The City of Ridgeland paid $22,500 to Edgetheory, LLC from October 2013 to December 2014. Edgetheory was formerly Leadify, LLC. Ridgeland hired the company to monitor social media conversations about Ridgeland and take "ownership" of those social media conversations. Edgetheory also provided "engagement monitoring". The Madison County Journal reported in October 2013:
Alan Hart, director of community development, said Ridgeland-based Leadify will help engage and control conversations related to the city....Ridgeland apparently did not renew the contract. The Secretary of State's website states that Joe Stradinger and Walter Denny are the President and Manager of the company. However, the SEC states on its website (See images posted below) that Jim Barksdale invested $1.5 million in the company. It also states that tech industry veteran Carlos Ramon of Palo Alto, CA is a director in the company as well. Angel.co states Mr. Barksdale provided a $1.5 seed investment in 2014. It also states Greg Griffith was a founder of the company. The company raised another $5 million in March through the sale of debt and equity.
He said Leadify can set search parameters and monitor social media to find out what people have to say about Ridgeland.
"We might be interested in what are people saying about crime in Ridgeland," he said. "What are people saying about Northpark? What are people saying about Renaissance?"
He said it's an opportunity to ensure incorrect information regarding the city doesn't sweep through the social media networks and go viral, for example. Earlier post.
Butler Snow Chief Operating Officer Martin Willoughby published a glowing review about the company in a 2014 issue of the Mississippi Business Journal:
Mississippi, the home of literary greats such as Faulkner, Morris and Welty, arguably has had more than its fair share of people talented with the gift of words.
Joe Stradinger, founder and CEO of Edge Theory, and I recently discussed this cultural history. We joked that perhaps the soil is richer here in Mississippi. Joe’s company is tapping into this tradition in a very exciting and unique way. They are marrying innovative technology with the rich Southern tradition of conversation to achieve measurable results for companies in the realm of social media marketing.....
Joe’s research and work in this field led him to launch Edge Theory (formerly known as Leadify) in 2012.
Joe noted, “I realized that the true power of social media is not in likes, follows or favorites. Instead, social media has the greatest impact and the greatest return from the indexing of content that occurs daily across hundreds of search engines and content aggregators, effectively raising authority and disseminating content to thousands of people who will never like nor follow a business’s social media accounts.”
He continued, “Companies pursuing authentic conversation (beyond the overt repetition of self-promotion) can connect with thousands of people before they ever think about a company or search for a product or service. Every day, a business can connect consumers with their interests.”
He contrasts traditional search engines where people already know what they are looking for with what he does which he describes as a “Find Engine.”...Ridgeland paid Edgetheory (Leadify) $18,000 in October 2013 (an up-front payment) and $4,500 in December 2014.
Former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale recognized the potential of this new company and now serves on the board of directors. The company is quickly scaling its business and now has offices in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York in addition to their headquarters in Jackson.
They have clients on three continents which include well-known brands as Neiman Marcus, Match.com, Mayo Clinic and Travelocity as well as Mississippi-based Trinity Apparel, University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi College.
I am always on the lookout for great companies on the rise in Mississippi, and I was excited to learn of Edge Theory’s aggressive plans for growth. Joe’s energy and passion are contagious.....Column.