Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ridgeland paid $22,500 to company to monitor social media.

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....

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.
 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.

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.”...

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. 
Ridgeland paid Edgetheory (Leadify) $18,000 in October 2013 (an up-front payment) and $4,500 in December 2014.







74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ridgeland is doing what any progressive city would do - protect and promote its "brand."

I understand the desire to rile up (drive comments/clicks from) the conspiracy theorists who are currently upset with Ridgeland, but there's really nothing to see here. Part of the reason those people moved to this city was the image Ridgeland portrays. That's why I'm here. Ridgeland's reputation didn't accidentally happen.

Anonymous said...

This is just part of marketing and public relations in the social media age.

Anonymous said...

To take ownership of conversations..........brave new world.

Anonymous said...

I would have monitored Twitter and Facebook for them for just $20,000

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the point of the article is. Will you also report on what Ridgeland spent on dirt at the ballparks, or light bulbs for streetlights?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ridgeland has never heard of Google Alerts. That would have done this for free.

Anonymous said...

Have to agree with 8:06. Social media is a very powerful marketing tool. Before you moving, most families check an area out for crime, schools and demographics. They also follow the local newspapers to get a sense of the political climate.

Anonymous said...

They couldn't have just used Google Alerts for free?

Anonymous said...

I understand the desire to rile up (drive comments/clicks from) the conspiracy theorists who are currently upset with Ridgeland,

Cute. Those who disagree with the running and actions of their city government are "conspiracy theorists". Your attitude is part of the reason there is a problem.

Anonymous said...

8:06, is that you Stradinger?

Anonymous said...

Google Alerts is a pretty good tool. I use it a lot and I'm not nearly as techy as Wile E. Coyote.

Anonymous said...

Ah. "Correct the Record" in Ridgeland. "Nothing to see here." Move along. Private sector efficiency and ethics.

Anonymous said...

9:31, No one said that, but you immediately paint yourself as the victim of an attack? Perhaps you may be. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with the attraction of Costco (or other decisions made) by the current city leaders. The nut jobs who theorized that Costco was the result of inside deals, kickbacks and illegal activities, rather than solid economic development efforts, are those to whom I referred.

Dial-up said...

Total waste of taxpayer funds.

Anonymous said...

Solid economic development efforts? LOL You mean solid Republican corporate welfare efforts. Without the Republican giveaways of Mississippi taxpayers dollars there is no Costco.

Paranoia Strikes Deep said...

"Taking ownership" of conversations on social media sounds a little heavy handed to me. I think that means "Commandeering" or "Hijacking" in social media vernacular.

However; I also agree that this is nothing new and is simply part of doing business. I can remember fifty and more years ago when cities, businesses, agencies, individuals paid 'clipping services' to clip articles and other mentions of the individual or entity from various papers and send them to that customer.

Monitoring the pulse is one thing. Taking ownership of a conversation is quite another, and sounds a bit Draconian, even for young Mr. Hart.

Anonymous said...

Hey 8:06am. WHAT KIND OF REPUTATION DOES RIDGELAND HAVE?? People actually WANT to live there?????

Anonymous said...

8:06 & 9:52
U obviously r just trying to deceive everyone as Ridgeland City Hall tried. The covert deceit & lies by RCH has been well substantiated & proven. No citizen conspiracy theories here, too the contrary!
To say a strip mall is a cultural attraction or even ecomonic development is simply ludicrous. How utterly absurd & ridiculous! U r obviously some paid responder with little to no intelligence of this matter & possibly nothing other than a little knowledge of social media use.

Anonymous said...

Taking ownership means spinning the narrative to match the marching orders of those paying the bills. Anyone who thinks that Griffith is merely replacing a clipping service is truly naive.

Winston Smith said...

This is giving me cognitive dissonance.

On the one hand, the Ridgeland Inner Party is keeping the Outer Party and the Proles informed. On the other hand, Kingfish has made this media effort the subject of today's Two Minute Hate.

Anonymous said...

8:06 if the City of Ridgeland had a good reputation, the jokers at city hall have destroyed it by turning their backs on their citizens. 3200 people elected GM in last election. 2500 petitioners against the location of a Costco. Payoffs!? Makes one wonder!

Anonymous said...

Until new city officials are elected, I would not recommend any business or home owner moving to Ridgeland.

Anonymous said...

The average age of JJ's readership and commenters is pretty obvious after reading many of these posts above.

Have any of you even read the methodology of how this works?

Anonymous said...

11:17 demonstrates 8:06's point with precision. No further argument necessary.

Anonymous said...

