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David Jackson
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I'm founder and CEO of Seeking Alpha. I started Seeking Alpha after working for five years as a technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York. Seeking Alpha is now the dominant crowdsourced equity research platform, with thousands of contributors and millions of monthly visitors,... More
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Seeking alpha
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A Founder's Notebook
  • What’s Seeking Alpha doing with the $7M we raised? 1 comment
    Jan 14, 2010 5:37 AM
    Here's what's going on at Seeking Alpha.  In this update:
    2009 – Financial Media in a Post-Financial Meltdown World
    • Slower newsroom, but higher engagement
    • What we’re doing with $7M
     2010 – New initiatives
    • Direct Messaging launch
    • Comment features and new functionality
    • New positions filled
    • New Instablogs worth watching
    Financial Media in a Post-Financial Meltdown World
    2008 and much of 2009 proved to be blockbuster times for financial media – the banking meltdown, subsequent bailouts, mortgage crisis and changes to US economic policy often made financial news the top stories of the past two years. Seeking Alpha benefitted from the surge in interest in financial news, and we grew our traffic and registered user base significantly as users tried to make sense of the economic turbulence. 
    More significant, however, is the continued interest in Seeking Alpha now that some of the dust has settled and financial news stories have retreated to “below the fold” in most newspapers. While overall traffic to financial sites has slowed, Seeking Alpha managed strong growth in direct traffic, which was up 38% this year. Initial January numbers show a 3X increase over the rate of sign-ups in 2009. 
    Some of this growth is a reflection of our editorial merit; users respond to our high quality articles by returning to the site. Increased interest in Seeking Alpha is also due, in no small part, to our significant efforts in 2009 to build stronger bonds between Seeking Alpha community members. We launched blogging and micro-blogging platforms, and made it easy for users to follow others. We also added leader-boards to reward users for their contributions to the site. The result was a major rise in engagement on the site. By December 2009, users who came to Seeking Alpha directly were spending an average of 24 minutes on the site! In 2009 we also saw a 65% increase in the number of users signed up to receive Seeking Alpha articles by email.
    Our commitment to community building involves considerable outlay in the development of technologies that support and encourage interaction between users. It is for this reason that we chose to raise additional funding in 2009.  Focusing on innovation requires us to expand our tech team and, in a measured way, increase marketing activities. In 2010, we will continue to focus on innovative new products for our community, including adapting additional web 2.0 tools that are relevant and useful for the finance vertical. Our January launch of direct messaging and comment tracking are the first steps in this direction. 
    Direct Messaging Launch
    Last week we launched some significant changes to the Seeking Alpha site. The first, Direct Messaging, facilitates private conversations between two Seeking Alpha users. Clicking a “send message” button below a user’s photo initiates a discussion between two Seeking Alpha users. [This is a particularly useful feature for journalists looking to contact Seeking Alpha contributors for their articles.] Users can read and respond to messages from a Seeking Alpha Inbox.
    Comment features and new functionality
    The second major site upgrade released in January relates to the popular comments section of Seeking Alpha. We rolled out many usability upgrades for comments pages, including nested replies and user profile details that can be seen by scrolling over a commenter’s name.   In addition, users can now track comments others have posted on their articles as well as comments they’ve posted, all with a tracking dashboard interface.
    New positions filled
    We welcome Eli Hoffmann as Seeking Alpha's new VP Content. A three-and-a-half year veteran of Seeking Alpha, Eli oversees all SA Content initiatives, heads up our news team, and drives the creation of new content. Eli was instrumental in designing Seeking Alpha's hugely-successful Wall Street Breakfast and Market Currents news products, and continues to contribute to them.
    In addition, Fara Hain joins our team as Director of Marketing. Fara brings rich experience in online marketing to our product team. Her primary responsibilities will be in the areas of product marketing, user feedback and managing the launch of new Seeking Alpha initiatives.
    Welcome to both Eli and Fara!
    New Instablogs worth watching
    As a regular part of my monthly update, I’d like to highlight some of the best new Instablogs on Seeking Alpha. I’m always impressed with the quality and diversity of our contributors on the site. Here are a few worth reading.
    • Nicholas Marshi is the Chief Investment Officer of Southland Capital Management, which principally manages a hedge fund.
    • ACInvestments - American Contrarian Investments is a boutique investment firm with a focus on US listed companies operating in emerging markets and commodity futures.
    • Jim Farrish is the founder and editor of SectorExchange.com and TheETFexchange.com.  His primary goal is to educate people about investing.
    One final note, I just saw a blog post by the investor relations department at Axion International Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: AXIH), a company utilizing recycled plastic for high-load industrial products. The company announced the launch of their AxionGrowth profile on Seeking Alpha as part of their social media strategy. It seems they, “Decided to focus efforts on communicating the Axion International story … on Seeking Alpha because it offers one of the most sophisticated investor audiences on the Web.”  It reads as though we fed it to them - but honestly we didn't! 
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  • Marc Strausberg
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Good move.!


    I am the co-founder of EDGAR Online and have always been a fan of SA


    This is what I have been doing lately and expect to go live soon.


    28 Feb 2010, 02:17 PM Reply Like
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