired 8 twitter interns, many of whom learned a lot about social marketing and have gone on to do great things.

Maybe this spring or summer, you will be the one to use FamilyLink as a launch pad for your next career move.

comScore Media Metrix Ranks Top-Growing Properties and Site Categories for December 2009

via ir.comscore.com
    comScore Top 10 Gaining Properties by Percentage Change in
     Unique Visitors* (U.S.)
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    December 2009 vs. November 2009
    -------------------------------
    Total U.S. - Home, Work and University Locations
    ------------------------------------------------
    Source: comScore Media Metrix
    -----------------------------
                                         Total Unique Visitors (000)
                                         ---------------------------
                                                                    Rank by
                                                                    Unique
                                    Nov-09     Dec-09   % Change    Visitors
                                    ------     ------   --------   --------
    Total Internet : Total
     Audience                       201,139    205,709          2        N/A
    ----------------------          -------    -------        ---        ---
    FAMILYLINK.COM                    2,590      6,273        142        222
    --------------                    -----      -----        ---        ---
    JibJab Media                      4,686     10,892        132        129
    ------------                      -----     ------        ---        ---
    Eastman Kodak                     5,116      9,030         77        160
    -------------                     -----      -----        ---        ---
    UPS Sites                        13,091     19,715         51         63
    ---------                        ------     ------        ---        ---
    GIFTS.COM                         4,557      6,797         49        211
    ---------                         -----      -----        ---        ---
    Ganz                              4,822      7,047         46        207
    ----                              -----      -----        ---        ---
    Nintendo Co.                      3,935      5,750         46        241
    ------------                      -----      -----        ---        ---
    Hallmark                          3,881      5,649         46        248
    --------                          -----      -----        ---        ---
    Federated Media Publishing       17,642     25,432         44         45
    --------------------------       ------     ------        ---        ---
    AccuWeather Sites                 5,190      7,344         41        196
    -----------------                 -----      -----        ---        ---
    *Ranking based on the top 250 properties in December 2009.
     Excludes entities whose growth was primarily due to
     implementation of Media Metrix 360 hybrid audience measurement.

It’s very exciting to see the number of people who are using FamilyLink.com to find relatives, build family trees, and share messages and photos with each other.

I’m curious to know how you stay in touch with your relatives, and what feature would make FamilyLink.com more interesting to you personally. (Mobile versions, better email list management, online genealogy databases, photo printing and photo book functionality, integration with family blogs, etc.)

We know what our customers want us to do next, since we run surveys every day, but we also need to know what would get new customers to adopt our site for finding and communicating with relatives.

Please speak out. We promise to listen carefully. Every family matters to us. We love doing what we are doing, and we want to address the needs of families worldwide – including yours.

Posted via web from Paul’s posterous

CEOs who code

20 years ago when I started my first company, I wrote code. (Quickbasic and Turbo Pascal – nothing fancy.) In fact, my partner sold our products and I developed them, for about the first 4 years. As our company grew, we hired developers and I haven’t really written code since. (I did a little bit of HTML a few years back but in all my companies have relied on employees who were much better coders than I was.)

I’m feeling rusty. And today, for the first time in years, as I watch my team of engineers get really excited about all the things in the FamilyLink product roadmap, I also started feeling envious. I loved writing programs, testing them, and running them. There’s an amazing feeling of satisfaction when you build something that works – and better yet, something that is used by thousands of people.

Of all the hats I’ve ever worn, the only one where I ever felt “done” with work, was when I did accounting for Infobases, again back in the early days, using Quickbooks of course. When you closed out a month, your work was actually done, and that brought a nice feeling of satisfaction. But as CEO or VP Marketing, and in most other roles I’ve had, you are never done, because there are always a million more things you could be doing.

Writing code is kind of in-between. You know what is required, you write the code, you test it, it works, and you’re kind of done. You always know that there is another iteration or version just around the corner, but you do get a feeling of satisfaction when the program works as designed. Even if the next features are already on the drawing board.

Tonight I spent a half hour with some Javascript tutorials. Pretty fun stuff. Truth is, we are short on front-end coders at FamilyLink and short on QA engineers. Our backend development team is awesome, and we have another tremendous programmer starting in February. But we need a couple Javascript/CSS gurus badly. We have had enough talent to develop FamilyLink.com into a top 100 web site – design, front-end, and back-end – but we have way more plans and ideas than we have coders to pull it off.

For the next 30 days our development team is planning a pretty-continuous hackathon, since Facebook has announced changes that will have an impact on all their app developers, including us. We’ve reorganized the office so that all the devs and product team are working in 2 huge adjacent offices. I may join them if there is enough room. I may find myself doing a bit of QA in the next month. That won’t require learning Javascript as much as it will require understanding our customer experience and maybe getting up to speed on our development environment. But who knows, maybe I’ll have time to do some additional Javascript tutorials and find myself contributing to FamilyLink.com – if not by writing code, then by searching for Javascript libraries (I found a great one tonight that cartographers can use on top of Google Maps) that my team ought to be aware of.

I recently read that Mark Zuckerberg has always loved coding, but even he has given it up recently,  according to VentureBeat, to focus on company culture and strategy. From what I have heard, the fact that he is a coder and hired coders created an amazing culture at Facebook.

I have always felt Bill Gates was an amazing CEO because he mastered both programming and business. And I think it is hard in a high-tech company, to be a successful CEO if you only master one of those two things. There will be things that a non-technical CEO will never understand.

Can you think of any CEOs who still code, and who claim that it helps them be a more effective CEO?

FamilyLink.com mentioned in The Hill Op-Ed (written by Facebook’s director of public policy)

Entrepreneurs have leveraged the power of platforms offered by companies like Facebook, Google and Apple to kick-start a phenomenon we call the “app economy.” In 2009, this revolution took significant strides in funding, acquisitions and job creation for an economic sector of educational and entertaining software that until several years ago did not exist.

Small companies have already created more than 500,000 active apps reached through Facebook alone that attract at least 70 percent of Facebook’s 350 million members each month. Apple’s App Store boasts 100,000 apps and recently celebrated its three-billionth download. These small-scale yet widely used widgets are enriching individuals’ digital lives — and at the same time have cultivated a booming new business model.

These are real companies with everything from accountants to janitors. Consider California-based app developer Playdom, which has grown to a staff of 210 full-time employees, most of whom joined last year. Or Where I’ve Been, a Chicago startup that helps users plan locally, travel globally and share their experiences.

There’s Seattle’s PopCap, creator of the wildly successful Bejeweled Blitz game; and Provo, Utah-based FamilyLink, whose We’re Related app is among our top five with more than 50 million users. Right here in Washington, Living Social lets users share insights about their favorite pastimes and Causes helps individuals organize into communities of action focused upon specific issues or nonprofit organizations.

The app economy is real. FamilyLink has more than 50 employees and is trying to hire more front end and back end developers, Flash/Flex architects, business development and ad sales people.

Platforms make it very easy for entrepreneurs or developers to get started in the app economy. They offer a huge potential audience that is easy to reach. When I lecture at business schools, I focus on “catching the next technology wave” and “building on the right platform” as some of the most important strategic decisions that high-tech entrepreneurs have to make. But don’t worry–if you missed a wave, there’s always another one coming right around the corner.

Posted via web from Paul’s posterous