The average age of JJ's readership and commenters is pretty obvious after reading many of these posts above.

Give us an estimate of the average age? Put up since it is "pretty obvious".

Anonymous said...

Folks - this is part of any modern strategic communication/public relations strategy, the kind in which every responsible executive engages. Unflattering, and many times untrue social media posts beget similar such posts (often based on less than all of the facts) and begin to tilt sentiment. Leadership can be reactive or proactive - when economic development is at stake, I'd rather be proactive.

Anonymous said...



What are people saying about the new Costco?

Anonymous said...

I wonder whether there's a way to force them to disclose what comments they've posted on social media, such as at this very blog?

It would be interesting to see whether those comments were truthful, as opposed to having that Gene McGee quality.

Anonymous said...

This is not a wasteful expense, particularly given the small amount mentioned. It's a lot of money to an individual, but to hire a PA to contract that work, it's not expensive.

Anonymous said...

A number of years ago, some individuals in Flowood began spreading rumors about crime at Northpark Mall. They were totally untrue. It hurt the malls reputation. in this age of social media, a city's or business's reputation can be destroyed very quickly. Some politicians use the same technique. if a city's image is hurt, property value can be impacted. Monitoring is a way of protecting the public.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the COR paid for some of these comments in this thread. There hiding in plain sight. Can I get on the payroll, cause I can find something nice to say for a little side cash.

Lake Harbour Dr. is much easier to drive down now!

Pay up Gene!

Anonymous said...

The Chinese web users reveling in the role of social networking sites in revealing the Bo scandals once again fell into debates, while others have been reflecting on larger questions. "Why does the U.S. not censor rumors?" asked one Weibo user last November. "No matter how wild they are, nobody bans them, and the creators of rumors do not worry about getting arrested. Perhaps for places where truth persists, rumors have no harm. Only places that lack truth are fearful of rumors."

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Kingfish for helping level the playing field. The message control freaks can get fucked.

Anonymous said...

A number of years ago, some individuals in Flowood began spreading rumors about crime at Northpark Mall.

Spreading where? Spreading How? Spreading like the FUD you're spreading now?

Anonymous said...

The Mayor was trying to sell insurance

Apply for a business license and see

Anonymous said...

What's amazing about this is how the PAID TROLLS immediately appeared on this thread, using all their usual tactics. They're REALLY easy to spot.

And it's amazing, to me, that 'Big Jim' put up the 'seed money' for this.

Y'all Must Know That I Have The Answers! said...

"Have any of you even read the methodology of how this works?"

What the hell does that even mean? Can you point us to the 'methodology' handbook? You know, the one that explains "how this works"? Oh, how what "works"?

While you're having your Crown Royal, can you tell us what methodology you are referring to and your definition of 'works' and where one might find these texts? And why you're the bonehead you seem to be?

Anonymous said...

The comments about city employees posting and paid commenters simply feeds into the original indictment that said the post was just fodder for the gotdam tinfoil hat wearing morons.

Anonymous said...

6:16, So I suppose trolls are everyone who does not hold your point of view?

Anonymous said...

If you've ever walked through a government office during the workday, you know that we're paying a hell of a lot more than $22,000 for people to monitor social media.

Shirtsleeves said...

Staff in law and CPA firms constantly "monitor" social media and the client pays for it.

Anonymous said...

Staff in law and CPA firms constantly "monitor" social media and the client pays for it.

What does this have to do it how government should operate? What percentage of it's profits should a government invest in order to make sure it's taxpayers are happy, or convince them they are happy?

What about places like the Chicken Ranch and crack houses? They may wish to monitor social media, influence social media, and have certain promotional events. Again, what does this have to do with what a government should do?

Trust Me - Just Trust Me.. said...

And this segways perfectly with Madison County paying a political operative to host a County facebook page for the purpose of 'maintaining the brand'.

First thing ya know, we'll be having people who work for the City of Ridgeland posting false stuff about the benefits of Costco.

Anonymous said...

So right @1:35 AM. This puff piece about Mayor Phony Yarber borders on paid placement.

Anonymous said...

The only paid comments here are from the Citizens of West Ridgeland who are advertisers on this blog. Extremely paranoid. Conspiracy theorist group. Somebody needs a day job to have something we to focus on and conspire about.

Anonymous said...

Trust Me - Just Trust Me.. said...
"And this segways perfectly with Madison County paying a political operative to host a County facebook page for the purpose of 'maintaining the brand'.

