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Crunchbase

Polaris Insights Google Chrome Extension - Download Now!

What sites and apps do I use on a daily basis? Quora, LinkedIn, Crunchbase and a slew of Google Chrome extensions (which I've written about before). So why not put all of them together and create a Chrome Extension that reveals: - Funding and company history (from Crunchbase) - Employees and your connections (from LinkedIn) - Topics, questions and answers (from Quora)

... And that's what I did. Along with Matt Basta and Rob Abbott, we built the Polaris Insights Chrome Extension.

- Read more on TechCrunch: Quora + CrunchBase + LinkedIn = Best Extension Ever?

- Read more on ReadWriteWeb: Check Out My New Favorite Browser Plug-In, Built by a Venture Capital Firm

- Download Polaris Insights

Microsoft's "Office Social Connector" (aka Facebook Connect for Outlook) is Great

But tying together the web's most visited site (Facebook) with arguably the most important communication platform (email) is both natural and a long time coming. And with this week's announcement of Microsoft's 'Outlook Social Connector' , your social graph can now be connected to Outlook's email, contact and calendaring systems. The plugin is essentially Facebook Connect within Microsoft Outlook and it is a natural, powerful and simple integration. The Social Connector pulls in Facebook profile information from those email correspondents: Facebook icon, profile link, metadata and the ability to add them either as a Facebook friend and/or Outlook contact. More importantly, you can synchronize contacts with Outlook and enrich your already existing contacts.

In addition to providing data / actions around each contact, the Connector aggregates communication history for correspondent's. Its navigation pane allows you to toggle between: - aggregated / commingled communication history - meeting history - attachments - Facebook activity feeds

Lastly, Microsoft has opened the platform with "a public SDK allows anyone to build a connection to business or consumer social networks"... which means that this can become more than just Facebook (ie LinkedIn, Yelp, Crunchbase, etc). And although developers are currently enamored with Apple and Google, email - and specifically Outlook - represent significant usage, relatively light application competition, and therefore a beacon of opportunity. And despite being (supposedly) difficult to develop against, this should attract significant developer attention.

Landing a Great Start Up Job: The Best Job Resources

A great thread has been growing on Hacker News about the best place to find start up jobs. I've include the mentioned websites at the bottom of the post - but wanted to first give a couple higher level comments:

1. Read and participate on blogs. Fred Wilson commonly posts about openings in his portfolio and did so again yesterday. Reading his blog (and others) can inform you of opportunities - participating on his blog (comments, linkbacks, etc) can help you build credibilty. Secondly, most bloggers make their contact information available. My email is on the left side of every post and I, for instance, have job opportunities available. Read and be aggressive.

2. Most major blogs (like TechCrunch, GigaOm, etc) have job boards and have company indexes. Browse each. If a company is particularly attractive, visit their site and their job board.

3. Classifieds sites work - particularly if you live in the Bay Area. Craigslist and Kijiji have tons of listings. Search regularly and set up rss alerts. You can also be more proactive and post your resume.

4. Job search engines / aggregators work. Try JobFox.com, TheLadders.com, Indeed.com, and so on.

5. Network. Network. Network. Upcoming and other sites list start up events and conferences. Attend, engage and carry business cards.

6. Don't be deterred because a company has no job openings. If you're smart and are a great fit, they'll take you. You can never have an excess of excellent people (at least that's my view).

Best resources to find start up jobs (from Hacker News):

- TechCrunch's CrunchbBoard - CrunchBase - Hacker News Jobs - Sequoia Portfolio Jobs - KPCB Portfolio Jobs - HotStartupJobs - Startupers.com - Jowba.com - Go Big Network - StartupLogic.com - npost.com - SnapTalent.com

Charting Techmeme's Top 100 Headline & Discussion Sources

Techmeme has garnered a great deal of analysis over the past week: Statbot broke down the top 100 users, CrunchBase released a very thorough Blogger Board, and I argued that Techmeme's homepage is more effective and valuable than Digg's or Mixx's.

Below, I combined StatBot's Top 100 Discussion sources and CrunchBase's Top 100 Headline sources. I was looking to understand two things:

1) Techmeme's reliance on top sources in both Discussions and Headlines 2) The overlap between top Discussion and Headlines sources

The heads actually take far different shapes - which is to be expected. 17 different sources contribute at least 1% of Techmeme's headlines meanwhile, 28 sources contribute at least 1% of Techmeme's discussions. The fascinating part is that 25% of Techmeme's sources and 23% of its discussions are from 6 sources, respectively:

- Headlines: TechCrunch (8%), CNet (4.5%), NYTimes (3.3%), ReadWriteWeb (2.9%), Alley Insider (2.7%), Ars Technica (2.7%) - Discussions: ZDNet (5.7%), Digg (4.4%), Wired (3.5%), Mashable (3.4%), Engadget (3.1%), Gizmodo (2.9%)

The less pronounced (ie flatter) chart for Discussions is predictable as it is far easier for an 'average' blogger to make Techmeme's Discussion Algorithm... it's far harder to qualify as a Headline because Techmeme's algorithm values a mixture of credibility, linking, news breaking, etc. Consequently, the Discussion tail is more distributed and the Headlines 'head' features very big names.

Equally interesting is the overlap (or lack thereof) between top Discussion and top Headline sources. For instance, there are less than 10 sources that represent at least 1% of Techmeme's discussions and 1% of their sources. Why?

- As mentioned above, Techmeme's Headline algorithm values prominent, news-breaking sources (like TechCrunch, NYTimes, CNet, AP, WSJ) - Big sources like those are less likely to 'discuss' topics (ie respond) because either they are breaking the news or because it is not likely that major news sources engage in blog-like responses and linking

In fact, of the 17 Headline sources with at least 1% 'presence', seven are major companies / news sources (like WSJ, AP) and the remainder are major blog brands (TechCrunch, GigaOm, Venture Beat, Alley Insider). Only three sites have at least a 2% presence on both Headlines and Discussion: TechCrunch, Ars Technica, and Alley Insider.