May 11, 2009

RelaunchXing socialmedian

Guest blog post from Jason Goldberg, Chief Product Officer at XING & founder of socialmedian

Hi everyone! Remember me? It has been quite a while since Jason Goldberg or socialmedian graced the blog-o-louisgray ... been waiting until I actually had something interesting to say.

Last year was quite a ride for me and for socialmedian. What started off in January of 2008 as an idea around social-graph-filtered-news rapidly became a website (launched on that gained a die-hard following amongst the social media early-adopters. socialmedian was also one of the first companies to embrace distributed social media, integrating with Facebook, Twitter, and pioneering news-streaming as a form of life-streaming. Election 2008 propelled socialmedian, growing traffic to the site by 300% thanks to partnerships with the likes of the Washington Post and The Guardian. As it became clearer that socialmedian might have a future as a compliment to a larger network, predicted an early exit for socialmedian. IMO the coolest part of the socialmedian story in 2008 was building the site with our users, conducting a public dialogue with users on what we should do next, and then each week launching new features based on direct user input. “Tweet what you think we should do next” is the new way to build software.

And then, almost as quickly as we came onto the scene, socialmedian was acquired by XING, Europe's professional networking leader.

The XING acquisition was announced in December 2008 and then closed in February 2009. Since then, I have been working fulltime at XING as the company's Chief Product Officer. And while I’ve surely kept up on Twitter, I haven’t had much time for blogging and also haven’t spent much time pimping socialmedian in the blogosphere as we’ve been very focused on getting some new projects going with XING. XING is really committed to being a leader in the next phase of the evolution of social media and it's really fun to be part of that effort. It's also really cool for me to be working for XING in Hamburg, Germany, and for a brash American social media dude to be impacting and influencing the growth and globalization of a European internet leader.

So, what does all this mean for socialmedian? What happens when a little website like socialmedian gets gobbled up by a XING? Does socialmedian have a future with XING?

One of the key projects I have been working on since I got to XING has been implementing the open-social platform on XING. This will enable XING and its partners to rapidly launch rich applications which enrich the XING user experience by tapping into the social-graph of relationships on XING.

I'm thrilled to announce that 3 months after XING closed the deal to acquire socialmedian, we just went live with two socialmedian-built applications on XING. The first beta testers now have access to the apps, which will distribute virally on XING. One, XING News, is a social news service in German, English, Spanish, and Turkish languages. It is basically socialmedian on XING, enabling XING members to get news filtered by their XING contacts, share stories of interest, discuss/comment, etc. The second is ASK Xing, which enables XING members to ask questions and get answers from the XING network. Both were built on the open-social framework which we are also launching Monday. We are going to start with these two socialmedian-team-built apps, and then in the following weeks launch several partner applications, of which we have many in testing now.

Click for a Full Size Version of The New XING

Click for a Full Size Version of XING News

As noted, XING News is essentially socialmedian on XING. We've adapted the socialmedian application to the XING environment and enabled it to operate in the German, English, Spanish, and Turkish languages. In doing so, we've immediately gone from thousands of users for socialmedian per day to millions of users interacting with socialmedian, which is about as cool as it gets when you're in the business of building consumer web apps, like we are! XING News now enables XING members to get the news filtered by their XING contacts. Find out which stories your XING contacts find interesting. Comment and join in discussions...all the social media bells and whistles you would expect, with much more on the way. socialmedian will continue to operate as a standalone website but with XING News, we’ve now taken socialmedian to a whole new level.

Click for a Full Size Version of XING in German

Click for a Full Size Version of Ask XING

I know that most of the readers of aren’t all that familiar with XING, but I hope you will respect that this Germany-based professional networking leader is making a big social media commitment and that a big pillar of that commitment is from a company that got started here at

Peace, big love and Auf Wiedersehen!
- Jason Goldberg

Catch more from Jason Goldberg at The socialmedian blog or on Twitter.