First thing ya know, we'll be having people who work for the City of Ridgeland posting false stuff about the benefits of Costco." October 22, 2015 at 6:09 AM

Actually, it's "segues". But yeah: Madison County's bigwig wannabes are learning from the Buster/Andrew/Jim Troika. Let's hope their "branding" turns out not to be as ludicrous as Co-pie-yee-ah County's new "branding".

As for your last paragraph, I think that, in a variety of ways, that's already happening. And, thanks to Kingfish, we now know a lot more about one of those ways. I had wondered about the specifics.

But, for the life of me, I can't see how they could possibly need 1.5 million as seed money for an enterprise using BROKEN-DOWN LOSERS to troll the Internet.

Anonymous said...

Umm, EXACTLY what is the big, bad story here??? EVERY ad agency and consulting firm in the state has some kind of government client(s) to help them with all forms of communications and marketing. DUH. Do you think firms from outside the state—who don't personally care about Ridgeland, or any other Mississippi entity—should get those jobs?? This sort of smells like a lame personal attack (on whom exactly??) made by 'BROKEN-DOWN LOSERS' who troll the Internet. Shouldn't Mississippians support Mississippi companies? BTW, Googling stuff isn't the same as personally interacting on Twitter on behalf of a group, like answering complaints, steering people toward the answers to their questions, announcing good stuff... The grouchy Internet trolls seems confused by the use of social media interaction for positive communication.

Anonymous said...

12:33 "Broken-Down Losers", that would be you. You seem to have such a close relationship and knowledge of your proclaimed "Troika", then you grammatically correct and make fun of those who sound to be on your same side. Troll away, troll.
The purpose of this post was, for some reason, to make fun and trouble out of a City keeping up with the times. If you had a business, you might understand.

Anonymous said...

A desire to use taxpayers' money to increase traffic at a previously built development (i.e. MDA money for Renaissance III to beef up Renaissance I). A desire to use taxpayer money to engage generate business for one in which an investment has been made. When does it end?

Anonymous said...

1:29, it is economic development. It is retail massing to draw prospective shoppers and dollars to the area. Doesn't matter to MDA or Ridgeland who the developer of the future property will be. There are safeguards to make sure it is done right. No one will take anything away from you. The incentives simply allow it to happen. Then they are put back into the property. Why are the majority of people on this blog against progress - whether it be social media or commercial development? SMH . . .

Anonymous said...

2:34 the people who are freaking out about this practice (which is now commonplace in progressive and growing economic centers) believe that it's all an effort to screw them. They don't understand what you have to do to succeed in a changing age, so they're paranoid.

Think of all the Jackson bashing that occurs on this website alone. Unless Yarber's admin is working to arrest that wave of bad publicity that occurs in scores of other corners of social media, it's going to cement those negative thoughts in the minds of tens of thousands, which creates an albatross for Jackson's growth prospects.

Anonymous said...

Amen, 3:19.

Anonymous said...

I've been told Edge Theory/Leadify has a similar contract with the Madison County Economic Development Authority.

Anonymous said...

There are safeguards to make sure it is done right.

Like KioR? Safeguards like that?

Keep Drinking That Kool-aid Sparky said...

Why are the majority of people on this blog against progress ...

Not against progress. Against Mississippi Republican doled corporate welfare dressed up to look like economic development.

Anonymous said...

No, 4:29. NOTHING like that. Stop trying to tie all the things that piss you off into one category.

Anonymous said...

Like the safeguards that Mattice disregarded when he summarily walked away from his Lowe's TIF obligations?

Anonymous said...

So, in essence, is this a nice post about a cool, growing, Mississippi-based tech start-up company, and the problem that you're trying to get us upset about is fact that Ridgeland did not renew the contract points out that Ridgeland missed out???

Anonymous said...

Kingfish isn't trying to get you upset about anything. Move along if the content here is not to your liking.

Anonymous said...

6:27 It's gonna be way over your head. No one has the time or strength to get any of this through your head if that's where you try to go.

Anonymous said...

So, in essence, the sovereignty commission has been privatized in binary code whilst being repackaged as an emerging free market. Bless your heart. Come again.

KY or Vaseline? said...

No, the safeguards were not in place to keep Mattiace from 'walking away' from his obligations. The safeguards were in place to be that, once he did, the taxpayer would get screwed into propping him up.

Anonymous said...

Real estate speculators and local field-of-schemes politicians have abused TIFs far beyond the original intent. The redistributionist Mississippi Republican power structure has hijacked TIFs to serve as their unauthorized taxpayer backstopped funding source for self-serving development projects.

Kingfish said...

People made comments on my website about Leadify manipulating online conversations bout Costco. So I filed a public records request and showed you how much they were paid and also the contract itself. The contract showed the agreement expired last year so Leadify is not working for the city anymore.

Then I posted a MBJ story that provided more details on the story. I also showed where a local tycoon thought enough about the company that he invested his own money into its fortunes.

Now what is the problem with this post? It seems some misconceptions were corrected and accurate information was published.

Anonymous said...

$22k is a cheap public relations position. Basically they've augmented their PR staff for less than a part time PR person would cost...

Anonymous said...

KF - As with everything here, the context and intent of the original post is lost when the same few regular spewers of hate, pull in and attempt to tie and lump every issue into one. You may as well keep one open forum rather than separate with new entries. That's not a criticism of you but the commentors. It's just hard to remember what we originally clicked on to read when you begin to see the same old attacks you have already suffered through in so many previous posts.

Anonymous said...

No, it isn't hard to remember what we originally clicked on at all.

Your continual droning laments are no different than those you bemoan.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, they were droning and bemoaning that the path to your accusations of wrongdoing DOES. NOT. EXIST. Paranoids and conspiracy theorists abound. Someone took your toys too soon when you were little, and I'm sad about that for you. Been looking for someone to get back all your life, haven't you? But don't make things up and try to hurt good hardworking people in your process. You could consider possibly that you do not know all, that what is presented here and in the media is not 100% factual. Imagine that! Be quiet and watch. You could learn something, and then you won't have to feel like a fool down the road.

Anonymous said...

"$22k is a cheap public relations position. Basically they've augmented their PR staff for less than a part time PR person would cost..."
October 23, 2015 at 8:05 AM

It doesn't cost that much, to pay, per-post, a couple of bitter alcoholics, to sit, typing into old computers, in the worn-out tightie whities their moms bought them, in the makeshift bonus rooms over their former wives' homes' garages (where they've been living since the wives divorced them - partly because of the drinking, and partly because no woman in her right mind wants to be stuck with an unemployable man), attempting to slap-down anyone who dares to not lionize Gene/Andrew/Buster/Jim.

Alcoholics are naturally condescending, and so are 'naturals' at Internet "controlling of conversations". Armed with how-to handbooks, they are somewhat effective. This is as close to being "winners" as they are likely to ever experience.

However, GUYS LIKE THAT WORK CHEAP.

Anonymous said...

Wow, 1:39, that's a lot of detail. Pretty telling on YOU. Are you the same guy with "KY and Vaseline"? And you're an alcoholic too? Get yourself some help! You've already lost your wife. Yes, you are condescending and pathetic.

I'm starting to sound like you, so I'm outa here.

Anonymous said...

There you go again, 2:16! Turning-around something an opponent says, so that it will "backfire". There must be a whole chapter on that, in the 'style book' (or handbook) they gave you, considering that this is what you do in most of your posts.

1:39 may have a great imagination. Then again, she may have heard the stories that have been floating around Jackson forever, about various broken men who end up offing themselves.

Our first home was in a townhouse condo development. Passing by an open garage, I'd notice an old station wagon full of garbagey-looking stuff. I assumed that there were painters working inside, or something. One day, though, we heard that a neighbor had been living in that station wagon. He was the alcoholic 'ex' of a lady executive, who lived in the condo above the garage. Finally, one day after his former family had left for work and school, he pulled down that garage door, drank his last 6-pack, and smoked his last cigs, while the garage filled up with carbon monoxide. There are plenty of other stories like that - in bonus rooms, basements... even the "fixed-up" chicken house behind a sister's house. And nobody fleshing-out the details of those stories would imagine such men's undies as being clean, new $29.95 Calvin Kleins. Skid-marked, holey Fruit-O'-the-Looms are the obvious choice. You don't have to be another Isaac Babel or Eudora Welty, to paint such a picture.

But that garage suicide happened before the Internet got big. Today, he'd have been able to "work" from his garage. You should be grateful that guys like yourself can now have exciting careers as "paid correspondents"!

Oh, and thanks for the "KY and Vaseline" details! Are those your "personal emollients", for when you take your frequent "breaks"? Or do you put those on the psoriasis caused by the vodka and the Camel Lites?

Anonymous said...

Sick man 4:12. KY was from someone else' post (5:44am). Matched your taste so assumed it was you. Your sick rantings have made me feel a little sick, so you'll forgive me if I depart. Walk away slowly from the crazy person . . .

Sock Puppet Alert: Sightings at 1:39 and 4:12 said...

1:39 is a she? How do you know?

Anonymous said...

My friends this here's some cutting edge chit!



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